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Mothers, babies, and Mrs. Small Groups Guy

Im thrilled to bring you the first guest blog from Mrs. Small Groups Guy: Courtney Shelton. Around the Summit, Im actually just “husband of Courtney, the nursurey and pre-school director.” She knows everybody under 3ft tall who has been to the Summit more than 3 times. I asked her to do this and she’s passionate about it, so I hope you enjoy.

Guest Blogger: Courtney Shelton,  gorgeous nursery and preschool director at the Summit.

On Mother’s Day we had our Parent Commissioning service at church. Parent Commissioning is a new name for a service we have changed quite a bit since I came on staff. When I first began it was Baby Dedication. Then it became Parent-Child Dedication. Then we realized that this ceremony truly does not have much to do with that child. It has to do with a parent’s commitment to raise their child in a gospel centered home. It has to do with a parent’s commitment to raise their child based on what the Bible teaches and not Dr. Spock, the Baby Whisperer or Oprah think is the correct way. This is our church’s way of acknowledging that we do have a responsibility to the families in our church. We need to partner with families in raising their children in homes that are focused on Jesus. I believe there is a common misconception with families that it is the church’s job to teach children everything they need to know about God and being a Christian. This is
completely unbiblical and not the way God has intended the job of parent to be. Our church recognizes that parents will need support, prayer, and sometimes help with raising their children in a Christ-centered home. When we have these ceremonies, we are acknowledging that and agreeing to partner with parents in this huge task.

This day was extra special for us because I did not just plan this one, but Spencer and I participated as parents for the first time. It was so awesome for Spencer and I to be prayed over as parents of Zeke. It was also incredibly scary to think about as members and staff members of our church to think about all the individual families in the room with us (there were 18 other children and their families). It is quite daunting to think about each child and how we can be there for their parents. We families standing in that room together made commitments not just to our children, but to each others. My prayer is for these children to grow up together and spur one another one. To sharpen one another with God’s Word and not tear each other down. To encourage and challenge each other into a personal relationship with Christ. My prayer is for these parents to not take the easy road of parenting, but to biblically discipline their children. To not privatize their rearing, but to ask for prayers and help from their church family. My prayer is for our church to love these families and join with them in raising their children in a gospel centered context. Having taken part in this from the parents’ side has definitely changed my view of Parent Commissioning, and I think it has for the better.  I look forward to partnering with the families in our church not only as they raise their children, but as Spence and I raise ours.

  1. May 13, 2009 at 11:54 am

    You want to know WHY you’re known as “husband of Courtney, the nursurey and pre-school director”? It’s because she can spell “nursery” and you can’t.

    Get some spelling flash cards and I’ll be you’ll be your own man before you know it.


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