I hate spider webs!

Web Team Langley Church

I’ve been thinking about how important community is in helping kids develop lasting faith which of course got me thinking about spiders.

I hate spiders. I especially hate the feeling when I first walk through a spider web and then I really hate the panic of wondering if the spider is somewhere on my arm, in my hair, or on my back….

But the cool thing about spiders is their amazing webs — the different connecting points that make up the beauty and the strength of their webs.

The beauty of a strong web

Community could be thought of as a beautiful and strong web. There is beauty and strength in a community where the many connections between Jesus’ followers creates a web of support for people to grow a deep and lasting faith.

It is in this kind of community that kids can develop a rich and sustainable faith and discover who they are.

Building social capital

Kara Powell, the author of Sticky Faith, calls this building “social capital” into your child’s life. When you create a network or web of caring believers who will pray for, mentor, and be present in your child’s life, it nourishes and strengthens their faith.

SRF Community groups are web goodness

I see this beautiful web beginning to form in the Community Group I am a part of. When we meet together, we meet as families. First we have a meal together, then we do a family activity, and finally the kids play and the adults have a discussion/prayer time. The many connecting points between the kids and kids , kids and adults, adults and adults is becoming obvious when we see each other on Sunday morning and other times. This rich community that is forming brings a strong support system to our family as we try our best to lead our family to follow Jesus.

Let’s get practical!

Here’s some practical ideas of ways you can be intentional to create a web of community and support around you and your family. I bet you are already doing some of them!

  1. Bring your family to church. Maybe this is obvious but don’t underestimate the importance of this. At church your kids have the opportunity to connect with other kids and other families who are following Jesus. Church is an opportunity to add a web of voices that agree with what you are already teaching and modeling at home.
  2. Get connected to a Community Group. Whether through a family group like mine, an all adult group or your child’s own small group at church or youth, your children see and/or experience the value of community and the support and encouragement that comes from being part of that.
  3. Celebrations. Capitalize on major events in your child’s life. One family I know of takes the opportunity of 13th birthdays to bring together close family and friends to have them express their hopes for their new teenager’s journey with God. Another idea is to ask 3 adults to meet with your child over the next year after a significant birthday to share their God story and the wisdom they have learned in their life.

Being intentional to bring your family into meaningful community can be a valuable way to help your kids build a strong and lasting faith.

About the author

Elizabeth is the director of children’s programs at SouthRidge. If Elizabeth has an obsession, it’s this: to see children fall in love with Jesus, just as she has, and experience the joy and strength that He offers in every stage of life. As if dealing with hundreds of children and volunteers each week isn’t adventure enough, her latest ambition is to learn to kite surf.