When we gather as a group, these are some ways we ensure the best group discussion:
We make the circle safe by staying honest and transparent - leave the masks at the door.
We keep it inside the circle. Each person’s story is theirs alone to share.
We look to the Bible for wisdom and truth, and work together to let it shape how we see the world.
We don’t try to fix each other in front of each other or give unsolicited advice. We lovingly save hard conversations for private moments.
We respect each others’ time by starting and ending when we say we will.
We believe that in Jesus Christ, there is hope for everyone.
No matter what your situation is, the reality is that the next generation needs everyone’s investment. We all want to be great parents and influences, and to hand off the best possible world to the next generation. But no matter what, we all get tired. Discouraged. Lost.
But there’s hope for something better. Instead of getting lost in the day-to-day grind and battle of parenting, we can lift our heads up for some much needed perspective. Where are we headed? How do I adjust as they grow? How do I get the help I need? How do I release them as healthy and wise adults? When we know the answers to those things, it changes how make decisions each day!
Mike Breaux reminded us of the goal we share as parents: to help our kids fly. To launch them well, it doesn’t take perfection - but it does take a lot of intentionality. But when we lean in for those 18(ish) years and focus on the most important things, we earn lifelong friendship with the great adults that they become.
Remember, the questions are not a checklist to be completed, or in the perfect order! They’re simply guardrails to help you have a natural discussion about what we learned on Sunday.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Who encouraged or discouraged those dreams?
Your own “launch”
We all have been released into the world by our parents where we left the nest, had to own our own lives, and had to navigate the real world.
What was that season like for you personally?
How did your relationship with your parents change and develop during that season?
Mike finished the message by interviewing Mark, Ruth, Dan, and Katie. They’ve all released kids into adulthood, so they shared their experiences - both the wins and the misses.
How could you relate to these two couples? What stood out to you from the Smith’s and Tapia’s stories?
Let them dance their own dance
Breaux talked about how it’s a parent’s job to fan into flame a kid’s gifts and talents so they can flourish. Parents have the most potential to either encourage or undercut kids’ dreams.
Who encouraged or undercut your gifts and dreams?
What gifts, strengths, and dreams do you see in your kids’ lives? How have you seen your own power to either encourage or undercut those gifts and dreams?
Equip them with disciplines
According to new research, there is a huge connection between volunteering for the good of others and people’s happiness and even health. Parents have the opportunity to equip kids with the disciplines that will prepare them for the best possible life.
What disciplines were most important in your family growing up? Did you feel equipped to launch as an adult when you reached that season?
What disciplines are most important for you to be focusing on in this season, both in your own life and in your kids’ lives?
How can you connect the disciplines you’re teaching them with the value of loving others as yourself?
Point them in the right direction
Breaux told a story about how he realized as a dad that whether or not he was the brightest light in his kids’ lives, he could definitely be the closest. Staying close to our kids gives us the best opportunity to model the faith and character that we want for our kids.
The direction our kids head is largely influenced by the direction we are heading. What areas of life do you need to pursue Godly wisdom so you can lead by example for your kids?
Pray for Godly discernment
Read Proverbs 3:21, 26 for context.
What we hope, wish, and pray for our kids largely determines what we focus on as we lead them.
Take an honest inventory of what you actively hope, wish, and pray for when it comes to your kids’ future: what kinds of things are at the top of that list?
Where does Godly discernment rank on the list of things you hope and pray for your kids?
What would it look like to move that up on the list of importance? How would that focus affect your prayer life, what you teach your kids, and how you parent them?
“Release” - Write a Letter
We were challenged to write a letter to our kids or the kids we influence to vocally “release” them and help them fly.
Who is on your list? Have you started yet? How can we help each other make this a priority?
Check in on past homework…
We’ve had homework every week of the Arrows series - how has it been going? What do you need to catch up on now that the series is over? How can we help each other do that this week?
Week 1 we were challenged to create values that give our families or future families a clear goal to aim for that’s all about who we’re becoming, not just what we’re doing.
Week 2 we were challenged to take a deep dive into understanding the phase our kids are in so we could figure out what they need most right now in life.