Raising Kids With A Lasting Faith: Interview with Ken and Betsy Delgado

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Challenging, Encouragement, Faith Conversations, Interviews, leaving a legacy, Why Bring Faith Home?

Ken and IOur family was blessed to have Ken and Betsy join us for dinner in our home.  What intrigued me about them was that all three of their grown children are following Christ and using their gifts to serve in ministry.   The week prior to our dinner, we heard their son preach at their church and while there, met their daughter and son-in-law who work for Hillsong Church in Australia.  They can say with confidence that there is “no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth.”  3 John 4

As full-time pastors of The House (http://www.thehousepalmbay.org), they raised kids who love the church and love the Lord and they continue to intentionally minister to their grandchildren.  I had to ask them to share some spiritual parenting tips.  So, around the dinner table that night, I asked, “Would you share with us the things that contributed to your children growing to love the Lord?”

This list serves as a great reminder for all of us, which we can refer to often:

  1. Complete dependence upon God. Betsy said, “We didn’t do anything without prayer.  We wanted them to taste God’s goodness.”   They said there were times when they didn’t have any food in the fridge, leaving them with only one option: prayer.  God miraculously answered with people showing up with food without them sharing their predicament with anyone but the Lord.  Their children experienced God at work!!!
  2. One-on-one time with Dad. Ken intentionally spent time with them individually on a weekly basis.  He took them on a walk around the block with the purpose of connecting with them at a heart level and at the same time sharing God’s truths.
  3. The Message. They gave each of their children The Message version of the Bible and asked them to read through the New Testament one summer.  [No matter your opinion of The Message, it is a great read for children.]
  4. Hour for hour. At one point, they instituted a rule: for every hour you read the Bible, you get one hour of electronics such as watching TV or playing video games.
  5. TV in the closet. For 30 days, they would put the TV in the closet with the purpose of spending time together as a family playing, reading, etc.  Fasting from electronics will bind the family together.
  6. Family Dinners. They regularly had dinner together; communicating, connecting, sharing life.
  7. Served Together. They put others first by serving together as a family.  How impactful to serve alongside mom and dad!
  8. Worship music. Not just Christian music, but music that was relevant and worshipful.  They would spend time worshipping as a family.  Who said we had to wait until Sunday morning?

Ken and Betsy lived out their faith at home, with their children.  Faith was a part of everyday life; it was a way of life; Jesus was talked about at home; the Holy Spirit was sought during prayer at home; the Word was read, discussed and taught at home.

“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”  Deuteronomy 6:7

Thanks, Ken and Betsy, for leading many people at church in faithful living, but also for giving us an example to follow in the way you led your home.

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PRACTICAL APPLICATION

Here are some practical ideas and questions based on the above.  You can use these personally, discuss with your spouse, or share with your small group:

  1. Complete dependence upon God.  How do our kids see God at work?  Have they experienced God answering prayers?  Our kids must see God at work TODAY.  If we want our children to grow into teens and adults who believe that God is more than a fairy tale, we must lead them to experience God at work TODAY.  Read more here.
  2. One-on-one time with Dad. Your role is so important. How much time do you spend connecting with your kids one on one?  Click here for more “Dad Stats” to see how important our role is in influencing the spirituality of our family.
  3. Served Together. When have your kids seen you serve others?  What are some ways your family can serve alongside you?  Discuss and set a plan.
  4. Worship music. What are some of your favorite worship songs/artists?  How often do you have them playing?  Are you in a worshipful spirit, or mindlessly listening?  Idea: Set up Spotify or Pandora to a station and play it often as you work together worshipfully.  Pick some songs and play a few while you dance before the Lord like David.  The kids will love it!
  5. Family Dinners. Does your family dinners allow time for discussion?  Could this be a time we catch up on each others’ lives?  Could we take 10 minutes for a devotion?  If getting everyone together for family dinners is a struggle, plan ahead and schedule some nights where everyone knows they need to be home. (We have friends who had very active teenage boys and even after they had their driver’s license, they still knew they better be home for dinner or momma wasn’t going to be happy.)  Have device-free dinners.
  6.  Time Together.  Do we sit with the purpose of connecting and sharing God’s values?  Do we take time to connect at a heart level with our kids?  Can I honestly say I know what each of our kids are experiencing at a heart level?  Where are our kids struggling in their faith?  How have they been encouraged through the Word lately?  What are they reading in the Word?
  7. Time Together II.  Collect those tablets/cell phones and turn off the TV at least once a week to spend time talking, playing a board game, or just hanging out in the living room. It doesn’t have to be a whole night event, but rather 30 minutes more often is better than nothing at all.  (Doing something more frequently for a short duration is better, because it’s easy to miss out on the long event.   When it comes to all that techy stuff, I use an app called Screen Time which can set time limits on everything.   If you are interested in hosting our Parenting Techies workshop, you can read more HERE.

