Dinners Make the Difference- A Step Toward a Healthy Family

September 24, 2009

sharing-breadDo you want better family relationships and less issues to contend with in your family? We have mentioned it before.  In 2006 we provided the first information that appeared in this blog about family dinner and at-at risk behavior (Look Who’s Coming to Dinner).  Then we discussed it again last year in relationship to Family Day. Now we are at it again because we believe this is such critical information for the health of your family.

It is Family Day on Monday, September 28, 2009.  In preparation for that day, new research was released in August of this year once again affirming the importance of eating together as a family without distractions at least 5 times a week.    The research shows that grades go up, relationships strengthen and at-risk behavior goes way down.  The problem is 69% of us are not doing this.  Here is a summary of some of the findings:

  1. Young people who eat less than 4 family meals together regularly are twice as likely to use marijuana,  1.5 times as likely to use alcohol and 1.5 times more likely to see their parents drunk.  Of which, 34% have seen their parents intoxicated.
  2. In addition to that if they have less than 4  family meals and texting, twittering, facebooking or talking on phone occurs during this time, those percentages jump to a 3 times more likely hood of marijuana use and 2.5 times more chance of using alcohol.
  3. Young people who have less than 4 family meals together are 1.5 times more likely to have grade problems.
  4. Young people with less than 4 family meals together are twice as likely to say they can’t talk with their parents,  more likely to have relationship problems in the family and less likely to attend religious services.

All in all the message is clear.  Eat together as a family and make your dinner table a no technology zone.

To help you with this we at the LOGOS Ministry offer three years of weekly preplanned family nights, with meal  and conversation suggestions,  to help begin the process of eating as a family and spending time together.  We call it LOGOS at Home/Family Round the Table and you can find it here .  A sample of this is found every month in our parenting newsletter, Heartfelt, under the link Family Round the Table.

We know it is a busy world with lots of obligations and distractions but besides our relationship with God what could be more important than a strong, healthy family?  So turn off the technology, sit down together and listen to each other.  You will be glad you did!  I know  it has been a benefit to our family.

You can see a  complete copy of the Study from Columbia University here.


A Daughter’s Poem- God’s Call

September 17, 2009

OnlookerThis is a poem that my daughter wrote after her devotions a few days ago.  When I saw it I asked her if I could share it with the world.  The LOGOS Ministry has always focused on discerning God’s call.  I am sure it is no accident that a lifetime LOGOS kid would experience that as well.

A Voice, a Call, that Reigns Most of All-by Kiersten

Do you hear it?

It’s a whisper and a clamor.

It’s a voice filled with power speaking upon the hour.

Do you hear it?

A tender voice calling you by name.  A voice that can send gentle chills down your spine.

It say’s you are mine.

Do you hear it?

In your heart it resonates, “Be still and know”

Only some may hear it.  Only some may recognize it.

It’s not just a few words, but a life calling, a way of life.

It’s not an ordinary conversation.

But the voice that in the beginning spoke the foundation.

Do you hear it?

Shhh, listen.  It’s Him. The God of the Universe asking you to listen eagerly to His love.

I can hear it. Can you?

4 Things Youth Want in Youth Ministry

September 11, 2009

Smiling teenagerSo often we think we have to make youth ministry so spectacular that they won’t be drawn away by the distractions of the world around us.  However, youth and many of those who study the culture of youth tell us that is just not true.  So why do we continue to think that bigger is better and spectacular is special?

So, here are 4 things that are key for youth today.

1. Focus on Relationships- studies from secular to faith based tell us that small groups of invested relationships are better for learning, involvement, development and growth than large “you all come” gatherings.

2. Focus on Involvement- these relationships should create a sense of belonging to the larger body of the church.  Be intentional about creating  inter-generational relationships that involve the youth in relationships, leadership and the life of the body of Christ.

3. Focus on Service- everyone wants their life to count for something and to make a difference.  Young people today especially desire to be able to participate in causes that make a difference.  Use this time of service to both support the cause and build the inter-generational relationships.

4. Focus on Faith- young people are not coming to church to be entertained.  They want answers to tough questions.  They want to know whether there is a bigger purpose in life.  They are seeking questions about their faith that can be best addressed through the comfort of deep, honest, intimate relationships by mature adults with experience. Remember they are all at different stages.  Don’t try to reach them all with the same message and method.

All of this is to say, youth ministry is a serious and complex ministry that takes a lot of planning, dedication and intention.