Filed under: Parent Posts
by Missy Farley
Okay, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I love movies….all types action, adventure, animated, comedy, documentary, romance, suspense. Watching a movie allows me to escape for a couple hours to an unknown destination. I get sucked into the storyline. At the end of each movie I always identify a ‘life-lesson’. While I’m confessing I should also let you know I’ve been known to tear up on occasion while watching a movie, actually more often than not.
Last night I had the pleasure of watching Kirk Cameron’s latest movie UNSTOPPABLE. Kirk takes you on a personal and inspiring journey to better understand the biggest doubt-raiser in faith; Why? Kirk goes back to the beginning – literally – as he investigates the origins of good and evil and how they impact our lives…and our eternities. Reminding us that there is great hope, UNSTOPPABLE creatively asks and answers the age old question: Where is God in the midst of tragedy and suffering?
We’ve all experienced our own ‘tragedy’ in this broken world. In October, West Side will dive deeper into God’s plan for each of us in light of our own personal scars and wounds during our upcoming series Dancing with the Scars. Our mighty, powerful, loving, faithful God has been there every step of the way. He has commanded and equipped each of us to walk alongside one another in these valleys. Love one another. Encourage one another. When’s the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone to be the hands and feet of Jesus?
Who do you know that needs to hear God’s message of hope? Why not invite them to West Side this Sunday?
September 25, 2013
We’re excited to kick off our ‘Survivor’ series this month. In the beginning of their relationship with Jesus, the disciples might not have been the most courageous bunch you’ve ever seen. Remember when the storm blew up and even the most seasoned fishermen woke Jesus in a panic (Mark 4)? But Jesus wasn’t scared. He knew the power and reliability of God. Time and again, Jesus showed His disciples that God would provide whenever they needed Him. As they learned to trust God, the disciples’ courage grew—to the point that Peter and John boldly testified before the Jewish government (Acts 4) about Jesus’ life and resurrection.
Courage is being brave enough to do what you should do, even when you’re afraid. Courage is not the absence of fear but how you respond in the face of fear. When we approach potentially scary situations, we can remember that God is big enough to handle anything, He’ll always be with us, and He’ll provide for our needs. The monthly memory verse is: “When I’m afraid, I will trust in You,” Psalm 56:3. Many of God’s followers will tell you their greatest adventure started when they trusted God in a decision they were afraid of. But in the end, they never regretted living courageously and believing God’s promises.
In Week One’s Bible story, Joseph lived a life of courage (Genesis 30, 37, 39-46). Joseph remained faithful to God regardless of the circumstances, trusting that God must have a bigger story at work. Our Bottom Line is: I can be brave because I know God is with me. As kids approach a new school year, sports team, or art class, they can push past their fear because God is with them.
In Week Two’s Bible story, Moses gives excuse after excuse for why he’s not the person God should use to rescue the Israelites (Exodus 3:1–4:17; Exodus 7-12), but he trusts God and confronts Pharaoh to help God rescue the Israelites. Our Bottom Line is: I can be brave even when I don’t feel ready. God will fill in where we think we don’t measure up. He has everything under control.
In Week Three’s Bible story, Moses was up against an impossible task: On one side is the Red Sea, on the other side is the Egyptian army coming after the Israelites (Exodus 14). Moses stood strong in the face of fear and trusted God with the outcome. Our Bottom Line is: I can be brave even when things seem impossible. When we follow God into what seems impossible, we can see Him do amazing things that we never imagined.
In Week Four’s Bible story, Joshua and Caleb were the only two Israelites who spoke up and said God would provide a way for them to enter the Promised Land (Numbers 13–14). Our Bottom Line is: I can be brave even when others aren’t. Sometimes, everyone is afraid of the same thing. But we can be the ones to have courage because we remember our trust isn’t in our own ideas or strength. Our trust is in God.
In Week Five’s Bible story, we remember God’s promise to Abraham that he would receive the Land of Canaan. But the great city of Jericho is blocking Abraham’s family from moving into Canaan (Joshua 6). Our Bottom Line is: I can be brave because I know God keeps His promises. Sometimes it’s our fear that keeps us from ever living in the promises God has given us.
August 26, 2013
By Missy Farley
Study after study has proven that schools with high parental involvement produce successful, thriving students with high test scores and an appetite for learning. We believe, the same is true for churches. When parents are highly involved and engaged in the children’s ministry, kids thrive spiritually and are excited to grow in their relationship with Jesus.
In 2012, we shared that only 17% of parents were volunteering in the children’s ministry. Since then, we’ve seen a number of parents answer the call, and get in the game. But we still fall far short of our goal! If parental involvement=success, we want the majority of our parents to JUMP into action!
West Side Kids is busting at the seams! We’re growing in every way—numerically and spiritually. Yet, we still believe God has called us to something greater.
The primary goal of West Side’s Family Ministry is to help parents become the primary spiritual leaders in their child’s life. One of the best ways for a parent to help their family develop spiritually is to volunteer in the children’s ministry area where their child participates. We believe our parent volunteer team can and should be much stronger! We hope to see the majority of West Side parents serving alongside their kids. Are you ready to JUMP in?
The benefits of JUMPING in whole heartedly, with both feet:
Parents who volunteer have given us valuable feedback! There are many reasons why parents should be eager about diving into the volunteer game with West Side Kids.
