Saturday, September 27, 2014

Building Bridges Between Church & Home, Part 1

Photo Credit: Joel Neild Photography via Compfight cc

Bridges are a big deal.  Take the Sherman Minton bridge in Louisville, Ky, for instance.  It spans the Ohio River carrying thousands of drivers on I-64 from Indiana to Louisville and back every day. 

Back in 2011, inspectors discovered cracks in the structure, shut down the bridge and threw Louisville traffic into chaos for five grueling months.  $20 million later the bridge reopened and people cheered like it was the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Why?

Because without the right bridges in place, life becomes a lot harder than it needs to be.  True for commuters, but also true, and with much greater stakes, for families and the church.

Being a parent is hard.  Raising kids to love and follow Jesus is hard.  Helping your kids to be a light in a dark world is hard.   Inspiring your kids to become the people God made them to be?  Hard!

But all of this is much harder without a church that empowers and supports you.  What parents need is a bridge, a bridge that connects the church and the home, a bridge that provides you as a parent with vision, community, encouragement, and helfpul tools to make the tough journey of parenting a journey of joy and victory.  

Sure, parenting kids to follow Jesus is still hard, but when the church and families work together, amazing things can happen.  

As I tell the parents in our church, "You are the experts on your kids, but sometimes, even the experts need a little help."  

One of our greatest challenges as leaders in the church is providing that help by building bridges between church and the home.  

That's why I'm so excited that the theme of this year's D6 Conference is "Connect."  It's going to be two days focused on building these bridges between church and the home.  I'm going to be leading two breakouts to help people figure out what those bridges might look like in their church.  Here's a sneak peek:

Easy First Steps to Creating a D6 Culture
How can you build a D6 culture in your church in the midst of all of your other responsibilities?  The good news is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.  In this session, you will learn how to retool what you’re already doing to empower parents and ignite a passion for families in your church.  

Kid-Speak: Giving Parents the Language to Talk About Faith at Home
Spiritual conversations can be intimidating for parents. They may understand their own relationship with God but don’t have the words to talk about it with their kids. In this session, we’ll look at simple techniques that will give parents confidence to have faith conversations at home.

I'd love for you to join me there so that we can dive into bridge building together.  

For those of you who can't attend, I'll be unpacking some of the big pieces of bridge building over the next week right here on the blog.  We'll look at six tools for building bridges between church and home and how to take advantage of special seasons of opportunity to connect with parents.  

Check out Part 2 of this post here.

How about you?  What are you doing right now to build bridges between church and the home?

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