Parenting - Teens

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The Power of an Apology Pt 2

Dear Parents,

This month we are talking about harnessing the Power of an Apology. If you missed the video from last session, you can go here to check it out:

In Jesus’ first public sermon recorded in Matthew 5 there is a hidden gem that might be easily missed.

It is nestled between two scandalous statements about murder and lawsuits. You might skim past it if you’re not looking for it.

In Matthew 5: 23-24 Jesus said that if you come to worship to leave an offering and are reminded of a conflict against a friend, go seek reconciliation with urgency. Then return to the altar and offer the gift of worship.

My question for you today is how could you live the truth of that Scripture today in your home?

Here are some thoughts to get you started answering that question:

Forgiveness Matters- Jesus prioritized forgiveness and reconciliation in this passage. It is essential to healthy relationships and families.

Don’t Wait- There is a sense of urgency in this passage. Jesus placed importance on pursuing reconciliation quickly.

Forgiveness Unleashes Worship- After reconciliation takes place there is an invitation to return to worship God in freedom.

Here are some quick questions to end with today:

  • Is there conflict in your home that you are concerned about right now?
  • Are you seeking reconciliation with urgency?
  • Are you prioritizing forgiveness in your relationships?
  • Would your teenager say that your home is a place of grace?
  • Let Jesus’ words inspire you today to experience peace in your home and pursue reconciliation in your family.

Feel free to share with me your thoughts about this online parenting class. I look forward to connecting with you next month.

Pastor Deknatel

The Power of an Apology

Dear Parents,

This month we are going to talk about harnessing the Power of an Apology.

Teenagers learn by watching their parent’s example more than anything else. There is no better way to teach your teenager important life skills than to model them each day.

One of the life skills that marks maturity the most is when your teenager learns to accept responsibility for what they have done.

Please take 3 minutes and 18 seconds and watch this video that gives a clear example of how you can help your teenager learn this important life skill.

Our student ministry has your back in this parenting adventure. If you need someone to talk to, pray with, or someone to just listen please let us know.


Pastor Deknatel



Dear Parents,

Today we are going to talk about shared experiences you have with your teenager. There is power in a shared experience. You share many experiences with your teenager. Some of them are great and some of them are not so great.

  • you share vacations together
  • you share holidays together
  • you share crisis and tragedy together
  • you share mission trips together

What would happen if you strategically planned a significant shared experience with your teenager each year designed to help pass down your faith to them?

Here’s a short video that can help you get started in that direction. Enjoy!

Your biggest fan,

Pastor Deknatel

The Power of Symbols Pt 2

Dear Parents,

In our last online parenting class we talked about the power of symbols.  I challenged you to consider how you could use symbols as a tool to help you pass down faith to your teenager.

The reason I believe this is an appropriate method is because God used it.

  • In Genesis 9:13-17 God used a rainbow as a symbol of His promise
  • In Genesis 28:18-22 Jacob established a monument to remind himself of God’s promise to bless his descendants
  • In Genesis 7:8-13 Aaron’s staff became a symbol to Pharaoh of God’s presence with the Israelites and His power 
  • In Exodus 12 the Passover feast is rich with symbolism none more important than the use of the Lamb to represent coming salvation

and it goes on and on….

  • the monument of 12 stones when the tribes of Israel crossed the Jordan river
  • the 10 commandments given on stone tablets
  • the ark of the covenant
  • the Temple

on an on…

It’s not just in the Old Testament either.  In the New Testament we see symbols:

  • the gifts of the Magi to Jesus in Luke 2
  • Jesus washing His disciples’ feet in John 13
  • the use of symbols in the many Parables that Jesus taught
  • the expensive perfume spilled on Jesus’ feet in Matthew 26

and on and on…

  • the breaking of bread representing the breaking of Jesus’ body
  • the wine that represented His blood
  • the cross which is perhaps the greatest symbol in all of Christendom

God used symbols in the Scripture.  Still to this day those symbols remind us of who God is and what He has promised.

As a parent who is passing down faith you have a great opportunity to offer symbols to your teenager as well.

The Power of a Symbol

Dear Parents,

I want to talk to you today about symbols.  A symbol is an object that has meaning attached to it, but it is also a great tool in the parent’s tool belt.

Here are some examples of important symbols you may have in your life that carry important meaning:

  • a wedding ring
  • refrigerator art from when your teenager was a child
  • a family heirloom that was passed down to you
  • a moment in time that was captured in a photograph
  • an item from your childhood home that takes you back in time when you look at it

Symbols are powerful.  Today I would like to suggest that you harness the power of symbols to help pass down faith to your teenager.

Here is a 3 minute and 13 second video that helps you do that.  Just click on the link below:

This online Parenting Class is my way to encourage you as a parent.  Your job is so important, and our student ministry is cheering you on as you pass down faith to your teenager.


Pastor Deknatel

Rebel and Repeat pt 2

Dear Parents,

In our last session I invited you to do a very practical exercise called REBEL and REPEAT. If you missed it, you can go here.

I would like to begin by handing you a machete.

machete is a long knife used in the jungle to cut through thick brush and create a path.

I want to hand you a figurative machete and inspire you to start beating down a path through life for your teenager to follow.

There is no greater spiritual influence in the life of your teenager than you. As your teenager’s youth minister, the smartest thing I can do is to set you up to blaze a trail of spiritual heritage for your teenager to follow.

That is why I want to encourage you to live out Psalm 145:4 with your teenager.

“One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.”

Here are 3 ways you can blaze a spiritual path for your teenager:

  1. Close the old trails- You might have had a trail marked out for you by your parents that led to lots of pain. You don’t have to continue that path. You can close that trail and mark a new one for your teenager to follow.
  2. Mark the trail in word and deed- Far too often we try to make a spiritual impact on our teenager through words alone. Consider adding actions to your words. This has a multiplying effect on the integrity and influence you have with your teenager.
  3. Don’t force it- You can mark a beautiful path for them to follow. You can make the entrance clear. You can shine a light on it showing them where to go. But you can’t make them follow the path. That is ultimately their choice. You can’t control their faith decisions, you can only guide them.

If you haven’t checked our the Rites of Passage Experience yet, please go here to check it out. It is another simple and powerful way that you and I can work together to blaze a trail and help you pass down your faith to your teenager.

As always, please reply to this email with any questions or thoughts you may have.

Feel free to forward this email to other parents of teenagers and have them email me if they would like to join our online parenting class.

Rebel and Repeat pt 1

Dear Parents,

It’s time again for our online class.


I am going to begin by asking you to visit your past.

One way to dynamically change your home is to have the courage to visit your own teenage experience and consider the ways you would REBEL and REPEAT.

Here is a 2 minute and 51 second video that will introduce you to this very practical exercise called REBEL and REPEAT.

Here are two questions that I would love for you to answer:

  1. As you raise your teenager, what is one thing that you want to rebel against from your own teenage experience?
  2. As you raise your teenager, what is one thing that you want to repeat from your own teenage experience?

Thanks for taking some time today to spend with me. I love serving your family.

Have a great day!