We're Teaching This
Have you ever thought something worked one way, only to find it didn’t? Like maybe as a kid you thought the bathtub drain was a death trap. Then you learned it couldn’t actually suck you into the sewer and that was a game changer. Or maybe you were sure that the closet should be avoided because monsters lived there. Then you learned they didn’t. That changed your morning routine for sure. Any time you learn new information, it can turn your world upside down. Jesus had a habit of doing just that with the people closest to Him. He often did or said things that were the exact opposite of what anyone expected. He’d take ideas that everyone agreed with, ideas that everyone would say, “Of course, that’s just the way it is,” and He’d flip them upside down. He would tell people to do the exact opposite of what they thought. This was especially true when Jesus talked about how we treat people, specifically people who like us, people who don’t, and people we don’t even notice.
Think About This
By Jordan Biere
Community Christian Church, Naperville, IL
We all want to be better parents.
I’ve never met a parent who didn’t want the best for their children. In fact, we all have big dreams for our children. Regardless of whether they’re in diapers or they’re about to get their diploma, we do what we can to shape the future trajectory of our kids and set them up for success in life.
We enroll them in music lessons, traveling sports, tutoring classes, and competitions, and inspire them to get better at their unique talents, celebrating them all along the way. That’s what we do as parents, and it’s one of the best parts of the job.
When it comes to enriching the lives of my children, my first thought was to teach them a skill, enroll them in a sport, or get them in private lessons until I met someone who did something so drastic and bold that it got me rethinking how we shape the future.
Kirsten was living the American dream: A six figure salary, married with two kids, and living in a city that receives rewards year after year for being the “best place to raise a family.” When her children were in the 3rd and 4th grades, she and her husband made a surprising decision to move to the much less affluent area of East Aurora. Here is her story in her own words.
We moved despite warnings from friends and family that we were sacrificing our children’s safety and education; not because we wanted to “save” East Aurora, but because we wanted to “save” ourselves and our children from materialism and economic/cultural segregation.
Today my eldest son was accepted into both Yale and Stanford despite attending schools where less than 40% of students meet state standards.
Both of my sons have thrived academically and learned life-lessons beyond anything they could have experienced in Naperville. We have been richly blessed by living in East Aurora.
While few will be called to relocate to an under-resourced neighborhood, we can all make engaging with the outcasts and marginalized of society a priority in our lives.
What now? The reality is that many of us may not move out of our neighborhood and into a poverty-stricken area, but we can engage. We can…
Treat others with dignity.
Be a voice for the powerless in society.
Anytime we contribute or serve, our kids’ worldviews expand. Our kids’ faith grows, their relational intelligence and awareness increases, and a seed of generosity is planted. And, the same happens for us.
Though they’d prefer to think otherwise, your teenager still watches you and follows your lead. If you model the way by making serving a priority, your children will be more inclined to make it a priority for themselves.
A quick Google search will present dozens of organizations in your town that do all of the hard work of coordinating service projects. They just need volunteers to help. This week, try finding one way to serve others in your community and make an appointment to do so. You could…
Volunteer at a local shelter.
Organize a local food pantry.
Help with a coat drive.
Visit a nursing home.
Hand out blankets to the homeless.
Mentor children in schools.
Become a respite foster family.
However you choose to serve, be honest with your teenager about it. Tell him or her why you chose to serve and how you felt about it afterward. In doing so, you’re modeling that caring for others is a big deal to your family. And, the next time you go, your teen might just say “yes” when you invite them to come along.
©2016 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
November 6th- Upside Down
November 13th- Upside Down
November 20th- Upside Down
November 27th- No HSM Sunday Nights
Chain Reaction — Fight for forgiveness for your family.
When it comes to conflict, there are two parts to almost every single one: a reason and a response. Think about it. Your sister calls you a name (the reason) so you call her one back (the response). Your dad gives you an early curfew (the reason) so you give him the silent treatment (the response). The list goes on and on. Sometimes the reasons for conflict are good, and sometimes they’re just plain ridiculous. But while we can’t always control what causes the conflict, we can control the way we respond to it. Now we know that’s not always an easy thing to do, but the good news is we have a model to follow when it comes to conflict—God’s model! And as we look at the way God responded to conflict with those closest to Him, we’ll see that His move is going to be the best one we can make for not only families, but ourselves as well.
Reconnect with each other, share a high and a low from the past week.
Why is it so easy to hold on to a grudge against family members?
Why do we often make excuses when we hurt family members, but refuse to believe excuses when they’ve hurt us?
Ephesians 4:31-23 NIV
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
How would you explain forgiveness to someone who had never heard of it?When you forgive your family, how does it help you?
Forgiven people forgive. How does knowing that you’ve been forgiven help you forgive others?
What’s keeping you from forgiving someone in your family?
Name one family member from whom you can ask for forgiveness for something you’ve done to hurt them.
Almighty God, your generous goodness comes to us new every day. By the work of your Spirit lead us to acknowledge your goodness, give thanks for your benefits, and serve you in willing obedience, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. AMEN.
Mark the Cross of Christ on each others foreheads as a remembrance of your baptism and say these words...
"(Name) you are a beloved Child of God."
What is this?
Each week we will post one or more blogs related to our ministries for High School youth and families. Check back often and leave a comment!