One of the greatest blessings for Catrina and I in being part of Kerith is that we've very rarely had to persuade or encourage our children into going to church or being part of church life. The children's work and youth groups have almost always been a place they've been happy to be, and all the way through growing up in church they've always had outstanding leaders, peers and role models they could look up to. All of that has played a huge part in makng them the young adults they are today.
That said the primary responsibility for creating an environment where our children grow up to love Jesus and have a personal relationship with Him lies with us as parents, which makes it so important that we learn to work alongside all that they are experiencing in our kids and youth work.
To that end on the Tuesday 10th February at 7.30pm Liam Parker, our Youth Pastor, is holding an evening in K2 for parents to talk about how how the church and families can work better together to see young people have strong, independent relationships with God. One of the things which Liam teaches strongly is that we shouldn't give in to the lie that it is inevitable our teenagers will rebel at some point in their lives - come and find out how you can help make that a reality. There will also be time to pray for our teenagers. If you're a parent of teenagers, or soon to be teenagers, I really want to encourage you to be there.
In all this I also want to express as a parent the grace needed in bringing up children. Alongside the joys we've also known the anxieties, sadnesses and disappointments which come with being a parent - especially for us raising them as "pastors kids" where people would often have an opinion on the quality of our parenting! We all at time feel like rubbish parents, and can be intimidated by the success stories of others. Please in it all know that God's grace is sufficient to you, and that part of the expression of that grace is the youth and kids workers God has blessed us with, as we partner together to raise a generation of world changers!