The Family Table
Feeding the Faith of LEFC Families
TFT: Preparing Kids for College
August 20, 2023
Dear LEFC Parents,
Here are some items to help feed the faith of your family this week:
A Back to School Prayer
From Melissa Krueger at The Gospel Coalition, “Back to school is officially upon us. I ended the summer reading through the Psalms and Proverbs. As I drank in the wisdom of these two books, certain passages in particular have encouraged and directed my hopes for my children as they head back to school. These verses have shaped my prayers and given words to the longings of my heart. As my children spend less time in my presence, I am thankful that I can bring all my concerns and cares before the Lord in prayer.”
The Gospel Project at Home
Today’s Bible Study is“Jeremiah Encouraged God’s People” (Volume 6: Unit 16: Session 1). Ask your kids what they learned in Kids Bible Class this morning and/or do the family devotional you can find at this link.
Snack and Yack
When the auditorium empties after worship, girls and boys (grades 3-7) who listened to the sermon (remember to fill out a handout!) are invited to Pastor Matt’s office for a tasty treat and a brief discussion with one of the LEFC elders (and sometimes guest preachers?!) about the message. Parents, if you would like to help host the discussion by providing the snack, see Holly Crumrine to get involved.
Note: There will be no Snack and Yack on August 27th due to the church family meal.
Send Pastor Matt Your Kids’ Sports Schedules
I (Pastor Matt) love to drop in to see the kids of our church family play their sports, but I need to know when and where the games are. It’s hard to keep track of who is on what team. If you could send me your kids’ sports schedules at the beginning of each season, it will help me to make it to more games and spend some quality time with your family.
And for dessert…
Our recommended resource this week is a book by Alex Chediak, Preparing Your Teens for College: Faith, Friends, Finances, and Much More.
Every time I (Pastor Matt) log in to social media right now, I see pictures of young adults getting their things loaded up to head off to college. [Here’s a great article to send along with them.] Normally, it’s one of their parents who is posting the picture, and you can tell that they are full of emotion–excitement, pride, and some trepidation.
What you can’t see in the picture is all of what it takes to get to that big moment. In this book, Alex Chediak (a parent and college professor himself) helps parents get their kids ready for that next big step.
The author describes the book this way:
“Preparing Your Teens for College is about getting teens ready to leave the home and enter the adult world with the faith, character, and maturity to be successful. It’s about training them not just for college but for the totality of their lives. It’s a book for parents whose children are no longer (biological) children but are in fact young adults in the making.
You don’t have to look far to see that many teens are having a tough go at it. In school, their teachers will tell you about short attention spans and superficial interests crowding out their appetite and even capacity for learning. Out of school, even part-time jobs are hard to come by, depriving them of the chance to develop a work ethic, build skills, and earn money. At home, one in three is being raised without the love, protection and security of a father. After high school, the link between higher education and professional success has never been stronger. Yet higher education has never been more expensive. To make matters worse, the U.S. now has the highest college dropout rate in the industrialized world: 44 percent of those who enter a four-year college will not graduate in six years. And 71 percent of those who start two-year degrees will not finish them within three years.
The message of Preparing Your Teens for College is that thriving at college begins before they get there–with what you do as moms, dads, youth pastors, mentors, and guidance counselors. Academic and professional success flow from character and maturity. And as Christians we know that character and maturity flow from a God-mastered life, from the heart of a person who has bowed the knee to the Lord Jesus Christ. Preparing Your Teens for College is about helping you raise teens who understand the biblical message and are committed to putting away childishness, embracing responsibility, pursuing godly relationships, practicing moral purity, aiming for academic excellence, working unto the Lord, and honoring God in every aspect of their lives. If that describes the kind of teen you want to see leave your home someday, then this book is for you.”
Note that it’s not really about college so much as about preparing for the challenges of adulthood. It’s a book about discipleship. Your kids may still be little, but now’s the time to be thinking ahead and working towards their eventual launch.
By the way, if you appreciate Alex’s writing, I also highly recommend his other books on this theme that are more for the students themselves, Beating the College Debt Trap and Thriving at College. I don’t know how many copies of Thriving I’ve given out in the last decade!
We hope your family eats it up.
Matt Mitchell, Pastor
Holly Crumrine, 2023 Family Ministries Coordinator
EXPLAINER: THE GOSPEL PROJECT AT HOME
For the last several years, our Children’s Church ministry has utilized The Gospel Project as our Bible study curriculum. The Gospel Project is really excellent–it takes our Little Learners and Bible Explorers chronologically through the whole Bible over the course of three years while always focusing on Jesus as the center of the big story. If your student was in Little Learners or Bible Explorers this morning, they received a coloring page and take-home sheet that corresponds to this lesson. You have also been given a full-color Big Picture Card that you can use to reinforce the lesson with your child, as well.
To reinforce what your kids are learning each week in Children’s Church, you can now access The Gospel Project At Home online. Each week in this email, there will be a link to follow to get this free resource which includes:
1. A guide to using the Gospel Project at Home.
2. Scripture to read and discuss with a recap video of the Bible Story (Preschool and/or Elementary).
3. Scripture memory verses and a song to sing together.
4. Prayer prompts and family activities that correspond to the lesson.
Please consider setting aside at least 10-15 minutes once a week for a family devotional time using this resource as a guide. We are hoping The Gospel Project At Home will help keep all of our LEFC kids “on the same page,” and feed their faith in Jesus.
This might be especially helpful if for some reason your child has to miss a week of Children’s Church. You can show them the Bible story video to keep them up to speed on what the other children are learning.
**Note: The first time you access the link, you will need to register a free account with Lifeway’s Ministry Grid. This will also provide you ongoing access through the “training” tab to many other discipleship resources including the Gospel Project at Home for previous weeks. Many hours of excellent things to absorb for free!