Raising Faith
Presented by Katharine Hill and Andy Frost, Care for the Family, 2019

£19.99 (Approx)
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

While their children are young, parents and carers have the greatest influence to sow seeds of faith that will last a lifetime – even among the chaos of mountains of laundry and never-ending pack lunches.

Raising faith is a flexible, six-part small group resource, full of practical ideas and stories that will help Christian families to create strong and healthy foundations of faith in their children.

Each session provides content for a two-hour, stand-alone session and gives parents and carers the opportunity to share their own experiences and learn from each other, as they explore simple ways they can weave faith in to everyday family life.

The key themes are explored in six two-hour sessions:

  • Building faith through everyday life
  • Creating the right environment to nurture faith
  • Making your faith visible
  • Different ways we connect with God
  • Navigating doubts and questions together
  • Belonging in the church

What do you get?

Includes ready to run DVD resource, leader’s guide, 8 participant booklets for parents, free resources online and a link to a free digital copy of the resource.

Who is it for?

Parents and carers of children who want to learn how to encourage faith in their dependants from a young age.

 

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Very good. Each session has 8 clips to play from the DVD. There is input from multiple families and professionals about the different topics and their thoughts on how they play out in their family life. The participant booklets and leader guide are very easy to follow and accessible to the intended audience.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    The aim of the resource is to equip parents and carers to feel confident in their role of nurturing faith in their children and to provide practical ideas that will be applicable in all sorts of family scenarios. Each session has the main title and an aim laid out below it at the beginning of the session.

    How accessible are the leader’s notes?

    Leader notes are very accessible. The resource includes 1 A5 guidebook for leaders taking them through set up, ideas for prayer, session layouts and how to use the resource. It also provides some important ‘do’s and don’ts’. It’s a very readable guide which is easy to interpret. The main work has all been done in the format of the DVD.

    Who could lead it?

    Small group leaders are able to lead this series. Church leaders are not required to lead as the content is easy to follow and most of the work has been done by the provision of the DVD with regards to biblical content and application. It is best led by someone or a couple who have also had or currently have caring responsibility for children.

    How good is any digital material?

    Digital material is in the format of a DVD. The DVD provides the main content for each session and is comprised of 8 chapters or segments. The digital material very good, filmed simply but with the input of a range of experts and families. There are optional subtitles for the videos.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    As this resource is so well equipped by the DVD, preparation is not too strenuous. The leader will need to ensure they have watched the video material in advance (30 minutes per session) and will need to ensure that the space is set up, welcoming and ready to show the DVD content. The leader needs to read through the leader notes in advance and make sure they are familiar with what their input is each time which is laid out in the leader guide. Overall, preparation per session should take around 90 minutes for the first session, and 60 minutes for each session thereafter.

    Is there website support? Links?

    There are free optional resources online and a link to a free digital copy of the resource is provided when the paperback copy is purchased.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Each session is made up of video clips from the DVD, activities and ‘discuss together’ intervals. Leaders can decide whether they would like to ask parents to do this in pairs or as a group in order to accommodate single parents attending. ‘Discuss together’ interactive segments typically make up 45 -50 minutes of each session and give participants a chance to reflect and discuss the video content they have watched and their own views on the topics.

    How well does it cater for a variety of both learning and delivery styles?

    Participants primarily learn through watching videos, discussing questions raised and participating in one simple activity per session. There are also subtitles available to turn on for the videos for those who may be hard of hearing.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    This resource is designed to run as a 6 week course, with each session lasting approximately two hours in total. As long as there is access to a TV or projector, it can be run in a home or in a community area. Each resource includes 8 participant booklets, but more can be purchased separately if required. Due to the heavy use of discussion as a way of learning, smaller groups are preferable to allow time and space for everyone to participate and get to know one another over the course. Leaders can choose to incorporate a meal or tea and coffee set up if suitable. The main thing to ensure is that the space provided feels safe and comfortable. The sessions can be run in isolation, however the resource is designed to be run as a whole.