- Parents often suggest volunteering in kids’ ministry has helped them become a better spiritual leader to their own child. They take home useful tips on how to talk with their kids about God and His Word. And, volunteer parents are better able to reinforce concepts from church at home during the week.
- Parent involvement often helps children enjoy church more. When children see the value their parents place on serving and worshiping with them, they often enjoy and appreciate church more than ever before. Volunteering creates a shared experience between kids and parents.
- Parent that actively server as volunteers help West Side Kids become an even more attractive place. We all want our kids to have a thriving church home where volunteers are lovingly guiding them toward Jesus. If West Side is to continue to grow, we need more all-star volunteers to make church fun and relevant for kids.
August 1, 2013
We’re excited to kick off our new ‘Some Assembly Required’ series this month. From
the very beginning, God set up leaders on earth. We see in Genesis 1, God instructed Adam to rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, and the livestock that moves on the ground. Much later in the Old Testament, God called out prophets, judges, kings, and priests to lead His people. Each of these leaders, although different in many ways, had one main thing in common. Their job was to follow God. An interesting pattern can be seen when they trusted and obeyed God—the people under their leadership prospered.
Obedience is trusting those who lead you by doing what you’re asked to do. God asks us to trust Him by giving us specific things to do to accomplish His work around us. He may even ask us to do something that seems too hard or too uncomfortable. But we can choose to trust that He’ll work out the details and take care of our needs. Then it’s easier for us to choose to obey and act on what we know, because we trust our ultimate Leader.
The monthly memory verse is: “Obey your leaders. Put yourselves under their authority. They keep watch over you. They know they are accountable to God for everything they do. Obey them so that their work will be a joy. If you make their work a heavy load, it won’t do you any good.” (Hebrews 13:17) Often, it’s hardest to obey when God asks us to trust another person that He has chosen to lead us. But, as long as their instructions line up with God’s commands, do what they ask of us.
In Week One’s Bible story, God places Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden with just one command (Genesis 1, 2, 3:1-24). When they make their own plan and disobey God, it has profound and lasting effects. Our Bottom Line is: I should trust and obey even when I think my way is better. Our leaders see the bigger picture and understand the greater consequences.
In Week Two’s Bible story, Noah had a history of trusting God, and continued to obey God to the smallest detail while building the ark (Genesis 6–8). Even when everyone else disobeyed, Noah followed God. Our Bottom Line is: I should trust and obey even when others don’t. Developing a pattern of obedience might prepare us for trusting God in a moment when the stakes are even higher.
In Week Three’s Bible story, God makes a big promise to Abraham, and then asks Abraham to move to a new place (Genesis 12:1-5; 13:2-18; 15:1-6). Abraham doesn’t know where or how God will keep His promises. But he trusts God. Our Bottom Line is: I should trust and obey even if I don’t know how it will all work out. We always know we can trust God, so we can confidently obey.
In Week Four’s Bible story, God asks Abraham to do something shocking (Genesis 15, 18, 21, 22). When Abraham is willing to obey and sacrifice what he loves, he demonstrates his unwavering trust in God to keep His promises. Our Bottom Line is: I should trust and obey even if it costs me something. We can trust that God wants what’s best for us.
July 29, 2013
We’re looking forward to continuing our BaseCamp series during the month of July in The WILD.
Jesus’ followers witnessed so many amazing things while He walked the earth with them. They saw Jesus perform miracles and they heard Him teach a whole new way of thinking. Through it all, God was preparing them to carry Jesus’ ministry into the world. He was teaching them the basics:
Wisdom – I need to make the wise choice.
Faith – I can trust God no matter what.
Friendship – I should treat others the way I want to be treated.
When we focus on these ideas, we can also begin to discover what God is doing in us to change the world around us. We’ll learn from Jesus’ teachings that we, too, can make a difference.
The months memory verse is: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill can’t be hidden,” Matthew 5:14. When we choose to love God by loving others, you will help God’s love shine on all people.
In Week One’s Bible story, Jesus loves and forgives Peter for denying Him (John 18-21). Our Bottom Line is: God is doing something in me so I will love the people around me. When we love the way Jesus loves us, we forgive when others wrong us, we serve and help meet others’ needs, and we sacrifice what we want for what’s best for others.
In Week Two’s biblical principle, Jesus is teaching the people how to be kind to others, even people who mistreat you (Matthew 5:41-41). In Jesus’ time, the Roman guards could force people to carry their belongings for a mile. But Jesus taught that, to show God’s kindness to the guards, the people should go an extra mile. Our Bottom Line is: God is doing something in me so I will love people who are hard to love.
In Week Three’s Bible story, Jesus commands His followers to go into all the world and tell about God’s love (Matthew 28:16-20). Our Bottom Line is: God is doing something in me to show the world who He is. Each of Jesus’ followers had a story of when God had shown them love, and they were able to share that story with other people.
In Week Four’s Bible story, Jesus commanded that we should love God with all our hearts and love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:34-40). Our Bottom Line is: God is doing something in you to change the world around you. Often, one of the best ways we can love God is by loving His people. Regardless of who the person is or what they’ve done, God still loves them, and we can too.
June 25, 2013
Get ready to have some fun as we explore chapter 22 of The Story: The Birth of a King on Sunday, February 24th.
Kids are encouraged to wear their favorite ‘Christmas Pajamas’
*Just be sure all pajamas are modest.
February 20, 2013