Reopening Tips For Parents - Bethel Church and Ministries

Reopening Tips For Parents

 

Parents of Verge Students,

Ahh, yes…businesses, barbershops, and restaurants are starting to open up! This week Bethel Church will begin to open up on a limited basis. I know that some of you are saying to your students, “Yes, get out of here – go hang out with your friends,” while others are a dreading to see this quarantine end. These are two wide-ranging views on the reopening of life as we knew it.  

Some families are experiencing a real appreciation for one another as never before, while others are struggling with being together 24/7! This brings up a great question: as life reopens, what does that look like from a parent standpoint?

Boundaries 

As Christians, we know that in normal life, the way we parent should be different from the way the world parents. This is not easy, but it is our calling as followers of Christ. As a result, I would encourage you to set some expectations and boundaries before things open in earnest. Asking the question(s): what are the government guidelines as opposed to the guidelines coming from our personal opinions or those of other parents? 

We are entering a time when I believe this will be more difficult. I have firsthand awareness that several students have been hanging out and doing sleepovers during the quarantine. This did not follow the government’s guidelines. If you feel I am out of line, please consider Romans 13:1-2 or Titus 3:1-2.  

Romans 13:1-2:  

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment” (ESV).

Titus 3:1-2:

“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” 

Let your teens know that if they feel that their personal “rights” are being taken away, the Bible rules over all constitutions and other documents. Even recognizing this, it is likely that some will be pressured to go beyond the parental limits I am encouraging you to consider. So the point I am trying to make is that when we address our students with the correct expectations ahead of time, they can strive to understand, know, and accept the boundaries that God commands us to honor. Will they try and test those boundaries? YES. It is likely some will—this is a tale as old as time! However, preventing overreaction is always better.

Here are some governmental tips that coincide with Scripture and what Bethel Church has laid out:

  • Social distancing does not go away even past the July reopening phase. Everyone needs to stay six feet apart for the foreseeable future.
  • When they see friends, make sure you know who, where, and how many will be there. The number of people needs to meet the phase restrictions we are in. If a student contracts COVID-19, you will want to know who exposed them and who else may be exposed. 
  • What are they going to be doing while they hang out? 
  • Encourage them to contact their Crew Leader. We have been doing some social distancing visits and would love to visit your student safely and respectfully.
  • Encourage the guidelines that Bethel has set in place. They may think they are “stupid,” but show them that you have faith in the godly leadership of Bethel and that leadership is looking out for our spiritual and physical well-being. If we, as adults, don’t respect leadership and model that to our children, we cannot expect them to respect our leadership as parents.
  • Dealing with disappointment is bound to be happening for some students. Camps and mission trips have been cancelled, Verge hasn’t been meeting as it usually does, and the list goes on. Why not try to create something similar to the events that have not been able to happen for your student?  
    • Create a family mission trip in your own community! Ideas could include three days of sleeping on the living room floor with no social media. During the day, you could serve at a food bank, clean up and do a prayer walk through your neighborhood or check with your local town to see if there is a need for cleanup, food distribution, etc. Bethel Church has lots of outreach happening, and we also have local mission organizations that we are involved with. During your “mission trip,” you could eat food that is local to a particular country that you have never tasted before. If you want other ideas, email me!
    • Pitch a tent in the back yard and do some fun camp games or take a camping trip and let them create the fun time at night where the whole family participates. Do TAG time (Time Alone with God) in the mornings and share the devotions with one another around a campfire (or even a fire pit in your driveway)! Get creative in helping your student in his/her disappointment and create family memories along the way.

Parents, I want you to know that all of your Verge Leaders miss their students. This is what we do, and we love doing it! I CANNOT wait until we resume regular Verge meetings—where we can give high fives and talk with students about life. But for now, that will have to wait.  


If there is any way that we as Verge Leaders can help you navigate this time, please feel free to email us and ask questions. We are here to walk alongside you as you guide your students to love and follow Christ.