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Building Faith at Home

Tracy Carpenter

Shelter to Come Home to

Many parents today define their relationship with their children as a friendship and a parent-child relationship. Recent studies show that parents and children are closer than ever, with many parents relying on their children for everything from relationship advice to help with home-buying decisions and more, much as Erin does. But along with this camaraderie, parents still take seriously their role as mentors, coaches, and disciplinarians who are responsible for preparing their children for life in today's-and tomorrow's-world.

Enter Leonard Sweet, the "futurist." Sweet travels the country inspiring thousands of pastors to step into this century with their thoughts and actions. Once when speaking about his childhood, Sweet said his mother told him repeatedly how she never wanted to isolate him from anything; instead, she wanted to insulate him. Sweet described how insulation protects a house from the outside elements that would otherwise harm it. I'm guessing almost every parent with a child in your ministry would agree with this idea: Parents today want insulation for their children.

Blueprint: To help parents insulate their kids, continually remind parents of the enormous impact they have on the spiritual development of their children-without nagging them. Encourage parents to think about their daily lives as their daily faith example for their children. Many parents today recognize their influence on their children-encourage them to exercise that influence for good.

Finally, build a new mentality together. With parents, you and your pastors, leaders, volunteers, and congregation have a platform on which you can construct something to shelter kids for a lifetime: their personal relationship with Jesus. cm

Tracy Carpenter is a children's pastor and the chief creative officer for Kidsworld Studios, Inc., (kidsworld She's a writer and has been involved in children's ministry for 15 years.

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