12 March 2012 ~ 3 Comments

It’s hard to escape a web

This chapter did a really good job of including things that a family can do together as well as things that we can do as a church.

Creating a network of families intentionally for faith formation seems a little contrived, but it would be nice to let this develop more organically with a goal in mind.  I also liked the metaphor of the kids table (for families) and it caused me to think about some things we might do intentionally in my family when we gather four generations this summer.

The 5:1 ratio switch was also a really good image and something we can put on our pin-board here at church.  We recently have been having conversations about the challenges that come with our confirmation mentoring program (safe church, finding mentors, etc) but my recent reading of Sticky Faith (and this chapter in particular) has caused me to fight for the mentoring program and make it work despite the challenges.

There were a number of other church program ideas that hit home for me, some that I think we’re doing well at Saint Michael and some that need some work.  One of the reasons I chose to come to Saint Michael is that I knew it was a place my family could worship together, and the way that we design worship services for families in different places is such a great model and so good for families.  These worship services are not the kid’s table, but parents are in there with their kids, doing the motions and sitting on the floor.

There were a lot of highlights in this chapter, particularly as we think hard about moving towards what one might call a “faith formation network” that has a node in every corner of the church from each worship space to the kitchen to the youth center and gym.  It’s on our radar as a church and it’s on my radar as a parent.

3 Responses to “It’s hard to escape a web”

  1. Greg 14 March 2012 at 1:45 pm Permalink

    Great chapter because it reminded me of what I have seen and experienced as a member of several churches during my Christian life.

    I have been a part of two 5:1 churches (1 Assemblies of God and 1 Episcopal) and know how strong the young adults are that come from these youth programs. The way the Episcopal Church did youth: No mission trips, no ski trips, parents taught out of their real life experiences four Sundays a month, the Jr and Sr High kids were in the contemporary service right after the learning hour on Sunday (they were with their friends in a group). It doesn’t sound like much of a program by today’s standards but the church had one goal: form young Episcopal Christians through community.

    What is the parent kid ratio of your church? Would the parents in your church commit to something like this? What would be the cost of this kind of program? Parents and kids opting for entertainment, the pain of change, and re-setting the expectations of parents and kids as they come into the youth program. The real question of the chapter for me is, “What is the focus of our programs and do they accomplish what we want?”

    My high: Spending more time with N
    Low: Child out of house for week

  2. Noralyn 16 March 2012 at 2:22 am Permalink

    I really do like the 5:1 idea. Being something of a visual thinker, I drew a web around my daughter’s name and added those who create her support system – locally and out of state. She is well loved, and I believe, has a number of people she can talk to. I love seeing SMAA teens leading worship as readers and acolytes. The transition to the “big church” or mixing up going to different services is important in creating a healthy image of what church “can be” when teens go off (college or otherwise) and start looking for a church.
    I have to say I disagree with giving teens a choice about attending church. Part of teen years is developing healthy coping skills, habits and routines. If Sunday is about going to church – even if only as a routine for them – then it will more likely be a routine they keep as an adult. It also demonstrates discipline – sometimes doing something that at the time may seem difficulty or arduous, but again builds in the practice or doing the “hard” task when copping out would be much easier. My opinion may be unpopular, but it kept everyone of my mother’s six kids in church, and active church members today as adults.

  3. Christina 19 March 2012 at 2:17 pm Permalink

    Back from Spring Break. I have been reading all along enjoying every moment of this book. So I was an only child in a weird way growing up. I have step and half brothers, but for the most part was brought up as an only. This being said I can name my web growing up. My mother believed in creating a web. This is and was an amazing blessing in my life. My god parents are at the center of my web to this day. I am grateful to my parents that they brought me to church and developed this web of faith around me.

    SMAA is very different then the church I was brought up in. It is very very large. It is easy to be a drive by on Sunday mornings just passing people in the halls. The groups likes couples bible study, livewire, and edge have given my family the nooks and crannies of developing the web that supports us all.

    I love the idea of 5:1. It would be wonderful to have a multigenerational commitment to the children and youth programing here at SMAA. I would love there to be opportunities for my children to learn and grow in their faith from other generations. I believe age groups and departments at SMAA can be very separated. Re-setting the expectations as you said Greg is an task. I do believe that the expectations need to come from the church. It is so easy these days as parents to become distracted by what society says is important. I am frustrated by the lack of participation of many parents here at SMAA. I think it is very important to lead by example. I love being apart of my children’s lives at church. I find it so rewarding. I also hope that I am also able to be a part of other’s webs in the process.

    I also agree with Noralyn. I do not believe that church attendance is an option. I believe that this is what our family does, and we do it together.

    High – Being away as a family in San Diego
    Low – My husband being really sick with the stomach for two days while we were away. POOR THING


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