By Dr. Kara E. Powell
If you are looking for a VERY practical resource filled with parenting tips and tricks then the Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family is it! Seriously, the possibilities are endless. But do not be overwhelmed by the pages-and-pages of possibilities. At the end of the day, this book is not about doing it all but finding those one or two things that you can shift and integrate in to your family’s daily, weekly, monthly, or annually. Start somewhere, start sticky.
Chapter One – Why Does Your Family Need a Sticky Faith Guide?
The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family is a research-based resource to remove some of the guesswork out of parenting. It will address key parenting issues and themes with findings and ideas straight from research, surveys, interviews, and more. Read through the book with the lens of learning from others’ peaks AND pits, triumphs and tragedies. Pick-and-choose what you want to intentionally weave into your family’s rhythms. It is a great launching place as you prioritize passing along sticky faith to your children.
Chapter Two – You Get What You Are: Modeling Sticky Faith
The best model of faith for your kids is right at home—YOU. Your faith and your kids’ perception of your faith is critical. Now this may be daunting as you’re likely not where you wish you were much less where your children could/should be. Start with simply making your faith development a priority. Then what you and your marriage model will become sticky. Stuck with where to begin? There are lots of sticky ideas to get started in your own faith development alongside your family’s.
Chapter Three – Handling Mistakes: Showing Sticky Forgiveness
Many children and adults struggle with clearly articulating what Christianity is and what separates it from other religions. The key distinguisher is grace. Our children need to learn and experience God’s amazing grace more deeply. While many children know this, they still feel their faith is dependent upon their good behavior and works. Now this does not mean obedience or boundaries are irrelevant. So how do you maintain the boundaries that our children so desperately need while making “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” much more contagious? Lots of great ideas to give and receive forgiveness in this chapter.
Chapter Four – Warm Family Relationships: Building Blocks of Sticky Faith
As the chapter’s title states, warm family relationships ARE the building blocks of sticky faith. Family warmth is the #1 factor in the transmission of faith across the generations. And family warmth is gauged by your children and their experience of it. While both parents are crucial in creating a warm family environment, dads have an extra special part and impact. Dads, don’t miss this chapter. Find ways to make your house a home where your family grows deeper and closer together.
Chapter Five – Connecting: Finding Ways to Relate to Your Teenager
There is a lot of eye rolling in the teen years—on behalf of your teenager towards you AND you towards your teenagers. But this is a pivotal phase in your child’s development to step into his/her teenage world. Get to know what makes your teenager and what matters most to him/her. And yes, the eye rolls may increase when family time is proclaimed, but protect it. Both planned and spontaneous family time are key at this phase. If you have multiple children be very aware of favoritism as this deeply erodes faith. Get ready for making the teenage years some of the best years for sticky faith.
Chapter Six – Community: The Power of Five Faith-Building Adults
We are better together. When at least five adults invest in your teenager’s life it may mean the difference between them staying connected to the church or not. And these five adults are supporting your sticky faith infusion not replacing it. These vital intergenerational connections are in your church, community, circle of influence, family, and friends. Get your child connected to community today.
Chapter Seven – Grandparents and Senior Adults: The Magic of Intergenerational Interaction
Grandparents are more involved than ever in playing with, parenting, and raising grandchildren. The sheer increased involvement inevitably then carries influence and impact with it. Learn how to best leverage the precious grandparent time and bond for maximal sticky faith opportunities.
Chapter Eight – Communication: Talking Faith with Your Kids
Your children need to see your faith lived out on a day-to-day basis. But how often do you face-to-face sit down and talk about your faith with your kids? Life inspires ample opportunities for faith conversations. Do not miss these chances to ask questions, share your story, hear your child’s heart, and prepare them for the tough stuff of life. Engage in open conversations with lots of listening because it is better your child is asking questions and expressing doubt than keeping it in where it becomes toxic and destructive. While Chapter Four focused a bit more on dads, moms this one is more in your arena. Figure out where to begin your faith talks.
Chapter Nine – Vacation! Downtime Ways to Build Sticky Faith
It is less about expensive, grandiose adventures far away. It is all about the prioritization of time away together and allowing your kids to have a voice. Kick up your feet and get ready to plan and prioritize vacation time with your family, it is an important way to build sticky faith on the road.
Chapter Ten – Home Sticky Home: Making Your House a Hub of Faith
Home is where the heart is. Make your house a home, a place where your child feels welcome. Protect your kids’ emotional and physical safety at home. Protect your home with boundaries clearly created and communicated around technology. Protect precious family dinner time whenever you can. And then home will truly be where the heart is growing strong in its faith. Learn how to make your house a home that is a hub of faith in this chapter.
Chapter Eleven – Service That Sticks: Putting Family Faith to Work
The best way to develop sticky faith is to put it into action through service at church and around the community. And move your family’s service beyond a one-time event into more of a before/during/after process of framing, experiencing, and debriefing. Tackle the tough reality of what to do if your child absolutely does not want to serve. And get loaded up with lots of creative ways to serve together as a family.
Chapter Twelve – Sticky Transitions: Helping Kids Leave Home with a Faith of Their Own
If you have a child transitioning out of high school into college, this is the chapter for you. Learn how to best prepare your emerging young adult for day-to-day living outside of the home. There is a connection between your child’s preparation and their thriving faith as they go and face the world of college and adult-living. Get ready and get set for them to GO!
Chapter Thirteen – Taking the Next Sticky Faith Steps with Your Family
Refer back to this final chapter over-and-over again for the “now what?” steps. You completed a resource filled with lots of practical tips, tricks, and ideas but the key is now intentionally put the knowledge into action. Celebrate your sticky faith efforts up to this point and plan for what lies ahead. Take the final steps to success in implementing sticky faith for your family.
NOTE: “SNAPSHOT” is an attempt to give you a quick, but informative, look at a book that may be a good resource for you. We don’t endorse everything written in any of the books covered in “SNAPSHOT” but strive to pick books we believe will help parents win!
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