Issues

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  • Football home

    The girls ‘brought football home’. What lessons are there for the church?

    2022-08-01T09:59:00+01:00By

    Jenni Whymark is thrilled to see England Women’s football thriving and asks whether we can learn a thing or two in the church

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    Jesus calls us to forgive from the heart. Here’s how this played out in a school playground

    2022-07-21T15:29:00+01:00By

    What works for you when you are angry with someone?

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    The summer holidays can be great times to bond with your children and develop their faith. Here’s how…

    2022-07-21T12:31:00+01:00By

    Do you secretly dread it when your children break up for summer? 

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    Could you be God’s answer to the ‘cost on childhood crisis’?

    2022-07-18T08:55:00+01:00By Transforming Lives for Good (TLG)

    Could your church supoort this nationwide work? 

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    How to give 'the sex talk' as a parent

    2022-07-07T10:21:00+01:00By

    Make sure God’s beautiful gift to us is understood well

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    Ten tips for taking a trip

    2022-06-30T12:02:00+01:00By Mark Arnold is additional needs ministry director at Urban Saints and co-founder of the Additional Needs Alliance. He is a Churches for All and Living Fully Network partner and member of the Council for Disabled Children. He is father to James, who has autism.

    Longer, sunnier, days are here! The opportunity to take our children’s or youth group out for the day or just for a couple of hours on a club night has arrived! Perhaps to the beach or the countryside, maybe to a park or to a children’s farm, there are lots of places that we can take our children and young people to, including those with additional needs.

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    How I survived as a Christian at university

    2022-06-28T15:03:00+01:00By , who is a Falmouth University graduate and Production Assistant at Premier Radio

    What would you say to someone about to head for uni? 

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    Laughter is one of God’s gifts to us, so let’s share it with our kids

    2022-06-22T08:08:00+01:00By , a former youth worker who is involved with her husband at Freedom Church in Worcester. They are parents to four children

    What do your children find funny? 

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    When your children don’t get on with someone in your church

    2022-04-27T11:30:00+01:00By

    Wouldn’t it be great if anyone at church just ‘got on’! But we all know it’s not that simple

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    What to do when church clashes with something your child wants to do

    2022-04-27T11:26:00+01:00By

    Your child is excited about an option, but darn it, it’s on at the same time as church! 

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    ‘What I Have Learned About Helping Teens Open Up From My Mentoring Ministry.’

    2022-04-27T11:22:00+01:00By

    You know you want to improve your conversations with your teenage son or daughter, but don’t know how

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    My children seem to be mixing heavily with their peers who are not Christians – how do I make sure they maintain Christian values when I do?

    2022-04-27T09:02:00+01:00By

    Have you ever had a sinking feeling when you see who your children are hanging out with? 

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    James 1:22 Obey God’s message! Don’t fool yourselves by just listening to it.

    2022-04-27T08:58:00+01:00By

    Is there anything more important that you will read or hear today, than God’s Word?

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    How do we help our teens acknowledge their faith when Christianity is seen as uncool?

    2022-04-27T08:49:00+01:00By

    Are we realistically expecting our teens to stand out as Christians in the classroom? 

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    Help! My baby won’t sleep! What should I do?

    2022-04-27T08:36:00+01:00By

    Sleep deprived and feeling just slightly desparate?!

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    Benefits of adventure as a family

    2022-04-27T08:04:00+01:00By

    Your children may be addicted to digital screens, but Dawn Savidge believes it’s time they started to live a little!

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    How can I grandparent as my children want?

    2022-04-11T14:47:00+01:00By

    It’s a joy having grandparents on hand to help out. But what happens when parenting styles clash with yours? 

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    Taming gaming: De-weaponising the Video Game Debate

    2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00By

    Video games are often a cause of worry for parents and carers. How much gaming time is too much gaming time? Andy Robertson will put your mind at rest, or at least will try… 

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    Is addiction to gaming a mental health condition?

    2021-02-03T00:00:00+00:00By

    Addiction to gaming is now recognised as a mental health condition. What does that mean for parents and youth and children’s workers?