Interviews From Bangkok

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Interviews

Is the church around the globe a lot different than America?  Hear from four people in different parts of the world discuss the tremendous need for Christian parents to live their faith at home.  Homes Devoted is now encouraging and equipping churches globally!  God is doing amazing things!

We want to encourage you to watch this video as a family and then have a family devotion using this to help ALL THE TIME (a family devo).

Transcript below (minus interviews):

As you may know, I was invited to speak at a global summit in Bangkok.  What an exciting experience to worship with and hear from other Christ followers and hear what God is doing around the world.  The theme of the conference was on rooting and releasing children; getting them grounded, rooted, in the Word, in faith and then encouraging them to be released to do great things in ministry for God.   I thought I was going to be one of many voices advocating the importance of parents “impressing” their faith in the home as Deuteronomy 6 says, but what I realized was the role of parents discipling their children in the home, had not been a focus or emphasis at all with so many people I met.

Of course, the enemy would be on the attack of the homes all over the world; seeking to prevent impressing the faith on the children.  1 john 5:19 says “We know that we are of God and the whole world is under the sway of the evil one.”   The home is crucial for faith development and it is going to be a primary target no matter what country we live in.

By God’s design and with God’s grace, parent-child discipleship is most effective.  Think about it…the average family spends 1 hour a week at church.  George Barna revealed that, in America, over 90% of Churched parents do not practice any spiritual disciplines at home other than saying a mealtime prayer.  We have the majority of families going to church on Sundays, but not embracing God throughout the week, not living out their faith where children experience living life with God as part of the daily routine.  The consequence is that we are losing the majority, (up to 88%) of children growing up in the church.

To my amazement, the rest of the world isn’t any different when it comes to faith practices in the home. Instead of just telling you what I learned, I asked some of my new friends if I could interview them, so you could hear it in their own words.  You might be just as surprised as I was.  Luckily, my cell phone did an okay job.

VIDEO Inverviews: Jonas, Gabriela, Michael, Leisl & Petrus

Does this sound familiar?  Does this represent churches you know?   It is essential that people all over the world focus on the home; on living out their faith in all aspects of life.  John 15:4 says we are “to abide in Christ.”  First John 15:4 encourages us to ‘walk just as He walked.”  We must share this vision with the world, so children might know our God who is alive and working and trustworthy.

These are just a few of the people I was able to get on video.  It doesn’t include people I talked with from Poland, Sweden, U.K., Ukraine, Pakistan, Egypt, Peru, Singapore and from around the U.S.

HomesDevoted™ is seeking how to best minister and equip pastors and families locally and now, globally.  We are writing family devotions and other replicable resources and systems for churches and families to apply worldwide and with your help, they can be translated into Pakistani, Spanish, French, Albanian and other languages.  We are skyping pastors and ministry directors.  We are speaking every opportunity we get to large and small groups alike and hosting conferences for churches.

Jonas, from West Africa, asked me to come share this message at a national conference in April of 2016.  Pastors in Peru asked me to speak at their conference to 2,000 pastors from all over Central America.  The need is tremendous.  Parents and grandparents need to be informed, encouraged and equipped.  Pastors are looking for the resources and tools to empower the parents and grandparents as they build up the next generation of believers.  Parents are looking for family role models.

Pray for us as we are truly dependent upon God and what He wants us to do and where He wants us to go.  Live out your faith with your children and grandchildren in a bold and powerful way.  Would you please pray about giving financially to God and the mission He has for Homes Devoted?   Join with us…Be a part of how God is using this ministry to help spread the faith changing message to families across the globe.  We know this message will impact families, cause revival in churches and help save a generation we are losing.  It starts with you.

Thank you so much to those who have already partnered with us…You are impacting families all over the world!  We are still in need of more monthly supporters, so we can focus our energy and efforts towards ministry.  Maybe your small group might be interested in supporting us.  Maybe the company you work with matches donations.  Maybe you have a year-end contribution coming.  Maybe you are deciding on how to bless ministries with your tithe for 2014.  Please keep Homes Devoted in prayerful consideration.  If you would like us to personally share this vision with you or a group of any size, please let us know!

God is doing amazing things.  Eph 3.20-21 says “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

It is His power at work and for His glory.   We hope you will join us as we take this message to people all over the world.  Your tax-deductible donations are easily made online from our website.

Thank you so much, please stay connected, let us know how we might be able to serve your families and most of all, please keep praying for us!

Saddleback Church Cancels Youth Worship: Interview With Josh Griffin

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

Youth Pastor at Saddleback, Josh Griffin, discusses why they decided to cancel student worship services on Sundays once a month to bring students into worship with their parents and the rest of the church.  Great insight for all of us as we think about including students and children in worship. (See more under the topic: “Why Kids in Worship”)

Questions for you or your small group:

When will children/teens see baptisms? Experience communion? When will they see parents worship, sing, pray, and be taught God’s Word?

What does your church do to include children/teens in worship?

At what age do you think children should be brought into worship?

Bringing your kids into church; an act of worship or an inconvenience?  How do you “train” your kids to sit in worship?

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