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Postmodern Family Ministry

Session 3: Discipling Postmodern Kids and Families

Go and make disciples of all nations. Matthew 28:19 Grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18

Keys to Discipling Postmodern Kids and Parents

Key #1 - Determine what spiritual maturity looks like. Start with the end in mind. Who want to be? What want to know? What want to do?

Think outcome not activity. Design your curriculum to be a pathway toward the outcome. Make sure your spiritual maturity plan is balanced between community, personal walk with Christ, and service.

Key #2 - Create steps toward spiritual maturity. Make the steps simple. Make the steps easy to communicate. Make the steps easy to participate in. Make the steps memorable. Make the steps measurable.

Key #3 - Call families up. Be about redemption. Build relationships. Speak the truth in love. Show them how and why. Have pathways in place. Establish guidelines. We can't change anyone's heart...only God can do that. It's simply our job to speak God's truth in love.

Key #4 - Make service a vital part of discipleship. For we are Gods handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 Serving experiences appear to be even more significant to spiritual development than organized small groups. Tony Morgan

Key #5 - Provide need-based discipleship opportunities. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 All things work together for good to them who love God. Romans 8:28

Key #6 - Partner with adult ministries. Collaboration instead of competition.

Discipling Postmodern Kids and Families

Key #7 - Discipleship happens through relationships.

Which of these do you believe represents the most effective way to disciple children? Why? Which of these formats do you use in your ministry? Rows? Circles? Both? What does it look like in your ministry? Discipleship happens when kids are known. Discipleship happens when kids have someone who personally invests in them. Discipleship happens when kids have someone who prays for them. Discipleship happens when kids have someone who models spiritual growth for them.

Four Questions to Talk About With Your Team: 1. How are kids personally known at our church? 2. How do we ensure that kids have someone who personally invests in them? 3. How do kids know someone is praying for them at our church? 4. How do we model spiritual growth for children at our church?

Discipling Postmodern Kids and Families

Key #8 - Focus on long term memory.

1. Use short, easy-to-remember phrases.

"It is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn." Robert Southey 2. Teach less for more. 3. Use repitition. People forget 90% of what they have learned within 30 days if your message is not repeatedly reinforced. Albert Mehrabian, Professor of Psychology at UCLA If you hear something once in 30 days you remember 10% of it. If you hear something 6 times in a month your retention rate goes up to 90%. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them AGAIN and AGAIN to your children. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 4. Link the truth to an everyday object. 5. Teach application, not just information. But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22 6. Evoke emotion. 7. Make it participatory. In a recent article in The Edge, Don Tapscott wrote, I argued that is a widening gap between the model of learning offered by many big universities and the natural way that young people who have grown up digital best learn. The oldstyle lecture, with the professor standing at the podium in front of a large group of students, is still common. Its part of a model that is teacher-focused, one-way, one-size-fits-all and the student is isolated in the learning process.

Discipling Postmodern Kids and Families

Yet the students, who have grown up in an interactive digital world, learn differently. Schooled on Google and Wikipedia, they want to inquire, not rely on the professor for a detailed road map. They want an animated conversation, not a lecture. They want an interactive education. Students are making new demands of universities, and if the universities are to remain relevant, they will have to change. Professors will have to abandon the traditional lecture, and start listening and conversing with the students - shifting from a broadcast style and adopting an interactive one." 8. Use stories to illustrate truth. 9. Create an environment where questions are welcomed and encouraged. 10. Use images. "We are wired to be visual learners. Images are the language of the 21st century...not words." Dr. Leonard Sweet "Unless our words, concepts, ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out the other ear. Words are processed by our short-term memory where we can only retain about 7 bits of information (plus or minus 2). This is why, by the way, that we have 7-digit phone numbers. Images, on the other hand, go directly into long-term memory where they are indelibly etched. Pictures get caught in our brains. Dr. Lynell Burmark "Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak." John Berger

Key #9 - Encourage consistent church attendance.

Key #10 - Teach them to own their spiritual growth.

Discipling Postmodern Kids and Families

You can connect with Dale at Facebook DaleHudson/Florida Twitter - @dalehudsoncm

Discipling Postmodern Kids and Families