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    Talking about sex to your children

    2020-12-09T00:00:00+00:00

    Can you remember how you learnt about sex? Was it a VHS describing what happens using euphemistic fruit images? Was it whispers in the playground? Was it graphic content seen online?

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    Your children need you to play video games

    2020-11-17T00:00:00+00:00By

    Headlines about the dangers of video games may not be so prevalent, but most parents are nervous about the content of games and the time spent on them. Youth and Children’s Work Game Boy columnist, Andy Robertson, suggests the answer may be to play video games yourself. Yes really.

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    Talking about the tough stuff

    2020-07-13T00:00:00+01:00By

    There’s been a lot of difficult subjects to tackle with our children and young people in recent months. Annie Wilmot, a funeral pastor, author and mum-of-two, revealed how we can talk to our children about the tough stuff.

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    Parenting as a Church Leader

    2020-05-01T00:00:00+01:00By

    Parenting for Faith’s Rachel Turner, author of a new book from BRF entitled Parenting as a Church Leader, shares some encouragement.   

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    Keeping the kids entertained: a list of top Christian media

    2020-03-24T00:00:00+00:00By

    Keeping children and young people entertained with tech may feel like a cop out – but now we’re in isolation, it’s only natural that we will be relying on our TVs, smartphones and gaming consoles for entertainment.

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    Wash your hand(held devices) - top tips for cleaning tech

    2020-03-23T00:00:00+00:00By

    Children and young people know the importance of washing their hands – I know we’ve been singing Happy Birthday a lot in our house, at least – but did you know that we could be spreading germs with our technology?  

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    Why John Mark Comer banned his children from having smart phones

    2020-02-07T00:00:00+00:00

    New research by Childwise found that more than half of children say they sleep with their mobile phone beside their bed, with most young people now having their own phone by the age of seven. The annual report into children’s use of media also found that seven to 16-year-olds spend an average of three hours and 20 minutes per day on their mobiles.

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    Philia: A love found in friendships

    2020-01-23T00:00:00+00:00By

    The friend you’re made to be

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    I don’t know. And it’s OK.

    2019-12-11T00:00:00+00:00By

    Annie Willmot shares some advice and encouragement for anyone who feels like they’re blagging their way through parenting 

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    @JesusChrist

    2019-12-10T00:00:00+00:00

    Being a godly influencer

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    How can I keep myself mentally healthy?

    2019-12-10T00:00:00+00:00By

    As a new year and a new term begins, there can be pressure to start all guns blazing, with fresh energy and enthusiasm. Yet for many of us, a busy Christmas period can mean starting the new year exhausted rather than exhilarated.  

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    The 12 days of Brex-mas

    2019-11-19T00:00:00+00:00

    December… The month of the most important birth in history is finally here. That’s right, the birth of a brand new government. Merry Brex-mas!

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    Discipling children with additional needs

    2019-09-19T00:00:00+01:00By

    Kay Morgan-Gurr explores spiritual development in young people with additional needs

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    Editor’s choice: The whole Bible in an hour

    2019-07-18T00:00:00+01:00

    Ruth Jackson reflecting on the Soul Survivor talks and seminars that really impacted her and the one that stood out most.

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    I confused middle-class culture for Christianity

    2019-06-24T00:00:00+01:00

    Natalie Williams on growing up poor - and finding the church. 

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    We need to talk about porn

    2019-05-23T00:00:00+01:00

    Pornography is often the first place children and young people learn about sex, so how do we break this damaging cycle?

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    Gardner’s World - Marooned on Love Island?

    2019-05-23T00:00:00+01:00By

    How do you know that what you want is what you want and not what others want you to want? Confused? You should be. Desire is super confusing for everyone, and especially for young people.

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    How to help parents of small children survive church

    2019-05-01T00:00:00+01:00

    The paradox of being up since 5am but still arriving late to church can baffle parents and those who are supporting them. Here’s how to help kids of small children feel genuinely supported in church. 

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    The first 1,001 days

    2019-04-29T00:00:00+01:00

    There is a growing body of research to support the importance of a child’s development from conception to the age of 2 (the first 1,001 days). But what does this mean for those running groups for these young children?

