Here's our weekly list of what we've been reading online in the past week. We hope you are encouraged and challenged by them.
I (Pat) was pointed in the direction of a post talking to kids about porn (... I don't remember exactly from where, though.) The author, Maralee Bradley, challenges parents to start early and talk about it often, but without using the word "porn" at first. Instead, start, "teaching kids about modesty and privacy." Starting early helps later as kids, either accidentally or on purpose, are exposed to it. Parents, this is valuable read that can take some of the awkwardness out of the conversation.
The Gospel Coalition had a post by Cameron Cole on preparing kids for suffering. It asks a critical question of parents and pastors, How are we preparing kids to suffer well? The author writes, "... a critical aspect of youth discipleship involves anticipating the tragedy that awaits our children and training students in such a way that they can walk through suffering while trusting God and his goodness." This is missing in most children and youth ministries, luckily the author goes on to explain what can be done about it; and he does it form his personal experience.
Our friend Jack Klumpenhower, had a great post on his blog on the connection between home, church, and youth group. He links to two Gospel Coalition videos on the topic and comments, "I especially like the point that when shallow, gospel-empty teaching leads kids away from church once they grow up, this is as much the fault of weak teaching in the home as weak teaching at church. " Children and youth pastors, we can all learn from Jack and these videos.
LifeWay had a great post by Mark Jones that reminds us that we teach even when we aren't. He wrote, "Do realize that you can affect the relationships you have with children without speaking? God works through relationships, so we need to be building relationships, not creating distance between children and ourselves." This can be used as a great training tool for both parents as well as ministry workers.
Sam Luce had a great post on his blog on being open to the "new". He writes, "Being a critic is much less costly than being an artist. Left to ourselves we slip into the criticism of the new rather than become a friend of the new." This is great advice for leaders. We need to, at the very least, be open to it. We all still have areas where can grow.
Amy Julia Becker had a post on Christianity.com on the problem with quiet times. She comments, "In denying my ordinary life as a parent, I was denying God’s desire and willingness to enter into that very ordinary life." As parents we need to be flexible when there are kids in the picture; we still need to have them if we expect our faith to grow, their just may not be a set aside time for them.
What have you been reading online lately? Leave a comment and link and we will check it out.