As a church community, we want to help strengthen and encourage parents by talking about the joys and challenges of raising children. So we got together a panel from our church to share their experiences.
Our hope is that this film will spark conversations, so we suggest you watch it with a group of friends or with your Connect Group over dinner!
Our goal is to build connection and community across our church, and in all our different life stages. We believe that the more we understand one another, the more we can love and support each other, and reflect God’s love as we grow closer together in unity.
Below you’ll find a list of discussion questions and some guidelines on praying together. We’ve designed the questions to work for a mixed group of people from all different life stages – so this is for everyone.
We also want to recognise that there are many different experiences of parenting, for example: some of us may be foster parents, single parents, or have adopted children, and some of us may not be parents but long to have children of our own. We encourage you to bear this in mind and be sensitive to everyone’s experiences as you talk together.
Feel free to use some or all of the questions, and encourage people to bring other questions or thoughts to the table if they’d like to.
- Was there anything that stood out to you from the film?
- What are some of your favourite things about being a parent?
- What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced, and what has helped you to deal with them?
- What’s the best parenting advice you’ve ever been given?
- What were your expectations of becoming a parent, and what has surprised you?
Are there any family practices or rhythms that you have, or would like to, put in place? For example, sabbath, family prayer time, etc.
How can the church draw alongside parents and children to help and encourage them?
- How has following Jesus made a difference to how you parent? Are there any particular Bible passages or prayers that you draw strength from?
- What are your experiences of talking about or demonstrating faith to your children?
- Are there people in your church or wider community that have helped support you as a parent? What has helped the most?
- What are the challenges and benefits of technology (e.g. phones, social media) when raising children?
- How do you think having children has shaped your view of God? What has it taught you about His character and nature?
You may want to end your discussion time by praying for one another. You could do this in pairs or small groups, and provide an opportunity for people to share anything they would like prayer for.
You could end your time of prayer by praying the below:
Thank You that You are a perfect Father, and have shown us Your unconditional love through Jesus Christ.
Thank You for the gift of children, and the joy and privilege it is to be their parents. In our relationship with them, we see a tiny fraction of the depth of Your love and care for us, and we’re filled with thankfulness and praise.
Holy Spirit, would You strengthen parents in our community, and help us be the kind of church who share in each other’s burdens and joys, and talk honestly about how we’re doing.
We pray for all those who are struggling with parenthood, or who long to be parents, but aren’t. Would You comfort us in our disappointments, help us celebrate in our joy, and fill our hearts with hope in every season.
Help us to love and care for the children in our church community and encourage them in their faith, loving them as an overflow of Your love for us.
In Jesus’ name,
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