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    YouTube 101

    2019-04-29T00:00:00+01:00

    The world of YouTube is vast and may feel overwhelming. Around 5 billion videos are watched each day and more than 400 hours of content is uploaded to the site every minute. Our children and young people are immersed in the world of online video, but how much do we understand about this site, its videos and the people creating them? And what impact does this have on those we work alongside?

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    County lines

    2019-03-19T00:00:00+00:00

    You may not have even heard of county lines, or if you have you may be inclined to think it isn’t relevant to your context. But as this London social worker (who wishes to remain anonymous) explains, no child or young person is exempt, and our youth and children’s groups may be vulnerable to this horrific exploitation.

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    Maintaining sexual intimacy after having children

    2019-02-20T00:00:00+00:00By Emma Waring is a sex therapist and author of Seasons of Sex and Intimacy: For a Husband and Wife in Marriage.

    Talking about sex is something we often shy away from, but sex therapist Emma Waring has dedicated her life to the topic. She spoke to deputy editor Emily Howarth about how couples can maintain sexual intimacy after having children

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    Finding my voice: the experiences of a child with quadriplegic cerebral palsy

    2019-01-21T00:00:00+00:00

    12-year-old Jonathan Bryan was labelled with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD). The only part of his body he has full control over is his eyes, which he uses to communicate. He shares his experience of education, faith and the need for us to create spaces for all children and young people to actively contribute

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    Weekenders

    2018-12-14T00:00:00+00:00

    We know the many benefits of taking young people away, but how do we achieve the best results? We spoke to youth and children’s workers to hear their thoughts…

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    Nobody puts baby in the corner

    2018-11-23T00:00:00+00:00By Margaret Pritchard Houston is the children’s and youth worker at St George’s Church in London. Her book, There is a season: celebrating the church year with children is published by SPCK

    Margaret Pritchard Houston challenges us to make the most of our crèche spaces

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    Bun in the oven, Bible in hand

    2018-11-22T00:00:00+00:00By

    The nine months before giving birth can be a great time of preparation. Children’s worker and mum of two Annie Willmot shares her thoughts…

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    My son’s school struggles reminded me how much God loves him

    2018-10-03T00:00:00+01:00By

    Claire Musters shares how a difficult situation with her son’s schooling has reminded her that God cares deeply for our children

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    Mentoring: Love your ‘frenemies’

    2018-09-19T00:00:00+01:00By Joel Toombs has an MA in Christian mentoring and wrote the Grove booklet Mentoring and young people. He is a mentor in the music industry and a youth worker.

    I had a great experience of peer mentoring the other day (that’s really just a posh term for two friends chatting and encouraging each other!).

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    Anxiety: head space

    2018-09-17T00:00:00+01:00

    With anxiety in children on the rise, psychologist Dr Kate Middleton explores some of the ways we can support those we work alongside

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    Why it’s OK to entertain your kids with screens

    2018-07-20T00:00:00+01:00By

    As the summer holidays begin, former Blue Peter presenter and mum of two Helen Skelton talks about why it’s so important to take a break and how electronic devices can help. 

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    Happy days: Parenting your teenage children

    2018-05-24T00:00:00+01:00By

    In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus turns to his followers and says: “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). The first picture Jesus uses to illustrate this is “a city on a hill” which has come to represent the Church. As we gather together as this community of ‘called-out ones’, which is what Church literally means, we are to be this light. The second picture is a “lamp on a stand”, whose job is to “give light to everyone in the house”.

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    I’m so tired

    2018-03-20T00:00:00+00:00

    “I’m feeling so awake today!” said no teenager ever. We all know the signs of tiredness: bags under the eyes, pallid skin, frequent headaches, dry lips, sugar cravings. And that’s just when we look at ourselves in the mirror!

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    Tightropes & safety nets

    2017-12-13T00:00:00+00:00By Rachel Turner is an author and pioneer for The Bible Reading Fellowship’s Parenting for Faithprogramme, equipping carers of all kinds to raise God-connected children and teens, including through the free Parenting for Faith video course.