    How well does it encourage people to work together in applying the material?

    The resource includes 8 participant booklets and is designed for smaller groups to allow everyone to have a chance to contribute and get the most out of discussion times. People apply material through discussion, answering questions from the leader, and answering questions posed in their booklets.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Bible-based content is almost exclusively referenced in the film clips. Passages are woven within the content and presented by the course presenters midway through each session. Typically this constitutes about 10 minutes per session.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Biblical material is presented by the presenters in each DVD and includes passages primarily from the New Testament. Passages are used to encourage parents to understand the importance of children to God, and of their role in leading by example when it comes to engaging with Him. Parents discuss the topics raised in reference to the passages, where the passages also draw on good role models in the Bible and challenge parents to think about who are their equivalent ‘Barnabas’ or ‘Paul’.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Biblical material is applied to everyday life in the context of caring for children and young people. The third session is on ‘making faith visible’ and this session in particular challenges parents to reflect on how they demonstrate a love of God themselves at home in the everyday life tasks and approaches. The resource is realistic and does not expect parents to get everything right all the time, but it gives some helpful tools and pointers about how to start incorporating God in everyday things.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    The resource has been produced by Care for the Family, a Christian compassion motivated organisation. The resource is intended for use with all kinds of parents and carers, so is flexible to use with all Christian denominations and contains no specific liturgical practices.

  • How well does it inspire people towards whole-life discipleship?

    The resource aims to encourage parents to implement whole-life discipleship techniques in both their lives and their children’s lives. All 6 sessions encourage adults to look at how they demonstrate love for God at home and then analyse whether there is more they can do within their parenting to grow greater discipleship. The first session on ‘everyday faith’ acknowledges that when children are young, most of their time is spent with their parents which means parents have a huge responsibility when it comes to growing faith, and helping children to access God in ways which are unique to them. The resource teaches participants that demonstrating the love of God at home is one of the greatest acts of discipleship, as it has a direct impact on the next generation of believers.

    How well does it encourage and enable people to grow in their faith?

    The resource encourages parents and carers to grow faith together as a family unit. Participants reflect not only on how they grow in faith, but also in how their children grow in faith as they may have different love languages and ways of connecting with God. In the session on ‘journeying together’ parents think about what stage of faith their children are at, and then discuss methods and techniques on how to support children to get to the next stage of faith or how to get more depth within the stage of faith they are in. Most importantly, the sessions emphasise the strength there is in growing in faith together, so that families can have open and honest conversations.

    How well does it stretch faith and vision of God and his purposes?

    As this resource aims to grow faith in children and young people, one of the things it does really well is encourage parents to work through questions, struggles and doubts that children may have about Christianity. Rather than shy away from things they may not know how to answer, the resource gives tools and helpful approaches so that carers are more confident to battle through doubts, with the children. This has a huge impact when it comes to stretching faith and God’s purposes as it maintains trust and a safe foundation for children to question God, ultimately encouraging them to seek him more as their doubts are discussed honestly and openly in a safe place.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    The sessions help adults with the very real-life issue of how to nurture faith in those God has entrusted to them, with confidence. The areas covered within this are: what are the main elements of faith building? What is the value of a warm and affirming family environment to nurture faith? How does your relationship with God make a difference? How do our children relate to God best? How do we navigate difficult thoughts and questions? How do we connect our children into the life of the church with other safe adults and young people?

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    The resource encourages personal evangelism from the parent to the child or young person. This is a particular focus in session 3 which looks at how the carer’s personal faith makes a difference to the children.

    How well does it encourage local or network-based community involvement?

    Session 6 talks about the importance of engaging with the Church and being accountable to other Christians. Parents are encouraged to model their relationship and communication with God in a positive way, so that children are encouraged to do the same.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    This is not a focus for this resource.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a focus for this resource.

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