_OLD_Ideas for Family Life


Faith At Home Ideas

In this section you’ll find a range of practical ideas that we pray will help you build faith at home as a family.  Feel free to browse through and find things to try together.  We trust there will be information and resources that will bring you and your children closer to God.

Basic Truths 101:

Researchers have found there are foundational truths that our children need to know and understand at different ages in relation to their own faith journey.

For Preschoolers these Basic Truths are:
1- God made me
2- God loves me
3- God wants to be my friend forever
For School-aged children these Basic Truths are:
1– I need to make the wise choice
2– I can trust God no matter what
3– I should treat others the way I want to be treated

For older children & teens (school year 6+)

1- I am created to pursue an authentic relationship with God
2- I belong to Jesus Christ and define who I am by what He says
3-I exist every day to demonstrate God’s love to a broken world

How can we facilitate conversations about these things at home this week?

Food for thought:

The average church only has 40 hours in a given year to influence a life…
the average parent has 3,000 hours per year to influence a life.

Nurture faith by:

Participating in acts of service as a household.
One opportunity we have to do this is by filling up a box with small gifts for a needy child overseas through Operation Christmas Child.  Here’s a story from Craig Scott (NZ Manager of Operation Christmas Child) from when the Christmas boxes were distributed last year.  Read how our wonderful God cares for everyone of us and every little detail….
“Nearly all of the 20,000 boxes were handed out, when a very tall, large boy came up for a box.  Craig thought he was too old, (as the limit is 14yrs), but it was confirmed that this boy was indeed only 14yrs old, so a box was handed to him.  As Craig watched him carefully carry the box back over to his friends, he thought to himself sadly, there will be nothing in that box that will be suitable or fit him.   The boy pulled out something red, and Craig prayed that the boy’s friends wouldn’t give him a hard time.  He watched as the boy put on a red basketball singlet and shorts, which fitted perfectly.  When he turned around Number 23 was on the back of the singlet.  To his amazement Craig found out later that this boy just loved basketball, and especially Michael Jordon -who played number 23!!!   – Out of 20,000 boxes, how does God do that????”
Faith and character both develop over time.  We are in process.  We aren’t there yet.  And yet who we are already impacts our kids one way or the other.  How we pursue God, how we love our spouses, how we treat others, how we respond to authority, how we spend our money, how we work, and how we communicate will all affect their values and perspectives.  The dilemma most of us face is that we don’t have the margin or luxury to get all of those things right before we start parenting.  It’s ok for them (our children) to see who we really are, especially if we want them to see the difference God is making in our families.

I read an interesting and thought provoking statement this week that I’d like to share.

I pray you will find this inspiring and comforting.

‘God is at work telling a story of restoration and redemption through your family.  Never buy into the myth that you need to become the “right” kind of parent before God can use you in your children’s lives.  Instead, learn to cooperate with whatever God desires to do in your heart today so your children will have a front-row seat to the grace and goodness of God.’

Reggie Joiner, Think Orange.

Maybe we could try asking God ‘What is it that you desire to do in my heart today?’  I wonder what he will tell you  :

Serve Together

In what ways can we encourage children and young people to serve others?  There’s much value in families performing acts of kindness, generosity or service together.  Adults can model Christ-like characteristics, and children can practice them in a supportive environment.  Consider a short project you could achieve as a family, or together with another household.  Who is in need around you?  What could you do as a small group that might encourage someone else or help them practically?  Pray together and ask God to show you what it is that he’d like your family to do this week to serve someone else.  Share your ideas and then decide on a family service project for an hour or so in the coming week.   Kids: flick the church an email and tell us about what you’ve done and what you’ve learnt on icbc@xtra.co.nz This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   Subject line: Faith @ Home


“One of the best parts of being a family is that you can encourage one another. You can put courage into one another. You can believe in one another. You can affirm one another. ”Stephen R. Covey  “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11  Kids, parents, grandies, uncles, aunties, families & households -what can you do today to encourage those you share a home with? Maybe give a compliment, a kind touch, time spent listening, a note to say thanks, a wink from across the room…  Let’s nurture the qualities Jesus would have us develop, by making this a challenge for the week. PS – I love being part of this church family at ICBC ;o)

Confession Box

Want to confess something to God ?  Want to get a sense that your sins are removed ?  Here’s a great activity that everyone in your household can have a go with:  Go to our church website & under the ‘Growing Deep’ section there’s an option to ‘CLICK ON THIS LINE IF YOU WANT TO CONFESS SOMETHING TO GOD’
There are fun animations where you can choose either a machine, rocket or goat -then wait and see what they do next:
No record is kept of what you type.  Parents: this could provide a good starter for a discussion about sin and God’s forgiveness.

