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2191 Mars Hill Rd
Watkinsville, GA, 30677
United States

706-769-8315

Faith Presbyterian Church PCA. A community church located just outside of Athens, Georgia in Watkinsville, Oconee County. Serving our community, loving our neighbors and making disciples. 

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This Week in Faith 8-22-19

Steven Brooks

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Pray For Me- Join the Pray For Me Campaign at Faith this year! The challenge to our church is to have every adult praying, and every student K-12 prayed for, for a whole school year. We are excited about this opportunity and the impact it can have on our church. For more info, and a chance to participate, click here!

Fall Sunday School Classes- This Sunday begins our new fall Sunday school curriculum. Drop-off and pick-up for all ages will be in their classrooms.

Student Ministry End-of-Summer Retreat- August 30-September 1, for all middle and high school students. This will be a great weekend. I hope your students will come, and bring a friend with them. For more info, and to register, click here

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How to Navigate Youth Sports As Christ-Followers

“The more our kids see sports as opportunity, the less likely they will be to make it their identity (the same goes for us as parents).”

This is a difficult issue and one that Kelly and I are trying to figure out as best we can as we go. Now that Emily is in high school and, as a 7th grader, Micah can play middle school sports, the challenge is growing and we are wanting to navigate it well. Sports can be a helpful thing for the growth and maturity of our kids, as well as an opportunity to build relationships and share their faith. but sports can also become an ultimate thing, an idol, that sucks the life out of a family and lures them away from connections to church and faith. This article does a good job of laying out some of the opportunities, some of the dangers, and giving some good questions at the end to honestly ask and answer as a family.

Click here to read the article by Mike McKee.

3 Lessons I learned Form My Husband About Fatherhood

This is a beautiful picture of the value and joy of fatherhood. As a foster parent, a mentor in our public schools for the last 9 years, and a student pastor for the last 20 years, I have seen the pain and brokenness that can result from fatherlessness. But God has also given me hope. Hope in the lives of fathers whose mistakes have been redeemed. Hope in seeing students who grew up without a father [or at least a good one] become great parents. A hope that God is growing in me for the future- for the future of absent, aloof, and abusive dads- who God can still rescue and begin to write a different story in their lives. And even for the hope that, having experienced the faithful love of a heavenly Father, kids can break the cycle of fatherlessness they’ve been a part of. 

If you are a dad, half the battle is just showing up day after day. Ask God for the ability to be faithful. And once you are there, God is using you to shape the hearts of your kids and lead them to Jesus. No matter your past, I hope you have encouragement and vision for what God longs to do through you as a parent.

Click here to read the article by Erika Andersen.


The Three Most Important Lessons Christians Can Learn In College

As parents, the list can feel a mile long for the things we want to make sure we have talked about with our kids, and we hope our kids have grasped, before we send them out on their own. This is a helpful list of three things and why they’re important. But I also think its never too early to start talking about these things with your kids and cultivating an environment in your home where these things are valued and talked about.

Click here to read the article by Will McGee.

VIDEO: This Single Dad Has Fostered Over 50 Young Men

I thought this was an encouraging story about the power of investing in the next generation, no matter how old you are or the background you have.

Click here to watch the video from the Huffington Post.

This Week in Faith- 8-15-19

Steven Brooks

Pray For Me- On Sunday, we introduced the Pray For Me Campaign that we’ve created for this year. The challenge to our church is to have every adult praying, and every student K-12 prayed for, for a whole school year. We cited about this opportunity and the impact it can have on our church. For more info, and a chance to participate, click here!

Fall Sunday School Classes- This Sunday begins our fall Sunday school schedule. Drop-off and pick-up for all ages will be in their classrooms.

Student Ministry End-of-Summer Retreat- August 30-September 1, for all middle and high school students. This will be a great weekend. I hope your students will come, and bring a friend with them. For more info, and to register, click here

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Two Items I Wish We Could Send With Every New College Student

Thank you to those who were in the sanctuary this past Sunday during Sunday school as we celebrated the new 5th graders. It is a big milestone for those kids and it’s important that our church acknowledges this and helps them to see it. There are other milestones that we want to celebrate as kids get older also. Graduating and heading off to what’s next- college, work, military- is a big step. I like the ideas that she gives in this article for tangible things we can give kids heading off to college to remind them there are people that love them and a God that loves them even more. It’s why we give our high school seniors a Bible with notes from our student ministry leaders and highlighted verses inside it. The point is less what those tangible things are and more the fact that they have them and they have enough people who have impacted their lives to make those gifts significant. It’s why we are doing the Pray For Me campaign. This is an opportunity to introduce more adults into the lives of young people in our church so both now and when they leave us, they will know that there are adults that love them, have encouraged them in the faith, and they will thank God for it.

Click here to read the article by Kara Powell.

