Free Stuff Monday

This weeks giveaway is a great book by Brian Haynes. A few months back, I actually did a small interview with Brian; and you can really hear in this how his heart and burden are for the family and the parents that lead it!

Every path has a destination. Brian Haynes wants to take parents down the path of intentional spiritual parenting. The destination is a new generation of children emerging as adults who know how to love God and love people.

This new generation will also know how to equip their own children to do the same. The Legacy Path is a book meant to change the culture by moving our children and grandchildren toward life God s way instead of life portrayed as right in the eyes of the world. The reader will find many practical steps explained allowing the destination to be reached.

The Gathering 2012 Recap



I had a blast this week hanging out with my friends from David C. Cook and churches all around the country. Some using the TRU Curriculum and some that aren’t; but all of us dedicated to finding Holy Spirit led ways of reaching a new generation of kids and families.

Here is a general list of takeaways from this unique and intimate Gathering of Family Ministry leaders:

  • I’ve been challenged like never before to build sacred spaces into our worship experiences. Creating spaces for families and children to worship together.
  • Too often I’ve been guilty of “teaching kids about the Holy Spirit” when I should have been allowing “the Holy Spirit to be the teacher.”
  • I’ve been so impressed with the staff, volunteers, and vision of ROCKHARBOR church in Costa Mesa, CA. What a church.
  • I really love the fact that the entire Gathering experience is unique, because we only had 400 people here. That few amount of people really makes it easy to connect with others.
  • I really love Michelle Anthony’s heart for families and parents. She wears her passion well, and it’s contagious to hear her speak about Spiritual Parenting. You should really make the time to read her new book, Dreaming for More for the Next Generation.
  • The conversations about Family, Parents, and Children’s Ministry has been really rich.
  • I love the emphasis on telling our own personal God Story to each other. I’ve heard some amazing testimonies from some great churches and leaders.
  • One minor detail about the Gathering that I really loved was the massive amounts of free time. How great it was that it didn’t start til after 9am, and many times they built large sections of time into the schedule for us to just have fun. More conferences should do this!

Thanks to all my friends that came up and said Hello, and to all those new friends that I expect to hear Hello from in the months ahead!

Some important links:

Gathering Session #3 || Dr. Gregg Jantz

The Story in the Home, Church, and World

Dr. Jantz is the founder of a Counseling Center for families.

Addiction is just a symptom of pain. Helping individuals find healing first, is the priority. When the person finds healing, the addiction can be healed as well.

What is our role with hurting, broken families? We have to ask the Lord to give us discernment to know where we play the role in their life; while being careful to not get overly involved in their mess. Their problem is often times bigger than what we can handle. Direct families to the right people and help.

We have to be careful not to always direct people to US. That won’t help them.

Things to look for in broken people:

  • Are there patterns that keep repeating in their life?
  • What do they really need? Look closely.
  • Anger, Fear, Guilt are 3 BIG things. Which one of these do we see (or feel)?

We have to be on guard that when we are helping others, that we don’t drain ourselves. We have to self-guard our lives. We have to have our own lives in order before we give ourselves to others.


New Book Discussion: The Stranger in Your House

A depressed teenager is an unpredictable teenager. The book is primarily for parents of teenagers, helping them manage.

A teens main job is to test boundaries. Do we have them? Boundaries on Technology are the most important ones to set now. We have to help our kids keep perspective in a world screaming for attention.

Examples of technology boundaries:

  • No smartphones at school.
  • Master Password that parents know and manage.
  • Talk often about what’s appropriate.
  • No texting in the morning; and no texting during the week.
  • Strict on video games that are in the house.
  • Family decided together what Tech Boundries will be.

Is there a common root cause of teenage depression? Does Church cause it?

  • Inappropriate relationships, through school, friends, technology. As a church we need to promote healthy relationships.


keynote-speakerDR. GREGG JANTZ

Dr. Gregg Jantz is the best-selling author of 21 books, including the newly released, The Stranger in Your House, a valuable resource for parents as they see beyond the closed-room years of adolescence and open the door to hope. He is the founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources, and a nationally known speaker.


