An Intentional Investment
By NMC - October 20, 2016
Posted in Children's Ministry, Stories from NMC
We believe in family. We believe in the gift that family is, the joy that family brings to our lives, our churches and our community. We believe that creating and cultivating a healthy family requires work and intentional investments of time, energy and resources. It requires making certain choices, saying “yes” to some things and saying “no” to others.
We believe in family.
If you’ve been around NMC for a little while, you may have noticed a new KidMin event. Friday Family Fun Night was created as a chance for families to come together and have a ton of fun together. Silly games, good food and family-friendly movies invited families to come sit under the stars together during the summer months. They watched movies like “Inside Out” and munched on popcorn.
This past Friday night, the air was crisp and cool, a classic Indiana fall night. The promise of pumpkins, games, snacks and the first-ever Gobble Run brought over 60 families to the Pavilion for the first Friday Family Fun Night of autumn.
Siblings and friends played carnival games together like “broom gourd hockey,” “worms in the haystack,” and “rocket shot.” As families, they decorated pumpkin cookies, taking turns frosting them and pouring on the sprinkles. Most cookies didn’t make it home, but that was ok. It wasn’t about taking sugary things home. It was about making memories together. Later in the evening, after the sun went down, each family decorated a pumpkin together. Huddling around the picnic tables in the pavilion, they designed perfectly imperfect pumpkins that could sit at their homes and remind them of the evening they spent together.
The evening was capped off with the first-ever Gobble Run. Parents and kids alike held a hula hoop behind their back as their “tail.” They pulled a turkey beak over their head, rested it on their foreheads, put a glow-stick necklace on the beak and competed in a relay style race. It was completely silly and random, but it was an activity that brought a lot of laughter.
The goal of Friday Family Fun Night isn’t to hold an event that spectators can come to. The goal is to create the kind of environment that invites parents and kids to come and be silly, to create memories that they can recount later. It’s about providing an opportunity for families to intentionally invest in their relationships.
Families’ lives can be insanely busy. Often times, families find themselves running from one thing to another. In our busy lives, any relationship takes intentional investment. If we’re not careful, our families can become a low priority. We can become people who merely live in the same house, not intentionally caring for these relationships.
This is a huge passion point for KidMin. They deeply value family and the essential role parents play in the spiritual development of their kids. That’s why they are constantly looking for ways to walk alongside parents and do whatever they can to equip them as spiritual leaders. Sometimes this looks like silly games and fun prizes at Friday Family Fun Night because sometimes families just need to laugh together. They need a night when someone else plans the activities, and they can be together, share and set aside any arguments that may happen at home. They need a night when they can connect with other families while they wait in line or while they eat snacks.
We deeply believe in family. We believe in the power of moms and dads being silly with their kids, of siblings laughing together, of creating inside jokes that families can laugh about later. We believe in connecting in the everyday moments and letting those lead to greater spiritual connections in the long-haul.
Over the coming year, our KidMin staff will be brainstorming other ways for families to come together. Families, mark your calendars! Friday Family Fun Night is coming again November 18 with “The Amazing Extraordinary Incredible Outstanding Ultimate Challenge of Champions.” We’re so excited to see what our KidMin team will come up with for this event. As we move into a busy season in November and December, wouldn’t it be great to set aside one night to intentionally invest in your family?
Take a Step…in intentionally investing in your kids
Prayer is such a key part of our relationship with Christ and with our families. It’s foundational to how we communicate and connect with the Lord. So, we asked Pastor Ben to give us three ways parents can intentionally invest in their child’s prayer life. Here’s what he had to say.
This gives you something to do together. It also doesn’t have to be just before meals or before bed, although those are great times to pray together. Try to find other times, like before they head to school for the day or after they share something challenging or difficult about their day.
This is something you do alone. It may seem like an obvious thing, but pray for your kids. Pray for specifics. Listen to them and find out what they are processing and walking through. Pray that even at their young age, they would know that the Lord is walking with them. No matter what you do or how you pray for them, try to make this a daily habit.
Pray in Front Of
This gives you a chance to teach your kids by example. As you pause throughout the day to pray, whether these pauses are planned or not, let your kids see the way you pray. This isn’t a prideful thing. This simply allows your child to get another glimpse into your relationship with the Lord.