Tag: kids

Making the Most of Your Christmas Break // Kids Edition

The Christmas season is a time of celebration, but it can often be a time of stress and anxiety for both children and parents.

CHECK OUT THESE TIPS FROM OUR KIDS MINISTRY FOR MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR CHRISTMAS BREAK:

  • Interview your spouse and older kids // Find out what makes Christmas seem like Christmas to your spouse and to your older kids. What is their favorite thing your family does during Christmas? How are they feeling about upcoming visits with extended family? What special things would they like to make time during their school break (think hobbies, visits with friends, fun times as a family)? What are some ways they can intentionally serve and bless other family members during this special time together? This can help you have the conversations your family needs and focus the way you spend your time over the holidays.
  • Make the most of your car time // If you are taking a road trip, plan to download or borrow intentional, meaningful, fun audio books you can listen to together. Make sure you have your family’s favorite Christmas music on hand as well so you can all sing along together. These create shared experiences that draw you together. Through the years, we have found our kids sharing inside jokes from these books or singing these shared songs as we cook together in the kitchen.
  • Make connections // Proactively plan ahead with your spouse about how to facilitate time with Jesus for each family member while you are with extended family. Whether you are staying with relatives or hosting them, your rhythms and spaces change, and you’ll want to plan intentionally so that time with Jesus actually happens. Also, find time to pull away in the morning and evening, both as a couple and as a nuclear family, even just for a few minutes. This time can allow you to help your children sort through family dynamics or talk in honoring but honest ways about places where your values differ from those of extended family members.
  • Keep food prep shared and simple // Consider taking time in the days leading up to Christmas to spend unpressured time in the kitchen with your kids, enjoying the process of baking and letting them explore and develop their skills, whatever their ability level. As you prepare holiday meals, break tasks down and figure out what each child can do. Even if it is chaotic, working together in the kitchen can be a time of great joy, togetherness and memory-making. If you tend to make similar things each year, making a master grocery list for the week of Christmas will save you time when you pull it back out each year. Our list includes all the ingredients for Christmas cookies, our favorite Christmas Eve chili (keeping it simple), candy for stockings, breakfast for Christmas morning, a special Christmas dinner and supplies for s’mores.
  • Simple gifts // Consider giving and/or letting your kids contribute toward an amount of money you will give to an organization like World Vision. Once you settle on the amount, give them the World Vision catalog and let them know they must agree on what to give. Our kid “committee” spent a long time around the dining room table deliberating and persuading each other, laboring over which was more important – clean water or vaccinations, chickens or goats. They eventually agreed and were very excited about what they were able to give. This process also helps them keep a perspective of thankfulness in the midst of a commercialized Christmas culture.
  • Have a Giving Day // Before Christmas, our kids take some time to clean out their closets and toy shelves. We encourage our kids to think about things they would like to give that would bless another child, not just their unwanted junk. Thinning out their belongings and thinking about what would bless others is another way to cultivate thankfulness and generosity. It makes more impact on kids’ hearts to do this before they receive their Christmas gifts, so they are giving without knowing what they will receive.
  • It’s Classified // Arm your kids with this simple phrase. It will enable you to draw them into gift-giving without having them divulge secrets or feel compelled to resort to lying. You could take one child at a time on a mission to find gifts for another child or other family members. When siblings try to extract hints from this child, all they have to say (repeatedly) is, “It’s classified.” Drawing your kids into searching for each other’s gifts can help them grow in thoughtfulness and love for their siblings.
  • The real deal // Take time on Christmas morning to gather your kids, read the Christmas story from Luke 2 and sing some worshipful Christmas carols together.

Most of all, enjoy Jesus together as a family. You can take these steps to keep your family connected and focused on beholding the King of Kings with wonder through the Christmas season!

By Betty Lewis – Infant and Toddlers Pastor

Teaching Kids to be Thankful

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Being thankful is the way to go; in every season, in every circumstance. One of the best things we can do for our kids is instill a value for thankfulness within them. Why? Well, the Bible promises us that when we pray and give thanks, the peace of God will guard our hearts and our minds (Philippians 4:6-7). We want that for our kids.

Below is a thankfulness activity you can do with your kids this week. Print one per child, or fill it out as a family. Together, you can have an incredible week of thanks.

Download My Week of Thanks

 

ACTIVITY GUIDE

  • Start by reading 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Ask, “What does it mean to give thanks in all circumstances?” Explain how this mean giving thanks in every situation, whether good or bad.
  • Have each person in your family share one thing they are thankful for. Encourage your kids as they answer; being thankful (even if it’s for ice cream) is obeying God, which pleases Him greatly!
  • Fill out the “My Week of Thanks” template (one per person or one for the family to share). When finished, take some time to pray, thanking God for the many ways He has blessed your family.
  • Did your child say he or she was thankful for a specific person? Make sure you let that person know!

By Antioch Kids Ministry

Kids Ministry Monthly: September

Dear Parents,

We hope you find our Kids Ministry Monthly helpful as our aim is to inform you about what’s happening in our church for kids, as well as what the Kids Ministry is covering on Sunday mornings. With the summer’s close and the school year’s start, one key event I want to encourage you to consider is one of our two week parenting classes in October. These classes will be our 101 basics on nurturing and training your child in his or her faith and identity. Attending one of the two week sessions is also our prerequisite for dedicating your baby here so head on over to antiochcc.com/events and sign up today – space is limited. Perhaps you have attended a parenting class in the past and are looking for a great resource. If so I would encourage you to pick up a Home|Front Magazine from church or go to homefrontmag.com and subscribe today (it’s free!).