Pray Day for Schools: Friday 6th August 2010

Pray Day is a day of prayer for schools. It started in Germany and now has spread throughout the UK and Europe. Scripture Union launched the first Pray Day for Schools in the Southern Hemisphere here in New Zealand in 2009. We acknowledge that lots of prayer for schools is already happening. The day is about celebrating this and taking a unified stand. On Friday 6th August 2010, we are encouraging everyone who has a heart for schools around New Zealand to join together and set aside time to pray. Why don’t you organise a group to get together and to pray? Check out our website for free resources and ideas www.prayday.net.nz  or emailinfo@scriptureunion.org.nz This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   .  Or you may just want to join us in prayer for schools, students and teachers at our Invercargill office any time during this day.   Prayer Room:  We will have a prayer room open with a prayer wall with specific prayer requests to which you can add + other activities to help you pray. Come alone or with friends anytime between 10am to 4pm.  Location:  Scripture Union Invercargill Office: 83 Don Street, Invercargill.  We would love to have you join us!   Kind regards.  Heather Zwies.
Camps Administrator.  Scripture Union.

Some thoughts for families, from the Children & Families Ministry Team Leader:

In the days since Sara’s death I’ve had a number of conversations with parents who have been trying to talk with their children and answer some big life questions.  I am not an expert in this area, but I have found a few key truths which seem to be helping our journey as a family.
They are:
1) Jesus loves us all, and Jesus loves Sara
2) Sara loves Jesus
3) Sara has died and now she is with Jesus in heaven
4) Everyone who loves Jesus will be with him in heaven when they die too
5) Heaven is the best place, no one is sick or hurts or is sad in heaven
6) Sara’s family and friends are sad because we will miss her here, but we can be happy too because Sara is with Jesus now, and that’s really cool.
7) Everyone who loves Jesus will see Sara again when we go to heaven too.

Add to your Parenting Skills

…through attending  Parents Inc Toolbox course.  Toolbox is a six-session, interactive small group parenting programme.  Using DVDs, manuals & informal discussion, these group provide a lively context in which to acquire and practice new skills.  The material is well researched, creatively presented and offers parents a ‘toolbox’ of strategies.
‘Toolbox was the best thing I have done for myself and my whole family’ -parent
We are about to host a toolbox course for Parents of Teenagers, beginning on Tuesday 27 July.
See Chris Broere for details.

Sunday Mornings in the Holidays:

I wonder how many families have had discussions this week about going to church in the holidays when there is no Young Discoverers or Soul Train on.  What are the benefits of being church and worshiping & growing together as a whole ICBC faith community?  While our programme leaders take a break over the holidays, take this opportunity to talk at home about this.  The more our children understand about why we do something, the more likely they are to participate, have a sense of ownership & get meaning out of what is said, sung, prayed and taught on a Sunday morning.  Church is for all people who love Jesus—boys & girls, men & women.

Holiday Faith Challenge:

As we head into this mid-winter School Holiday time there’s a lot of potential for compulsory inside days.  I wonder how you’ll spend the time and what you’ll find to do to build faith at home.  You have 2 weeks to come up with an interesting idea of how you can build faith at home.  Feel free to search online or invent something of your own.  When you’ve done it, email the info to icbc@xtra.co.nz This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it include a photo if possible) and we can share your fantastic ideas with the church family.  There will be a prize for every home that participates.

What’s your biggest challenge as a Parent?

An online parenting forum recently asked this question.  Here is one response from Tracy Parker that raises a perspective worth considering:  “After 23 years of parenting I find that it is much harder to stay connected to my children as they are becoming independent. I have to be very intentional in my actions to let them know that I am still invested in their lives. This is much harder then when I was with them every day and had more opportunities. I find each moment with them now is very precious and I need to be good listener so that they will include me in their world.”  I wonder what your response to this question might be.  Feel free to send these to Melanie & we can share your wisdom & insights with the church family.


Many families in our community will ‘celebrate’ Halloween.  For many households who seek to live as Followers of Jesus it is a challenging time as we wrestle with the tension of a ‘trick or treat’ culture and all that signifies.  I invite you this week to reflect on this upcoming season, and share via email how your family approaches this time.  Lets make the most of combined wisdom & experience and encourage others in our church family with practical ideas for alternatives at this time.  Please email Melanie on the church email icbc@xtra.co.nz This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Conflict Resolvers:

Sometimes siblings can get on each other’s nerves.  What better way to redirect tension than to think about the good qualities of one another.  Whenever someone in our family is mean-spirited to another family member, the offender has to say or write four things he or she appreciates about the other person.  This makes us thankful for one another and tender-hearted.  It’s also fun to watch the other person take in the compliments.  We conclude with all of us chiming in a good quality we appreciate.

Listen to Adventures in Odyssey

(Has great Christian values.)  Now at 3.15 to 3.45pm on Monday to Friday.  Age 5—12 & adults—Radio Rhema 1404 AM.

An idea for families with older children—DVD night.  Choose a good movie with great values that can instigate discussion and teachable moments.