Don’t Squander the Little Years

This year, I am feeling the stretch of having kids in different stages. We have one in high school, one in middle school, one in elementary school, and one in preschool. But it is also helpful to remind me that, while each stage has its challenges, each stage also has its joys. I have been guilty at times of what he talks about in this article- longing for my kids to get to the next stage of life at the expense of enjoying the current one. In this article, he focuses on what God has for us as we parent kids in their early years [3 and under]. There are some really good reminders for us in here to encourage us when we are feeling physically exhausted from parenting our young ones. And his first paragraph is a great description of kids at that age :)

Click here to read the article by Dane Ortlund.

When Someone You Admire Abandons the Faith

There have a been a number of “de-conversions” in the news recently. Like the article points out- these are not the first and they will not be the last. Whether it is well known Christians who walk away from the faith or people close to you- in your family, from our church, people who have helped you grow spiritually- we experience a range of emotions. It can be hard for us and our kids to understand why this would happen. It’s important we talk about this with each other and our kids. This article gives us some good places to start the conversation and some needed encouragement to remind us that God is always at work, even in these sad stories.

Click here to read the article by Russell Moore.

Two Things We Can’t Overlook About Spider-Man: Far From Home

I know this movie has been out for awhile but technically it’s still showing at the Epps Bridge theater so its “current” :) This was a great movie. I saw it a couple times when it came out. Like the article talks about, it paints a vivid picture of the pressure I think a lot of our students regularly feel. And we are having these conversations right now as a student ministry leadership team as well. What is the healthy balance between having expectations but not having unreasonable expectations for their age? I desperately want our students, including my own kids, to take ownership of their faith and experience all the things that come with following Jesus. But I don’t want to overwhelm them with my expectations because I’m not patient enough to wait on what God is doing in them over time. If you are looking for an opportunity to talk about this with your kids and try to understand what pressures are weighing them down the most these days, maybe Spider-Man: Far From Home is a good place to start.

Click here to read the article by Tony Myles.

VIDEO: This Single Dad Has Fostered Over 50 Young Men

This short video shows the beauty and power of building relationships with the next generation, no matter how old you are or what stage of life you’re in.

Click here to watch the video from the Huffington Post.

This Week in Faith 6-14-19

Steven Brooks

  • VBS is next week! Thank you to all of those who have helped us get ready and/or are volunteering next week. This week is one of the ways we try to be a blessing to our community and we could not do it without you. We have 180 kids signed up so be in prayer for all that goes on here, that the week would go smoothly, friendships would be built, and people would leave knowing the good news about Jesus.

  • 14 of us spent last week visiting our friends in Merida, Mexico and serving alongside them in their city. If you missed the updates and pictures, click here to see and hear about the week.

  • This Sunday, we will continue our Sunday school class on the parables of Jesus for kindergarteners through adults. We are studying the parable of the Unforgiving Servant from Matthew 18. Our adults and kids have so much to earn from each other as we look at the words of Jesus. I hope you will join us. And even if you go to the adult Sunday school class, we are all studying the same parable each week with he hope that it will spark meaningful conversations about Jesus at lunch and throughout the week.

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How to Pray When Preparing For Family Vacation

I know I don’t pray enough about our vacations. Between the busyness of getting ready to go, the guilt over things I am leaving undone, and the misplaced confidence that vacation is one of the things I can control, I don’t often prepare myself, or my family, well enough for vacation. The encouragement of this article to pray for physical and spiritual rest, reconciling relationships [‘The God-honoring family is not the conflict-free family but the forgiving and reconciled family’ was a helpful sentence for me], and more are the things we need most out of our vacations. So why not trust God to provide them!

Click here to read the article by Andreas and Margaret Köstenberger.

How to Model Forgiveness With Your Own Children- Thoughts From a Mom in the Trenches

Modeling and encouraging forgiveness between our kids can be a challenge, and more so when we also long to see genuine heart change through the process. But in the heat of conflict, it can be difficult to help our kids walk down the road to forgiveness and reconciliation. And it can be hard for us to offer forgiveness when its for the same thing we have dealt with a hundred times before. There are some good, practical things here that we can do, along with why they are helpful and how they can help us point our kids towards Jesus…and maybe walk closer to him ourselves.

Click here to read the article by Allison Mitchell.

5 Key Truths About Friendship By C.S. Lewis

I recently saw the movie Tolkien, about the early life of JRR Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. One of the things that struck me as I watched it was the close friendships he had with a few other guys in high school and college that changed the course of his life, and led him to be able to write about friendship so effectively. Our kids get lots of opinions on what friendship is- from other kids, TV, movies, and the public life of others. Because so many of these opinions conflict with each other, what a friend is and how to be a good one are confusing subjects for many students. This article, looking at a portion of a book from one of Tolkien’s good friends later in his life, CS Lewis, helps us understand the importance of friendship for ourselves as adults, and how to help our kids cultivate good friendships in their own lives.

Click here to read the article by Jared Kennedy.

