How Can I Help Parents Understand Sticky Faith?

Kara Powell | Nov 12, 2013

In the all-new Sticky Faith Launch Kit, we help you help parents of teenagers and younger children engage faith in their families. Since families are a critical key to faith that sticks, we can't afford to ignore or simply critique them. As a ministry leader, your call is to equip and empower them to nurture faith in their families.

We're here to help. Not only did we write a module to help you engage parents through leading a Sticky Faith Seminar, setting up parent conferences, and creating faith milestones, but we also provide thirteen downloadable ready-to-use email templates to help you share Sticky Faith philosophy and practical ideas for the next six to twelve months!

Here's a free sample of an email template you're welcome to adapt for use in your ministry:

Email 11: Simple Family Rituals That Build Faith

Hello Parents!

Earlier we talked about the importance of celebrating big moments in our children’s lives. But beyond recognizing milestones, simple rituals can also have big significance in the life of a teen.

The Sticky Faith research shows that the little ways a family engages faith together have major impact. For example:

  • You could share a consistent meal together. If not daily, perhaps there’s one dinner a week that can be set aside as a family time.

  • During any meals that you are together, ask questions. Simply asking about daily activities strengthens communication and relationships for other times when the conversation might plunge even deeper.

  • Start conversations in the car. Many families have shared that the car offers the single best place for them to talk about faith together.

  • Talk about how faith is connected to a current event. You might say, “Have you heard about X?” Your kid might say yes or no, depending on the event. Ask an open-ended question or two such as, “What do you think about that?” or, “I wonder what the people in that community are feeling …” Then, if appropriate, you might share your own reflections. For example, “It’s just interesting to me as a Christian …” or, “It makes me wonder …” It’s not the time for a sermon, but it could start great dialogue about faith and life.

  • Create a Sunday tradition in addition to worshiping at church. Maybe you get ice cream on Sunday nights, eat at a certain restaurant for lunch, or watch a movie or TV show together.

  • One family I know has a tradition called “Wow, Pow, Holy Cow.” Each person shares something good (a wow), something bad (a pow), and something that pointed you to God (a “holy cow” experience).

Small traditions like this can create regular margin in which your family can engage faith together. It doesn’t have to happen every single day, and some weeks are just crazy, but often the rituals create the space for conversation to happen more than it would otherwise.

Does your family have any simple traditions? Would you mind emailing to tell me about one?

Purchase the full Launch Kit for all the rest!

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.

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