Parenting a Perfectionist

Some personality types prefer to practise in private, and learn to do it right before they join everyone else. That’s OK, but what can you do if this tendency becomes such an obstacle that taking risks, or potentially looking foolish, is something your child is just not prepared to do?
To help your budding perfectionists, grow a family culture which celebrates those brave enough to take a risk, emphasises the importance of mistakes in helping us learn, and laughs with, not at, those who fall down while they’re learning. Make your home a safe place to be ‘imperfect’ by not being too harsh on yourself when you slip up either!
‘Top Tip, 1 May 2010, The Parenting Place’

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 teaches:

Us to take God’s word and God’s ways and ‘impress it on your children’.  Here’s a suggestion from K Johnstone -Children’s Ministry Magazine, of one way we can nurture our children’s faith.
‘I love to make use of the time in the car taking my 13 year-old daughter to and from school.
I share what I have learned that day from my time with the Lord.
This feeds her and keeps me accountable to spend time in the Word each day.’

Evaluate Priorities:

It’s easy for life to get busy and weeks to go by so quickly.  I’d like to encourage you all (as families, couples, flats, individuals…) to take some time this week to do some self evaluation.  How do we spend our time and money?  What are our priorities?  What really matters?  Are we living today in a way that we will have no regrets?  Heavy stuff I know, but lets all make sure we do life today in a way that will count in eternity.  Parents, grandparents, aunties/uncles etc, take time today to talk with the children in your life about Jesus, and things that really matter.

Some of Erin Staal’s:

(11 years old) thoughts quoted by David Staal in ‘Words Kids Need to Hear’

All kids have their ups and downs. Some more than others.  I want to ask you a favour—please talk with your kids.

So why am I telling you all this?  Each day has its own challenges; that’s for sure. So kids need a person who they can share anything that’s on the minds with. They need to hear loving words so they don’t believe all the rough stuff that they hear everywhere else. And you are the person that needs to tell them those words. If you’re not that person, who is?  So talk with your kids. Tell them the words they need to hear.

Family Timeline:

Here’s an idea from Children’s Ministry Magazine:  Grab a large piece of paper & work together to create a timeline of your family’s journey with God so far.  Use words, drawings, and Bible verses.  Include marriage and birthdays as well as family milestones, such as when a child entered preschool or when the family moved.  Add fun memories and difficult times that affected everyone — illnesses or injuries, vacations, or changes in jobs or schools.
When you are finished discuss these questions:
– What are your family’s best memories? What are your future dreams for your family?
-What difficult events have you overcome as a family? How did those events make you closer?
How have you seen God moving in your family through the years? How has your family experienced God’s faithfulness?


When you want some time out with God praying for your kids etc, light a candle and then your kids know mum is having time out, when you blow the candle out you’re ready for them again.

Kids Church:

Talk to your children about what they learnt on Sunday morning at kids church.

Family Night:

Many families find value in setting aside a night to be together and enjoy each others company without other distractions (eg: TV,

meetings, computers…).
Plan an easy tea & an activity that everyone can enjoy together.  What about homemade burgers, chip butties, takeaways, soup & buns, or pizza you all make together.  Try eating in the backyard, or at the park, going on a bike ride together, playing soccer or non-stop cricket, or staying up a bit later to play a board game.  Maybe an adult and child could work together each time to plan what happens on the night.  If evenings don’t work, choose another time to be your family’s special time together.

Talk about the things that matter
Over the last few days our family have talked about life and death.  It would be easy to avoid such heavy subjects, but I’ve found that my preschoolers have accepted our simple explanations, and asked meaningful questions.  What a privilege to be able to explain that everyone who loves Jesus will be with him when they die.  I’d encourage you to allow such conversations to happen naturally at home this week.  Pray for God to guide the conversation, your answers and the thinking and processing that will continue after the conversation has ended.

Sharing our Resources:

We regularly have a cheap meal, eg. Soup and we put $5 in a money box to give to those who have less than us.

“We eat simply so that others can simply eat”

(From an ICBC Family)

Relating Entertainment to God:

Be choosy about what you watch and what you allow your children to watch. Debrief informally after watching a show by connecting the theme of the show, or something the characters said and did, with God. Discuss how the values expressed reflect or disagree with his nature and his ways. Try to identify a Bible story with a similar or opposing theme. Listen to what your children have to say about the show. The more informal and brief you can be with your comments, the better, unless the show warrants an in-depth discussion and

your children are open to discussing it. 100 ways to teach your child about God

by Karyn Henley

Connecting with your Child:

There’s no better way to connect with your child than by spending time one-on-one with him or her.  Just special time alone with you, Dad, Mum, Grandparent, Auntie, Uncle, friend…  Why not take each child to breakfast and get to know them better.  We think you’ll find they enjoy it!  Listen without interrupting, and take genuine interest, even if the answers don’t please you.  Take notes, then it will show that you’re really interested.

2008 Family Life NZ


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