 As always, we’d love to be of any help to your family if we can do feel free to reach out to us with an email or phone call. Have an amazing September!

Noah Hutchison, Children’s Pastor

DOWNLOAD THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE OF HOMEFRONT MONTHLY

THIS MONTH IN THE NURSERY:

BIRTH through 2.5 YEARS:

This month, read Ephesians 1:4-6 over your child:
“Dear children, don’t just talk about love. Put your love into action. Then it will truly be love.”

Blessing:
(Child’s name), God chose you before the creation of the world. He loves you, He knows you. He has always known you. He cares for you and wants to be close to you. May you always remember that no matter what you experience in this world, God will always be on your side because you belong to Him.

2.5 through 3.5 YEARS:

September 6 and 13 // God Made Our World (Creation) // Genesis 1:2-3
September 20 and 27 // God Made People (Adam and Eve) // Genesis 1:26-31; 2:4-25


THIS MONTH IN THE Preschool:

September 6 // God is Creator (Creation) // Genesis 1-2:3
September 13  // God is Holy (The Fall) // Genesis 2-3
September 20 // God is a Promise Keeper (Noah and the Flood) // Genesis 6-9:17
September 27 // God Loves Faith (Abraham) // Genesis 12:1-7; 17:1-8 and Hebrews 11:8-10


THIS MONTH IN THE Journey and Quest:

September 6 // God Redeems (Need for a Redeemer) // Genesis 1-3
September 13  // God Keeps His Word (The Flood) // Genesis 6:5-9:17
September 20 // God is Lord of All (The Promise) // Genesis 12:1-9; 15-16; 21:1-7
September 27 // God Blesses (Jacob) // Genesis 25:19-34; 27:1-41; 32-33:11

Memory Verse:

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations  of those who love Him and keep His commandments.” Deuteronomy 7:9

Kids Ministry Monthly: June Updates and Resources

Parents,

Summer is here and with it comes to comradery of camp, community and car rides to fun vacation destinations. Our family of four is excited about spending time with many of your elementary kids this coming weekend at Antioch Kids Camp in Latham Springs. Take a moment even now to pray for camp and for kids to come to know Jesus and each child to hear God’s voice.

We are providing an opportunity for every parent to connect to what we are doing at Antioch and be equipping in your role as a parent on Sunday, June 14th at the Parenting Equipping Night. I  hope you will join us in the main auditorium from 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. where I will share helpful resources you can utilize this summer as a family. Jimmy and Laura will also be teaching about how to manage the good and the bad of media as a parent.

If you haven’t had an opportunity, check out the three ways to have the best summer – family edition post on the Antioch blog for some other tips of how to kick off June well!

I am thankful to walk alongside each of you.

Blessings,

Noah Hutchison, Children’s Pastor

Upcoming Events:
Download the JUNE issue of Homefront Monthly

THIS MONTH IN THE NURSERY:

BIRTH through 2.5 YEARS:

This month, read Psalm 103:1-8 over your child.

Blessing:
(Child’s name), may you know the compassion, grace and abundant love of our great God. May you grow to know Him as your faithful Father and the One who brings you comfort and peace. May you learn to love and respect others the way the God loves you, and may you offer a message of hope to a world that is broken and in desperate need of God’s nurturing touch.

2.5 through 3.5 YEARS:

June 7th // God is Powerful (David and Goliath) // 1 Samuel 16 – 17
June 14th and 21st // God Takes Care of Me (Elijah fed by the ravens) // 1 Kings 17:1-6
June 28 // God is With Me (Elijah on the mountain) // 1 Kings 19:9-18


THIS MONTH IN THE Preschool:

June 7th // God is Powerful (David is anointed and faces Goliath) // 1 Samuel 16 – 17
June 14th // God is Love (David and Jonathan’s friendship) // 1 Samuel 19 – 20; 31:1-2 and 2 Samuel 9:1-7
June 21st // God is our Shepherd and King (David crowned king) //2 Samuel 5; Psalm 23
June 28th // God is With Us (The Ark returns to Jerusalem) // 2 Samuel 6; Psalm 132

Memory Verse:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. ” Joshua 1:9


THIS MONTH IN THE Journey and Quest:

June 7th // God’s Spirit Unifies: Part 1 (Philip in Samaria)// Acts 8:1 – 8, 26 – 40
June 14th // God’s Spirit Unifies: Part 2 (Peter and Cornelius – Gospel to the Gentiles) // Acts 10 – 11
June 21st // God Answers Prayers (Peter delivered from prison) //Acts 12:1-19
June 28th // God Speaks (Lydia and Philippi) // Acts 16:6-15

Memory Verse:

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Week{end} in Pictures – Christmas Edition

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We especially love it when our pre-kindergarteners and kindergarteners sing Christmas songs for us and share Scriptures like they did on Sunday. It was an incredibly cute start to the Christmas season!

Special thanks to Eric Guel for taking these great photos for us!