What Our 5 Year Old Gains From Being In Church With Us

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Challenging, Encouragement, Why Kids In Worship

I read this from a young woman as she reflected on her childhood:

“Our family went to church together every Sunday.  I wasn’t really sure why, but I didn’t mind.  I got to dress up in cute dresses and sit with my dad.  He was so busy during the week, and church was one time I got to hang out with him for hours.  I didn’t care if it was in a pew listening to some guy talking about God.  I just drew pictures and showed them to my dad.”

Our 5 year old, Bethany, loves sitting on my lap during church.  She sings, draws and colors.  Sometimes she is restless, but I know she is listening.  One Sunday, after getting our new senior pastor, I was talking too long during our “greet one another” time and she said, “Daddy, stop talking!  The new guy is speaking.”

So sweet.  So innocent.

I love having Bethany in there with us.  I know she is young, but she is gaining an experience every Sunday that so many children are missing.  She gets to snuggle with me and other close friends and adopted grandmas that sit with us.  She is hearing other people pray.  She is seeing her mom and dad, other kids, teenagers, adults and grandparents sing and praise God.  She is hearing the pastor’s stories and maybe even getting more of the message than we think. She sees communion, baptisms, testimonies.  Maybe one day she will help pass the offering plate, handout bulletins, sing in the band, lead a prayer.

She also experiences a community that loves Jesus, young and old!  I frankly, want her to grow up and feel out of place when she attends a church with only kids her age!  Why?  Because there is complete community when multi-generations are present.

Trust me, I know it’s not always easy having our young children in worship.  Have any of your kids smacked the bottoms of ladies as they walked down the aisle to partake in communion?  I don’t think so!   (One of our boys was the guilty perpetrator.  I wonder where he learned that from? )

What they gain from the Body of Christ worshiping together is so much more than just whether or not they get anything from the sermon.   They miss being a part of the full body.

Typically, the kind of worship experience our kids grow up with will be the kind they look for when they are older.   What kind of worship experience will your children desire to belong to as they grow into adulthood?  Most of the time, it will look a lot like it does now.   So the next question is: what are the experiencing on Sunday mornings now?

Helping you have Homes Devoted,
Jonathan

Use TEXTING to Connect With Your Teen

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Dads, Heart Connections With Your Kids, Ideas, Tech Stuff, Texting

Technology can be a fantastic way to connect with our kids.

How many of us have shouted orders to our kids via a text?  Things like…

  • “Don’t  FORGET your homework!!!”
  • “When you get home: let out the dog, have a snack, clean your room, because I can’t see the floor! Love you.
  • “Be home by 9!”
  • “BE QUIET and go to sleep!” (Sent from your bed while they are across the house in theirs.)

Me too.  Guilty.

I have made it a priority to connect with my daughters with at least one encouraging text a day.
When your kids get a text from you, what is their first thought?  Is their first response one of excitement?

Can you imagine if every time our kids receive a text from us, their first thought was, “I wonder what encouraging thing my dad is going to say now?”  What if they looked forward to receiving our texts?
Let’s send at least one encouraging, uplifting, inspiring, funny text every day.  There just isn’t a reason not to use this tool to connect with our kids.

As a reminder, put it in your calendar to repeat every day. (Yes. I do this. Don’t tell my daughter.)

Text them stuff like:

  • “You did great at…!”
  • “Hope you do fantastic on your exam. Praying for you!”
  • “Hang in there. The day is almost over.”
  • “Is this a good weekend to wash my car?”
  •  “I thought I would encourage you with a reminder that you have the best dad in the whole world!  Love ya.”  (With crazy selfie.)
  • “Can’t wait to hear about your day. Love you.”
  • “Excited to spend time with you this weekend.”
  • An inspirational scripture verse. “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Proverbs 13.24 (Just kidding.)

I ran across a picture of my daughter on my computer and I had this idea.  I brought the picture up on the screen.  Then I wrote adjectives that describe her on post-it notes and put them around the picture and texted it to her.  It only took a few minutes and it meant a lot to her.

Our kids need our affirmation.  They don’t get a lot of praise for who they are outside our home, so let’s make sure they get it from those who love them the most.

For more insights, inspiration & training on how to safe guard your kids on these electronic devices, host our Parenting Techies workshop.  See below.

Thanks for your continued support as we partner with parents to have homes devoted.

Mission & Teaching in Haiti

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog

Four of the Cronkhite’s had the privilege to go on a mission trip to Haiti.  While we were there we visited an orphanage with 52 children, a medical orphanage started by Mother Theresa, visited an inner city school full of students desperate to learn English, I preached at a church in an outward village, I spoke at a youth rally with 1,500 people, we planned a VBS and fed 100+ children, and one of my favorite opportunities was teaching future leaders and pastors at a seminary on the purpose and vision of the home.

The same issues facing the church in America exists all over the world.  They confirmed that even in Haiti, it’s not a focus for parents to lead at home spiritually.  It was fun interacting with them (through an interpreter), hearing their excitement and passion to reach parents.  Then we spent the last class talking about how they can teach their parents in their congregations to pray together and how to share the Word together.

This will impact generations.

“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”  Deut. 6.7

Pastor Jay Threadgill wants to bring me in once a year to teach on this topic.  Thanks for your continued support as we strive to have all Homes Devoted.

In His Grip,

Jonathan

Raising Our Grandkids (Even Though They Aren’t Here Yet).

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Heart Connections With Your Kids, leaving a legacy, Why Bring Faith Home?

If you are a parent, have you ever look ahead 20-30 years and wondered what your family will be like? Do you ever wonder how many grandkids you will have?  What will they be like?  What college will they go to?  What type of spouse will they choose to marry?  Will they go to church? Will they have a personal faith in Christ?

With one daughter ready to go off to college, I’m thinking about this more and more.

Scripture reminds us to have a vision not only for us and not only for our children, but for our grandchildren.

 So that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees

and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.    Deuteronomy 6:2

For three generations!  He wants us to think about the future; even the children who aren’t even here yet!  Here is Psalm 78:6-7:
“that the next generation might know [his commandments],
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;

We are not only raising our children.  The way we are parenting and raising our kids is most likely how they will raise our grandkids.  They will hopefully learn from our mistakes and make necessary adjustments, but one thing we can’t neglect is raising them to love and “fear” God, having a healthy and holy reverence for the King of Kings.

Remember, that we pass on our faith best when we bring God into everyday living; when you sit at home, walk down the road, lay down, and when you get up (Deut. 6:7).  Bring God into all aspects of life and they will be much more equipped to do the same as they raise our grandkids to know, love and fear a great God.

Here are a couple of resources we recommend pursuing if you want to establish a vision for your family for future faithful generations:  Revolutionary Parenting: Raising Spiritual Champions  (George Barna. Look for the workbook and DVD also.) & Family-iD: (Here is a video.)

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Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog

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