Gathering Breakout #1 || Michelle Anthony


7 Pillars of Family Ministry Philosophy
*Family Ministry for Spiritual Formation in this Generation

Philosophy is focusing on the answers to the why questions. What are the reasons we’ve got into Family Ministry in the first place.
Philos – LOVE  ||  Sophia – WISDOM

Philosophy is the love of wisdom. Let’s be in love with the why of what we do, not the what of what we do.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever! (Psalm 111:10 ESV)

1. Family is Primary // God s Design for faith replication is through the context of the family (Deut. 6; Ps. 78) while the church  plays a supportive/equipping role to this endeavor (Eph. 4:12).
2. Spiritual Formation // Formational approach… not just information. Lifelong transformation is the goal. Spiritual formation is about helping kids build a life-long relationship with God.

This means giving them a strong foundation in biblical knowledge and being intentional about creating space for kids to encounter the living God. Through the process of spiritual formation, we desire children to open their hearts to God, learn to discern His voice, have a desire to obey Him, and to do so in the power the Holy Spirit offers to each believer.

3. Holy Spirit is the Teacher // We recognize that the Holy Spirit is the primary teacher of our children. Parents and leaders have the opportunity to create “environments” where the Holy Spirit is free to move, teach, and lead. They have the privilege of coming alongside what the Holy Spirit is doing in the life of a child

Create worship response stations and give kids open-ended questions that spur their own heart.

4. Authority of Scripture // The Bible is God s truth for daily living. God s Word holds instruction for children to interpret their lives through the lens of God s character and will. Are resources should be true to content and context and allow kids to investigate Scripture for themselves so they will feel confident to share His Word with others.

We want a generation that understands their Bible, and how it relates to their own lives. Helping kids learn through multiple forms of learning; auditory, tactile, etc…

5. The Big God Story // Unpacking God’s Word as one chronological storyline where relationship and redemption are at the center. Tying OT to the NT. We define the “The Big God Story” as God’s ENTIRE story. It incorporates all of history, stretching from Genesis to Revelation and beyond. In the past, Christian instruction has often told fragmented stories of God, Jesus, or other people in the Bible, as if they were not part of a greater narrative.

We define the “The Big God Story” as God’s ENTIRE story. It incorporates all of history, stretching from Genesis to Revelation and beyond. In the past, Christian instruction has often told fragmented stories of God, Jesus, or other people in the Bible, as if they were not part of a greater narrative

6. God-Centered // Because it is one story about God s love and redemption, we make God the main focus of every lesson and resource! Each lesson is titled by something we know about God from a specific Bible passage. The emphasis is on God, not the supporting cast in the story (ex. God Is Victorious vs. David and Goliath).

Understanding what we know about God by the way He has worked in the lives of people and circumstances in the Bible is formational in our lives today.

7. Ministry Support // Partner with the local church to Inspire, Equip, and Support with resources for home and church. Stay in Conversations about what we do that brings us into community across the world.

Gathering Session #2 || Michelle Anthony

The Power Behind the Story & Storytellers

How we teach and explain the Gospel is really just a story.

Believing in the details of the Gospel isn’t enough. We aren’t selling the Gospel, we’re are telling a story of the Gospel and inviting others into this story. It’s not a speech to memorize, it’s a life we live.

There is an ‘upper story’ that is bigger than the everyday story we see.

John 16:5 “I am going to Him who sent me….but the truth is its better that I go. Another is coming!”

We were never intended to tell the story of the Gospel without the Holy Spirit leading us. NEVER. The spirit of Truth guides us.

Holy Spirit would bring all things together. He is a unifier. Yet we oftentimes stand in opposition to the Holy Spirits purpose. We have to unify ourselves.

“The Church moved into the Entertainment sector, and away from the Holy Spirits leading. Most of our churches can be explained away without ever mentioning the power of the Holy Spirit.” Francis Chan ‘Forgotten God’

We are charged to look different than our sinful culture. Do we?

The trail of following the Holy Spirit will take us somewhere we’ve never been, and it will force into a level of dependence we’ve never been in before.

It’s time to ask our kids to do more than just ‘try harder’, we’ve got to let Christ be formed inside them.

NOTE: Much of this session is covered in much greater detail in Michelle’s new book, Dreaming for More for the Next Generation.

Dr. Michelle Anthony is the Family Ministry Architect at David C Cook. Michelle is the author of The Big God Story, Spiritual Parenting book and DVD curriculum, the co-author of A Theology of Family Ministry. She has over 20 years of practical church ministry/leadership experience as a Children s and Family Pastor and is currently serving as an Ambassador for ROCKHARBOR church.

@truinspiration ||