    Parenting can feel like something of a high-wire act, especially when it comes to discipline. Rachel Turner explores the balance between punishment, teaching our children consequences and giving them room to make mistakes

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    Culture: Hope

    2017-10-20T00:00:00+01:00By Jamie Cutteridge is the director of With, a new Christian community and retreat centre dedicated to praying for and with young people bewith.community

    Taylor Swift is returning! The new Marvel movie is, in fact, all about Jesus and young people. What’s Kanye been up to recently? Oh! The Star wars trailer, we should talk about that… The apprentice is still bad… So much culture to talk about, so little to say. 

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    Fandom

    2017-09-22T00:00:00+01:00By Jamie Cutteridge is the director of With, a new Christian community and retreat centre dedicated to praying for and with young people bewith.community

    “I fell in love with football as I was later to fall in love with women: suddenly, inexplicably, uncritically, giving no thought to the pain or disruption it would bring with it.”

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    Love Island and bad sex education

    2017-08-24T00:00:00+01:00By Jamie Cutteridge is the director of With, a new Christian community and retreat centre dedicated to praying for and with young people bewith.community

    As another school year starts, inevitably, at some point over the next 12 months, we’ll hear both sides of the ongoing debate about sex ed at schools. Does giving children and young people comprehensive sexual information open their eyes to a whole new world of ‘debauched’ activity, or is it vital equipping to navigate a world of sexting and online porn, as well as providing key skills surrounding consent and sexual health? There’s something else to consider though, because, as this summer has proved, the children and young people we work with are getting sex education, they’re being shaped and influenced by the media and advertisers, norms are being established… dangerous, exploitative norms.

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    Relationship-rooted discipleship

    2017-05-24T00:00:00+01:00By James Vaughton is director of Bath and Wiltshire Youth for Christ. You can read more about his research at bathyfc.co.uk/publications.

    In youth and children’s ministry we’re constantly on the lookout for a silver bullet - one programme or approach that will solve our discipleship crisis. But Bath and Wiltshire YFC’s James Vaughton thinks it might be simpler than that…

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    Netflix's 13 reasons why

    2017-05-23T00:00:00+01:00By

    Imagine being able to tell everyone in your life exactly what you think of them, exactly how they’ve hurt you, without any consequences. The only catch is that you’re dead. This is the premise of 13 reasons why, Netflix’s latest binge-worthy show: a 13-episode suicide note to a teenage girl’s friends and classmates, outlining their role in her decision to end her life. Originally hyped as a smart, important look at mental health and the social issues affecting teenagers, upon release the show attracted criticism for its ‘triggering’ impact, its overly realistic depiction of sexual assault and suicide, and negative portrayals of counselling or other forms of support. So what do we do with it? Ignore it? Watch it with our young people? Something between?

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    Protests

    2017-03-20T00:00:00+00:00By Jamie Cutteridge is the director of With, a new Christian community and retreat centre dedicated to praying for and with young people bewith.community

    In an age of political angst, Jamie Cutteridge explores how we can channel the Trump-based concerns of our children and young people

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    The Axis of Good and Evil - Video games

    2017-01-23T00:00:00+00:00

    This month, we look at video games. So, those in the top right will be worth a play, those bottom left, less so.

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    Instagram star quits social media

    2017-01-19T00:00:00+00:00

    Have you ever fallen down a social media black hole? You know, one of those missing afternoons where you start off looking at an interesting video on YouTube and find yourself, three hours later, staring blankly at a meme of Donald Trump with absolutely no idea how you got there. What did we ever do when waiting for a bus or during a dreadfully boring sermon before we had Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to check in on?

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    Pokémon Go

    2017-01-19T00:00:00+00:00By

    Here are some genuine news stories you may have missed:

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    Black Mirror

    2017-01-19T00:00:00+00:00By

    How far would you go to stop people knowing your darkest secrets? What if virtual reality played on your deepest fears? Could you imagine a world where we’re rated the whole time? How would people react if they knew what you really thought? Who wants to live forever? What if your very worse moments got shared with the rest of the world? Black Mirror is back to answer all these questions, and more…

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    Avengers

    2017-01-19T00:00:00+00:00By

    You can barely walk down the street without tripping over a super hero these days. We all know the feeling of getting home and finding Spider-Man on the bottom of our shoe or one of the Fantastic Four in our bag – they’re everywhere.