7. Real World Parents by Mark Matlock
RWP is set to release in 2010. I believe that churches will quickly embrace RWP as a trusted resource to help parents see that parenting is much more than managing behavior. A real world parent focuses relationships and efforts on developing a biblical and Christ-centered worldview in the lives of their kids. This resource is sure to be a true catalyst in developing parents who raise kids to thrive in a world that is hostile to our faith in Christ.
6. Shelter: Being an Intentional Parent in a Random World by Jimmy Holbrook
There are two really great things about this book. One—Jimmy creatively and inspirationally gives parents simple, practical areas to develop at home. Two—it’s really short (only 95 pages)! This new release will surely help any young parent understand the value of their spiritual influence in the lives of their kids and will inspire them to act on key areas of shelter as their kids grow.
5. D6 Devotional Magazines: Cuddle Time Bible Storybook, Adventures Guide, and Explorers Guide
I have been using D6 Devotional Magazines with my boys at home since 2004. These have been some of the most influential printed resources to shape the basic “irreducible minimums” in the hearts of my boys. We began reading to them out of Cuddle Time Bible Storybook when they were still in diapers, and my youngest still reads them today. Our oldest son now uses Adventure Guide and will eventually move into Explorer’s Guide as he gets older. These full-color, interactive devotional magazines have a proven track record of engaging kids with God’s Word through a daily Bible passage and a challenge for the day. They also include games, puzzles, articles, jokes, monthly calendars and so much more! Churches can buy these in quantities at a low cost or parents can subscribe on a yearly basis. Very affordable!
4. Preparing for Adolescence: How to Survive the Coming Years of Change by James Dobson
Although I personally have not gotten to this one yet (it won’t be long!), it is definitely on my list. If there is one book available to parents to prepare them for the transitional years of adolescence, this is the book. I have talked to numerous parents through the years who have actually read this book alongside their kids in that 9, 10, 11, or 12-year-old timeframe. I suggest hosting a once a year or every other year meeting or communication piece about this resource. Perhaps you can host a meeting to coach parents about the responsibility they have to be intentional and prepare their kids for the interesting, confusing, and challenging days of adolescence.
3. 30 Days: Turning the Hearts of Parents & Teenagers Toward Each Other by Dr. Richard Ross
Please pass this one along to your student minister… he will thank you for it! Do you know students who have walls built up between them and their parents? This resource can knock down those walls within less than a month. The 30 Days experience will deepen the relationship between parent and teenager like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The parent and teenager will spend approximately 10 minutes together each evening for 30 days. Each evening they will break the seal on the cards inside and begin conversing and dialoging over the course of the next month. What’s on the cards? What makes this so special?
2. Faith Begins at Home by Mark Holmen
Why is it that our kids spend 90 to 150 hours a year in math class, but only 40 hours a year in discipleship instruction and interaction at church? If our faith is so important to us, then this seems a little lopsided, doesn’t it? The reason is that the church alone cannot disciple our children. The church was never intended to be the specialist who takes care of that for you, but rather a strategic partner in helping parents raise up spiritual champions for Christ. Faith Begins at Home combines inspirational stories and practical ideas with biblical truth to help families rediscover how to bring the basics of faith back into their home.
1. Revolutionary Parenting by George Barna
When I read this book one of my repeating thoughts was, “I really wish there was a study guide and a leader’s guide to accompany this book, because the content in here is what parents need to hear.” Well, now there is! It would be a solid resource for a parenting class in a church that is trying to shift the discipleship model to place parents back in the driving seat of developing spiritual champions at home.
Bonus: Splink – A simple way to link your family together spiritually
There are all kinds of resources that give parents ideas to live out Deuteronomy 6 by utilizing teachable moments, faith talks, or family devotional times. The thing that separates Splink from the others is that it’s free! Literally thousands of families across the country are active subscribers to Splink which gives parents simple ideas, talking points, activities, and assorted content that can be used to connect the heart of a parent to the heart of a child while at the same time transferring faith from one heart to another. Check out Splink at D6family.com where your parents can subscribe to receive Splink each week in their inbox.