What church looks like for us right now

This is how Sunday mornings look like for us right now. We invite friends over around 10:30 and we have ‘fika’ – cakes and coffee and the kids play, then at some unfixed point we gather altogether and sing a few songs together. All the children are currently four years old and under and can vary from just our two kids to as many as eight. We pick well-known songs from the internet (in either English or Swedish) and sing three or four. Then we tell a Bible story with…

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Children and the church

I was privileged to serve a church for ten years that highly valued children. Our second paid staff member was a gifted children’s worker. Many of our key investments of time and energy went into children and young people. A Kids Club that gathered (at its peak) around 60 children every week from the surrounding estate, youth clubs that gathered 15-30 more, significant subsidising of summer camps like Newday and a twice yearly social action weekend. Some of our most lengthy, protracted and challenging conversations in the team was around…

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How do I convince my three year old that Jesus was right?

In Acts 20:35 Paul reminds the church at Ephesus these words of Jesus, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Just take a moment to think about whether you believe that or not. How are you more blessed? Do you feel more blessed when you give? It can be easy if you have children, the few moments when they see a new present and delight fills their faces, it’s easy to see why giving can be so good. Ten minutes later when they’re bored with your gift, the…

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Let the children play

Yesterday this letter appeared in The Telegraph from over 200 academics and child experts arguing that ‘children’s well-being and mental health is being undermined by the pressures of modern life’ (HT: Matt Hosier). They sent a similar letter five years previously, clearly little or nothing had changed. It’s why we at Breathe made this little video. Why not watch it, or better yet watch it with some friends and think through your response. For more resources on the video check out Conspiracy of Freedom.

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To smack or not to smack?

Do you smack your children? Should you? And if you’re a Christian, is that right and proper? I came across this article from Denny Burk where he sets out why smacking your kids is Biblical, and many Christians around the world would agree with that. In Newfrontiers for example PJ Smyth commends it as a form of discipline. Burk having briefly outlined his case ends with this, “Despite the pronouncements of the judge in Texas, parents who love their children will make use of non-abusive physical discipline (Prov. 13:24). This is…

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10 ways to destroy or save the imagination of your child

JT gives a mention to a new book by Anthony Esolen called Ten ways to destroy the imagination of your child. According to that post, it ‘takes square aim at these accelerating trends, while offering parents—and children—hopeful alternatives. Esolen shows how imagination is snuffed out at practically every turn: in the rearing of children almost exclusively indoors; in the flattening of love to sex education, and sex education to prurience and hygiene; in the loss of traditional childhood games; in the refusal to allow children to organize themselves into teams;…

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Christian Living 

Jesus will help me

I am a convert. I was a very reluctant father but I just love it. A week ago my two-year old son gave me a sentence of great theology that I hope and pray he never ever forgets or stops believing. We were reading a Bible story and came to David and Goliath (we’re using this book) and we read this line from David. “‘I shall fight Goliath’ declared David boldly. ‘I dare because God will help me.’” Noah just started repeating ‘I dare, I dare, I dare’. All very…

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The family likeness

I promise this blog is not about to turn into a family album despite the fact that I’m now the doting father of a baby girl. However, I’d like to show you something… OK, it may be just me but do they look alike? Poor kids, the midwife said they looked liked me. My church decided that grumpy, wrinkly and purple is not a good look, for them or me! Anyway, the point is that they (at least I think so) carry the family likeness. The father should be able…

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