One of the reasons we chose the TRU curriculum for Kids Connect is the parent resources that are provided each week. Parents are children’s primary spiritual teachers so we love equipping parents to grow in this role. We see CCC as a partner with parents to raise up the next generation to follow Christ.
Resources are great, but only if you use them. We’ve asked Jen Dougherty, a long-time CCC attendee and mother of 3 to share how she uses the HomeFront with her family.
SB: Jen, tell us about your kids and your involvement at CCC.
JD: I have three kids ages 11, 8 and 4. My husband and I have been attending CCC since 1995. Right now I am a 2nd grade small group leader at the Old Mill Campus.
SB: What have you noticed about the TRU curriculum that is different from what we’ve used in the past?
JD: I love the Big God Story and that the kids learn that each Bible story fits on a timeline of events that are sequential. Without a time line, it’s difficult for them to understand the context of where the story fits in to the big picture. It’s confusing for kids because they don’t understand that Jesus didn’t live during the time of Moses or that David comes after Noah. The timeline helps pull it all together.
SB: How has this switch impacted your family?
JD: TRU is more cohesive. Everybody is getting the same thing which makes it easier from a family perspective. The Homefronts make planning a family night easy. We used to scramble to plan something for family night—pulling from Heritage Builders or searching for ideas online. Now, we have the option of planning something fancy if we have time, or keeping it simple with the Homefront activities.
SB: Tell me about your family nights. How did you get started doing that?
JD: When our kids were little we started by reading from their Children’s Bible. It only takes one minute to read a story and they come to know and expect it. When our kids got older we started setting aside one night a week for family night…most weeks anyway. We read the Bible together and we may do an activity or just talk about the questions in the Homefront. We’ve been doing that for about 3 or 4 years now.
SB: Is it hard to do this regularly?
JD: Yes, and I’m not trying to say that we are doing things perfectly. We are not always consistent and sometimes we squeeze the Homefront in while driving in the car or at bed time or dinner time. That’s the great thing about having it right there.
SB: Other than setting aside specific family times to talk about God, how else do you help you children grow spiritually?
JD: I pray with them. Pray, pray, pray with your children.
SB: When do you pray with them?
JD: All the time. In the morning while dropping them off at school I pray that God would show Himself to them. We pray at dinner and bedtime. When they come home from school and have had a bad day, we pray about it right then. We love the blessing cards too [from the TRU curriculum]. My next goal is to find a verse for each of my children that I will pray over them regularly.
SB: Have you noticed any fruit from these efforts?
JD: I’ve especially noticed my 8 year old’s faith growing. My 11 year old will ask tons of questions and the 8 year old will be listening and taking it all in. If we didn’t purposefully and intentionally talk about these things, I don’t know if they would ever be thinking about it. They just have grown more disciplined and they know the Lord better every day. I think they love each other better because of the time we spend in the Word.
SB: What would you say to other parents who are beginning to use these resources and attempting to lead their family spiritually?
JD: We have to impart the importance of intentionality. We can just be lukewarm. These are our kids. As a small group leader in Kids Connect, I can tell which kids are geared to receive the blessing and hear from God. It’s obvious that some kids are not getting anything at home. It’s great that they come on Sundays, but parents really need to understand that they can make a huge difference in their kids’ spiritual growth by leading the way.
SB: Thank you so much for sharing your experience and helping us stay focused on the importance of setting aside family time.