This week, we discuss managing your family’s tech habits. As smartphone use has grown in the past few years, more and more families are fighting the negative effects of technology on their time. While computers and smartphones are valuable in many ways, we need to make sure we are modeling healthy tech habits to our children.

We share a couple of extreme phone addiction cases, as well as some of our personal habits and struggles. We each use apps & tools that help us organize our lives. But there is always a danger in good things becoming idols. How can we balance smartphone use and guard against our phones becoming an idol? We have a few practical suggestions.

Mark talks about the students in his college classroom and some of their tech habits. He requires students to keep their devices put away and asks them to take notes on paper. Many of the students find that they learn more from writing notes and listening without distraction.

We also recommend a few books we’ve been reading that address the topic of personal and family tech habits. If you have any phone stories or tips for managing your family’s tech habits, we’d love to hear to hear them!

 

Managing Your Family's Tech Habits | Episode 37 | CongreGate Podcast

(Some of links may be affiliate links, which means we earn a small commission on your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting the podcast in this way!)

 

 

Links and Recommendations:

12 Ways Your Smartphone is Changing You – by Tony Reinke

The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in It’s Proper Place – by Andy Crouch

This is Our Time: Everyday Myths in Light of the Gospel – by Trevin Wax

Colin Hansen interviews Andy Crouch about The Tech-Wise Family

 

Please connect with us!

If you have questions or comments about this episode or suggestions for upcoming episodes, please use the contact form.

Subscribe: iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

And if you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends!

Today we tell the story of Antioch Community Church, and it’s 30 years of healthy church growth. As a church, we just celebrated our 30 year anniversary.

We chat about how the church began and how God used circumstances early on to shape the church into what it is now. Mark and the original elders didn’t set out to build an age-integrated church. We talk about how God brought about that change in thinking. Circumstances required that we include children in the service, but we continued doing it after we saw the benefits. It wasn’t until a few years later, Mark realized that “family-integrated” churches were growing across the country.

Micah talks about why he moved back to be a part of the church after college. We have several families with 3 or more generations. Children that were raised in the church, have followed Christ and continue to stay and serve with their growing families. This is uncommon. What draws many of the young people to stay and be a part of the church?

We also talk about some of the challenges that our church has faced in the past 30 years, including disagreements in the church and situations where families left.

We are thankful that God has blessed Antioch with 30 years of healthy church growth and we look forward to what the Lord will do in the future!

 

30 Years of Healthy Church Growth | The Story of One Healthy Age-integrated Church |Episode 36 | CongreGate Podcast

(Some of links may be affiliate links, which means we earn a small commission on your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting the podcast in this way!)

 

 

Links and Recommendations:

Family-Driven Faith – by Voddie Baucham

Age-Integrated Church – by J. Mark Fox

Please connect with us!

If you have questions or comments about this episode or suggestions for upcoming episodes, please use the contact form.

Subscribe: iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

And if you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends!

Today we are talking about some of the challenges blended families face. Though none of us come from blended family situations, we do shepherd blended families in our congregation. With over one-third of marriages now resulting in blended families, the church needs to be involved in encouraging and ministering to these families. We discuss how we can better love and minister to blended families in our church.

Blended families face many of the same challenges that traditional families face, but often with the added challenges of parenting step-children and complicated expectations between partners. As in any marriage, regular prayer and communication are vital to a thriving blended family marriage.

In a blended family, it can be tempting to have a child-centered marriage, but it is important to make a unified marriage the priority, while still pursuing the hearts of your children and step-children.

As a church, we can help to support the blended families by including them and recognizing that they may face additional struggles in their family dynamics. Children may be living in different homes at different times of the year. We can reach out to these children and include them when they are attending our churches. Parents may be struggling when their children are living with another parent. We can sympathize and encourage them through these circumstances.

 

Challenges Blended Families Face & How the Church Can Encourage Blended Families | Episode 35 | CongreGate Podcast

(Some of links may be affiliate links, which means we earn a small commission on your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting the podcast in this way!)

 

 

Links and Recommendations:

Patchwork Families – by Wendy Lawton

How to Love Blended Families in Your Church – Joy Allmond for Gospel Coalition

Resources for Blended Families from FamilyLife

Please connect with us!

If you have questions or comments about this episode or suggestions for upcoming episodes, please use the contact form.

Subscribe: iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

And if you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends!

Today we are talking about how to cultivate prayer, both in our personal spiritual lives and in the church body.

A couple of years ago, we taught on prayer at our men’s retreat. The most helpful resource we have found for cultivating a stronger prayer life is called Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney. He teaches a simple method for using the words of scripture to guide prayer, which we spent time studying and practicing. Many of the men in the church have reported stronger prayer habits after changing their method of prayer to include praying through scripture.

We also share some practical tips on prayer. For example, try walking to help stay focused during prayer time. Leave your e-mail and the news until after you spend time with the Lord. Recognize that you won’t have soul-stirring experiences every day, and remember that the daily discipline still produces growth. Set aside times for intentional prayer, but also be ready to pray spontaneously throughout the day.

 

How to Cultivate Prayer in Your Life & in the Church | Episode 34 | CongreGate Podcast

(Some of links may be affiliate links, which means we earn a small commission on your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting the podcast in this way!)

 

 

Links and Recommendations:

PrayerMate – the Christian Prayer App

Praying the Bible – by Donald S. Whitney

A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World – by Paul E. Miller

Prayer – by Andrew Murray

Prayer – by Timothy Keller

Please connect with us!

If you have questions or comments about this episode or suggestions for upcoming episodes, please use the contact form.

Subscribe: iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

And if you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends!

How should we respond when our wives are discouraged about their appearance? Today we are talking about protecting our wives from discontentment with their physical appearance. We discuss how to encourage our wives and guard their hearts from cultural influences and impossible standards, while our society promotes the idea that women should look flawless and never show signs of aging.

We talk about a recent article from Fox News, in which one of the news anchors writes about the severe side effects of cosmetic surgery she had undergone. Her elective procedure was to combat the effects of aging, but she later regretted the decision.  She wondered how the outcome would have been different if she should have been content with her body.

How can we guard our wives hearts from discontentment and encourage our wives as their bodies change and age? We need to be praising our wives for their character. They need to feel their value is in more than just how they look. Wives and daughters do need to be told they are beautiful, but we need to emphasize the beauty that comes from Christ in them.

As men, we need to guard our own hearts against criticism and comparison. When we notice imperfections in our wives, we need to deal with that sin in our own hearts so that we can help our wives fight their own discontentment.

Also, Mark admits to sneaking out and stealing his parents car when he was 15…

 

When Our Wives Are Discouraged About Their Appearance | Episode 33 | CongreGate Podcast

(Some of links may be affiliate links, which means we earn a small commission on your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting the podcast in this way!)

 

 

Links and Recommendations:

Always Read the Fine Print. The Last Two Months Have Been a Pain in the Neck – Janice Dean

 

Please connect with us!

If you have questions or comments about this episode or suggestions for upcoming episodes, please use the contact form.

Subscribe: iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

And if you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends!