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Equipping Parents

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One of our primary passions at Church Acadiana is reaching the next generation.  That’s why we do things a little differently.  We are a family-integrated church.  What is a family-integrated church?  We equip parents for home discipleship, and then enable them to do church with their kids as a shared experience.  (See the article,  “Why Family-Integrated Church?”)

  • We believe that parents are the key to reaching the next generation.
  • That parents are called to disciple their kids in the home.
  • That parents are strategically positioned to make the biggest spiritual impact on their kids.
  • That kids are more effectively discipled when they are with their parents rather than separated from them.

Therefore, instead of the church discipling kids FOR parents, the church EQUIPS parents to disciple their kids at home.  Instead of separating kids from their parents, we keep families together at church so that parents can make an even bigger impact on their kids.

What this means is that we do not have a traditional “youth group” or “children’s ministry.”  Instead, kids and youth are invited to get involved in everything we do.  They sit next to their parents in Sunday church.  They participate with their parents in Home Group.  They serve alongside their parents on ministry teams.  They tithe.  They invite their friends to church.

We do not have a “youth ministry” or a “children’s ministry” because we ARE a youth ministry and a children’s ministry.  Kids are not the church of tomorrow; they are the church of today.  We encourage kids to not wait until adulthood to serve God, and we empower them to play a vital role in what God is doing at Church Acadiana right now.

On this page you will find several helpful articles by Pastor Andy about family-integrated church in particular, and Biblical parenting in general.  As well, you will notice some recommended books and other resources that will encourage and equip you to disciple your kids.

Recommended Books for Parents:

  • Home Discipleship Catechism, by Andy Manning.  The Home Discipleship Catechism is a resource written by Pastor Andy Manning to equip parents to disciple their kids in the home. It contains a catechism of 51 questions and answers, and then 51 chapters explaining each question in greater detail. Each chapter has Discussion Questions and references For Further Study.
  • Raising Kids of Christlike Character, by Andy Manning.  Teach your kids Christlike character.  Each chapter begins with a short Bible story, then an explanation of a Christian virtue, and concludes with discussion questions.  Great for use in family devotions.  
  • Shepherding A Child’s Heart, by Tedd Tripp.  One of the best books about parenting in existence.
  • Family-Driven Faith, by Voddie Baucham Jr.  A helpful book about parenting, with two chapters about family-integrated church.
  • Family Shepherds, by Voddie Baucham Jr.  This book was written to equip fathers in particular to disciple their kids.
  • A Weed In The Church, by Scott T. Brown.  All about family-integrated church.
  • Simple Life, by Thom S. Rainer.  A book that will give you permission to de-clutter your life so that you have more time with family.
  • I Kissed Dating Goodbye, by Joshua Harris.  Use this book to prepare your kids for dating and marriage.
  • Indoctrination:  Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America, by Colin Gunn.  The purpose of this book is to help Christian parents to make an informed decision about how to educate their children.

Resources for Bible Time:

For Bible Time With Little Ones
  • The Beginner’s Bible.  Covers the major stories of the Bible.  Recommended age:  2-5.
  • The Jesus Storybook Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones.  Invites children to join in the greatest of all adventures, to discover for themselves that Jesus is at the center of God’s great story of salvation.
For Bible Time With Big Kids
  • Home Discipleship Catechism, by Andy Manning.
  • Raising Kids of Christlike Character: A Manual for Christian Character Formation, by Andy Manning.
  • Leading Little Ones To God, by Marian Schoolland.  This book is a great tool to use in home discipleship.  Every day’s reading teaches an important doctrine and illustrates it with a major Bible story.  Recommended age:  4-10.
  • Classic Bible Storybook, by Kenneth N. Taylor.  120 Bible stories present the truths of the Bible in language that is understandable to kids.  Each story has 3 or 4 comprehension questions to help children’s understanding of Biblical concepts.
  • The Action Bible.  With 215 fast-paced narratives in chronological order, The Action Bible makes it easier for readers to follow the Bible’s historical flow as the story builds up to the thrilling climax of Christ’s life.
  • Bible Project (YouTube).  The Bible Project has many videos to help you understand the Bible.  Consider watching one at a time with your kids, and then have a discussion.
For Bible Time With Teens
  • The Home Discipleship Catechism, by Andy Manning.
  • The Case for Christ Student Edition, by Lee Strobel.  Equip the young people you know with sharp critical-thinking skills and an arsenal of convincing evidence that the Christian faith is not based on wishful thinking or legend, but on solid historical fact!  Recommended age:  Teens.
  • The Case for a Creator Student Edition, by Lee Strobel.  Equip your kids to defend the Bible’s teachings on creation and the origins of life.  Recommended age:  Teens.
  • The Case for Faith for Student Edition, by Lee Strobel.  Why does God permit evil? Why do some prayers go unanswered? Why has God allowed the church to engage in brutality and hypocrisy? Tough questions demand convincing answers. Join journalist Strobel in this Student Edition as he once again journeys across the country challenging philosophers, theologians, and ordinary believers to defend their faith. The evidence he uncovers may surprise you!  Recommended age:  Teens.
  • I Kissed Dating Goodbye:  A New Attitude Toward Romance and Relationships, by Joshua Harris.  Help your teens learn how to reorder their romantic lives and find more fulfillment than a date could ever give! Based on biblical principles of sincere love, true purity and purposeful singleness, this paperback provides an alternative to playing the dating game.  Recommended age:  Teens.
  • Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know, by Wayne Grudem.  God doesn’t call every Christian to go off to seminary, but there are certain matters of doctrine—that is, the church’s teaching—that every Christian simply must know.  This book boils down the essentials of Christian theology for the average person and makes them both clear and applicable to life.  Recommended age:  Teens.
  • Every Young Man’s Battle: Strategies for Victory in the Real World of Sexual Temptation, by Stephen Arterburn, Fred Stoeker, and Mike Yorkey.
  • Every Young Woman’s Battle: Guarding Your Mind, Heart, and Body in a Sex-Saturated World, by Shannon Ethridge, Stephen Arterburn.
  • Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, by R.C. Sproul.  Dr. Sproul offers a basic understanding of the Christian faith that is interesting, informative, and easy to read. Sproul provides brief explanations of more than 100 biblical concepts every Christian should know in language everyone can understand.  Recommended age:  Teens.
  • Bible Project (YouTube).  The Bible Project has many videos to help you understand the Bible.  Consider watching one at a time with your kids, and then have a discussion.
  • What Would You Say? (YouTube).  “What Would You Say?” is a collection of videos addressing apologetics.  It is created by Colson Center for Christian Worldview.
  • CSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students.  This study Bible contains over 130 brief articles addressing the top questions students are asking about God.  Consider reading through the articles with your kids followed by a discussion.
  • CSB Worldview Study Bible.  Contains over 150 articles by notable Christian scholars on important worldview questions.  Consider reading through the articles with your kids followed by a discussion.
  • Movies By Living Waters.  The ministry of Living Waters produces inspiring documentaries on apologetics.  Most of them are free to watch on YouTube.

Read:

(Articles about home discipleship and family-integrated church. Find much more at Pastor Andy’s blog, TheAndyManningBlog.)