VIDEO: When ‘I Don’t Know’ is a Good Answer and When It’s Not

This is a helpful distinction about how to use the words ‘I don’t know’ in conversations about faith. As we talk about our faith, we can be in danger of speaking too much or not enough. It is not helpful for us to engage in deep conversations about topics of which we know nothing about but feel like we should keep talking so we sound like we know something. It’s ok for us to say ‘I don’t know’ if we really don’t know. But like she talks about in the video, we are failing to love our neighbor if we don’t go from that conversation to learn as much as we can about that topic and the implications the gospel has for understanding that topic SO THAT we can come back to our friend and continue the conversation in a way that is fruitful for our friendship and for their understanding of faith. Rebecca McLaughlin, who does this video, has recently released a great book, Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion, which I am reading right now. It is a great resource to prepare you to answer some of those toughest questions that your kids, friends, or co-workers might be asking.

Click here to watch the video with Rebecca McLaughlin.

This Week in Faith 5-24-19

Steven Brooks

I’m sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here but I should be back to a weekly post beginning today. It’s been great to celebrate with our graduating seniors as they finish up this season of their lives and reach a huge milestone. It’s a big accomplishment. We’re really proud of them!

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The Link Between Fun and Faith In Our Homes

“One of the more surprising and encouraging findings from this study is that any sort of interaction—including just having fun—is correlated to faith formation. In other words, forming deeper bonds with our household members helps us grow our faith! The importance of fostering intimacy, sharing rituals and having fun with household members, as well as friends and other non-family guests who become a part of one’s extended household, cannot be overstated.”

This is a great summary of the research talked about in this article. The whole article is interesting but the bottom line is important for us to remember- the relationship building that comes from shared experiences and spending time having fun together translates to more regular opportunities for spiritual conversation and formation. There are so many things that battle for our time. We often have to make tough decisions between good options for our schedule. Don’t just assume that having fun together is the first thing that should go. As we enjoy being a family together, we help each other enjoy God more as well.

Click here to read the article from the Barna Research Group.

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The rest of the content this week centers around using our everyday day encounters with TV, movies, books and music to springboard our family conversations towards Jesus. Our culture is consistently telling stories. Can your kids see how those stories connect back to the biggest story of Jesus? A family movie night, watching a season on Netflix together, or even discussing the biggest news stories of the week, can give your family a common starting point to talk about our world and how we can understand it through the lens of the gospel. I hope these articles will help you see the value of these moments and equip you to take advantage of them.

What You Watch on Saturday Night Is Unavoidably Linked to What You Hear on Sunday Morning

Click here to read the article by Daniel Strange.

Chip Away At Your Children’s Spiritual Growth

Click here to read the article by Jen Oshman.

Pop Culture and Parenting: 3 Tips For Shaping Your Child’s Worldview

Click here to read the article by Nathaniel Williams.

PODCAST: Faith and Culture

Click here to listen to The Good Book Podcast interview with Daniel Strange.

This Week in Faith 4-19-19

Steven Brooks

Don’t forget about our Easter celebration this Sunday! We have services at 8:30 and 11:00. We also have an Easter brunch at 9:30 with an egg hunt for kids 5th grade and under at 9:45. We hope you will join us as we celebrate the good news that Jesus gave his life for us on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins and he is alive again so we can have new life in him!

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What God Wants You to Pray For Your Kids

“Yet, my children’s greatest need is not temporary happiness, but increasing holiness. Holiness and happiness are not in opposition to one another, but are integrally linked.” Prayer is the most powerful and effective tool we have for effective parenting. We have much less control over our kids’ hearts and lives than we hope for. But, we have access to a God who loves our kids more than we do and is in control of their hearts and lives. So if we aren’t praying for our kids, we are forfeiting one of the greatest gifts God has given us in our calling as parents. But what should we pray about? My tendency can be to pray for the immediate, tangible needs I see. But above all, we need to pray that they know and love Jesus. This is what will lead to their ultimate happiness. There are some good, practical things to pray for our kids about. And her book, 5 Things to Pray For Your Kids, is for sale in the church resource center. It is a small book than can be a big help in our prayers for our kids. 

Click here to read the article by Melissa Kruger.

How To Talk To Your Kids About ‘Shazam!’

Micah and I saw this movie last week and really enjoyed it. If you see it with your kids, this article has some great ideas of talking points from themes in the movie that can help steer your conversations toward Jesus.

Click here to read the article by Joe Carter.

Stop Asking Kids What They Want to Be When They Grow Up

“Instead, invite them to think about what kind of person they want to be — and about all the different things they might want to do.” What a great conclusion to this article. We tell our kids that fulfillment won’t ultimately come from their work. We tell them what we hope for them most in their life is to know and follow Jesus. But we can also unintentionally communicate something very different through the questions we ask, the pressures we put on them to succeed, and the unrealistic picture we paint of how the world works. There is some good insight in this article for how we can emphasize the right priorities to our kids as they grow up and laying a foundation of realistic expectations for the future. 

Click here to read the article by Adam Grant.

LISTEN: Dave Thomas on Adolescent Anxiety

This interview was really helpful for me. He touches on so many of the conversations and questions that we have been going through with our kids. I needed the encouragement as well as the help. It’s a 20 minute interview on helping your kids gain the confidence they need to face challenges on their own, recognizing the different personalities and needs each of our kids have, and in general, encouragement for weary parents. It’s definitely worth a listen.

Click here to listen to the interview form the Rooted Ministry podcast.