Parents Hands On Help
group magazine: January-February, 2000
When kids head back to school after the holiday break, bring parents together for a special Parents Prayer Night.
Invite all the parents in your church to join forces and spend an hour praying for kids, teachers, schools, and everything associated with the new semester. After a time of praise and worship, encourage people to pray in small groups for specific individual needs; then pray as a whole group for more general concerns. As parents realize how powerful and effective this prayer can be, you can make this a quarterly or a monthly event.
Some sports, such as tennis, hiking, golf, and cross-country skiing, can be done together as a family for a lifetime. But often families don’t know how to get started. Here’s how you can help families learn life sports in a small-group setting that includes a Bible study:
* Survey families to see what sports they’d like to explore.
* Recruit adults and teenagers who are willing to share their expertise for each life sport families are interested in pursuing.
* Follow the basic small-group format, holding six weekly meetings. Each meeting consists of an introduction, a Bible study that relates to the activity, the activity itself, a sharing of concerns, and a time for prayer at the end.
Here’s an idea that makes a good follow-up to a Bible study or discussion time focused on parent-teenager relationships: Challenge each young person to pick one thing he or she can change to improve family relationships.
For six weeks have kids secretly make strides to implement the changes they’ve chosen. When the time period is over, plan a potluck for your young people and their family members. After dinner have parents try to guess what’s different about their teenagers.
You might suggest that parents pick up the idea and make a commitment to change one thing about themselves in the next six weeks, or invite families to each come up with something family members can work on together.