Tracy Lutheran Church
64 Rowland St
Tracy, MN 56175
Phone: 507 629-3563
Church Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor Eric Natwick: email@example.com
Amy's Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or use our contact form.
We're here to welcome you. Please stop by during these hours:
8 AM- 3:00 PM Monday-Thursday
Your Passion Becomes Their Passion
"Like father, like son" and "Like mother, like daughter" may not apply very often to you and your teenagers. But you're having more of an influence on your kids than you may realize. We've always known that parents' faith is important for kids' spiritual development. Now some landmark research shows just how crucial your beliefs are.
The National Study of Youth and Religion recently found that three out of four religious teenagers consider their own beliefs to be similar to those of their parents. What's more, 77% of teenagers who belonged to a congregation said they expected to be part of a similar congregation at age 25.
Teenagers aren't likely to come right out and admit that their parents are serving as role models. Sometimes you probably feel like your kids don't even want to associate with you. But another major NSYR finding is that most teenagers desire to have stronger relationships with their parents. They just aren't sure how to make it happen. So that's where you come in!
It's up to parents to
take the lead with faith discussions in your home. When you're passionate about your beliefs, that passion will be contagious. Academic studies and real-life examples prove that parents who strive to
live out a devoted Christian faith raise kids who tend to do the same. Read on for tips and ideas about developing and passing along this passion.
Great Questions to Ask Your Kids
Although adolescence is a crucial time for faith formation, the process is never complete. Use these questions to talk with your kids about their under-construction beliefs:
1. How important is your faith to you? Would you say it's your No. 1 priority? Why or why not?
2. What aspects of believing in God are the easiest and the hardest for you, and why?
3. Do you know someone who's passionate about God? If so, what do you admire most about him or her?
4. Are you being a spiritual example, or mentor, for anyone right now? Explain.
5. If you could
change one thing about our relationship, what would it be, and why?
Verse of the month
"Praise the Lord! How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands. Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed." (Psalm 112:1-2)
As our heavenly Father,
God is worthy of our honor, respect, and love. This mirrors the ideal relationship between earthly parents and their children. Parents aren't perfect (just ask your teenagers!), but moms and dads who
strive to live godly lives leave a lasting legacy for their kids—and for many generations to come. Obedience, whether it's to God or to parents, results in joy and growth. Because God promises
eternal "success" to those who trust in him, a spiritual heritage is the best gift you could ever give your kids.
Live As Forgiven and Forgiving People
God created us perfect, in his image. But after sin entered the world, we needed a Savior. The good news of Easter is that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and then rose again. Because of his victory, we can have the free gifts of forgiveness and eternal life.
As forgiven people, God tells us to extend forgiveness to others who wrong us. That can be tougher than it sounds, especially when an offender doesn't seem repentant. But God will work on our hearts and give us a desire to forgive when we ask him for help.
Here are some insights about forgiveness from God and for others:
Children first learn what forgiveness is by experiencing it firsthand.
As kids experience the feeling of being forgiven, they can begin to forgive those around them. Eventually compassion will compel them to forgive as Christ calls them to—whether or not the people who hurt them are sorry.
Forgiveness is more than just saying "I'm sorry."
Forgiveness costs us something, just as it cost Christ dearly on the cross. When we forgive someone, we resist our urge to retaliate, to get even, to make someone pay for their mistakes. We become vulnerable as we allow that person back into our lives. And that's a big part of loving others.
1. To forgive sins that have been weighing you down.
2. To show your family the power of his forgiveness and mercy.
3. To help
you all forgive each other, just as God forgives you.
Family Experience: Freely Forgiven
Dive further into the topic of forgiveness by using these easy but powerful activities!
Goodbye Sins!—Say: "Think of a sin, or wrong thing, you've done." Then let each family member use a highlighter to write on a coffee filter a sin that he or she has committed. (Assist young children.) Say: "Now confess that sin to God and ask him to forgive you." Put a few drops of lemon juice on the writing, and watch as your "sin" disappears. Read aloud 1 John 1:8-9. Say: "The lemon juice made the writing disappear. When we tell God we're sorry for our sins, he forgives us. He makes our sins completely disappear from his sight! We may still have to deal with the consequences of our sins, but when God forgives a sin, it's gone." Close in prayer, thanking God for his amazing gift of total forgiveness.
Forgiveness Spelled Out—Write the word forgive down the left side of a chalkboard (or down a piece of paper). Share with one another how it feels to be forgiven. Then write one of those feelings next to each letter; for example, Fresh, Optimistic, Relieved, Grateful, Invigorating, and so on.
Put the chalkboard in a place where
everyone can see it during the coming week. Use it as a reminder to thank God often for his gift of forgiveness. Throughout the next month, add to the list as you think of other words that remind you
how forgiveness feels.