Ahwatukee Church | Mountain Park Community Church | Phoenix, Arizona

Families

 

The goal of Family Ministry at Mountain Park Community Church is changed lives. We want to give you a wide range of tools to help your family become stronger and healthier. Tools that help you communicate more lovingly and effectively. Tools that help you rekindle romance. Tools that help you become the man or woman Jesus has called you to be.

Resources include Coaching Tips, Sound Bites and Play Cards, all of which are available by clicking the appropriate tab above.

To get started, download a HomeTeam Game Plan and follow these three easy steps:

  • Step 1: Reflect on how intentional you have been the past 120 days
  • Step 2: Identify your Life Stage and Special Circumstances, then access the corresponding resources below
  • Step 3: Create a Game Plan to become more intentional over the next 120 days

Download Game Plan

Coaching Tips are insights and resource recommendations for a variety of family season dynamics and special situations. Download Coaching Tip PDF's below or visit the HomeTeam Resources Center in the Mountain Park lobby.

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Single: Should You Pursue Marriage

As an unmarried person, you have distinct opportunities to grow in your faith and to make a substantial contribution to the kingdom. In fact, the season you’re in has the potential to be the most formative period of your life. How can you best honor God in this time?

Topic(s): Marriage Coaching Tips

Addiction Issues

Does someone you love seem to be self- destructing in addictive behavior? Are you watching a spouse, son or daughter abandon everything that was once important to them because of drugs, alcohol, sex or some other stimulant? An addiction or dependence is commonly defined as “a recurring compulsion to do the same thing over and over, despite harmful consequences to his health, mental state or social life.” Are you seeing that trade-off in someone you care about—a compulsive pursuit regardless of the effects it has, especially on your relationship?

Topic(s): Marriage Coaching Tips, Family Coaching Tips, Single Coaching Tips

Blending Families

“Did you ever notice how The Brady Bunch got just about all their stepfamily challenges worked out in the first episode?” asks Ron Deal of Successful Stepfamilies. Ron works alongside a growing number of ministries coaching people to use Biblical principles to overcome the challenges of blending their families. Any home in which at least one spouse brings children from a prior relationship knows that it is much harder in real life than it was for the Brady family. That’s why blended families need to add an extra measure of intentionality, including several important steps.

Topic(s): Family Coaching Tips, Single Coaching Tips

Building A Strong Marriage

No one plans to become a broken family or a miserable couple. We marry because we yearn for a life-long, thriving relationship. So, how can believers become intentional about building a God-honoring marriage?

Topic(s): Marriage Coaching Tips

Caring for An Aging Loved One

All of us know that our parents, spouse and other family members will eventually grow old and face the inevitable health challenges. We even understand that sickness and death are part of living in a fallen world. But we are never quite ready for these realities to hit our own loved ones – especially when a debilitating disease gradually robs them of a once active life or seeps away their memories.

Topic(s): Special Situation Coaching Tips

Considering Children

Couples that are contemplating starting a family will be confronted with a materialistic and leisure-focused culture that tends to dwell on the challenges more than the joys of parenthood. Couples today tend to worry about the effect kids will have on their education, career and lifestyle more than past generations did. As a result, they are often encouraged to push family off a little longer while enjoying the perceived freedom of life before children. What couples can lose sight of during such a cost/benefit analysis are the grand and often mysterious purposes God has for children within marriage. Even the Christian community can lack vision for just how central the efforts of starting and raising a family are to God’s plan for our lives. That’s why it is important to ask yourself several pertinent questions.

Topic(s): Parenting Coaching Tips

A Difficult Marriage: Finding Hope and Help

Those who marry will have troubles. That’s what Paul told the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 7:28). Even the best couples can struggle to protect their marriage vows. But what happens when marriage troubles become unbearable? Is there a point at which couples should end a bad marriage? Or is there hope for something better? Walk through the following steps as you prayerfully evaluate your situation.

Topic(s): Marriage Coaching Tips

A Difficult Teen: Navigating Rebellion

There is little in life that creates more anxiety than having a teenager who seems out of control. Experiencing emotional outbursts, being lied to, or staying up at night worrying about their safety can greatly damage your relationship with your teen. You may have tried different approaches to help them— being tough one day and then trying to show mercy the next—but nothing really seems to make a difference. Watching your teen continue to make bad choices can leave you torn between wanting them to just learn the hard way and being afraid of what they might do in a moment of irresponsibility. What steps can you take now to best help your child?

Topic(s): Parenting Coaching Tips

Discipline with Young Children

The scriptures command parents to raise children in the training and instruction of the Lord. We begin “training” a child from a very young age by the ways we respond to their actions and attitudes. The primary purpose of discipline is to consistently direct your child toward right relationship with God and others. Several practices contribute to that process.

Topic(s): Parenting Coaching Tips

The Empty Nest

Achieving the long-term goal of raising and then launching a child (or children) is one of those milestones in life that can lead to surprising emotions. One day you might feel relieved to catch your breath after such an intense marathon and then the next day you miss the busyness—especially the ever-present relationships that went with it. Whether you are approaching, just hitting or deep into the empty nest season you are likely experiencing a range of feelings that can leave you asking yourself “What next?” This would be a great time to take steps toward rediscovery in your life.

Topic(s): Marriage Coaching Tips, Family Coaching Tips

Engaged: Getting Ready to Marry

Congratulations on this wonderful milestone. Few seasons in life are filled with as much joy and anticipation as the time spent preparing to get married. You’ve probably heard it said that as you plan your wedding, you shouldn’t forget to plan your marriage. But it sounds so abstract to “plan a marriage” in the midst of the more tangible (and demanding) project of planning a wedding. How do you do it?

Topic(s): Single Coaching Tips

Exploring Adoption

Should you adopt a child? Millions of children around the world need homes. Many homes seem to have something missing that adoption offers to fill. As you process feelings of hope and eagerness in your heart, the practical questions can often seem paralyzing: “What’s this going to cost?” ... “Which route is best — domestic, international, or foster care?” ... “Is there a chance the biological parents will complicate things?”

Topic(s): Family Coaching Tips

Facing Infertility

“So, when are you going to have kids?” That question is invasive enough when babies are part of your plan. But what if you’ve just found out you’re unable to have children or experienced yet another miscarriage? How are you supposed to deal with the awkward conversations about kids that inevitably come up? Facing infertility can cause a woman to wonder about her identity. Looking around at other families with children you might ask, “What’s wrong with us—why can’t we have what they have?” You can feel like your marriage is missing something, or you may blame yourself for making decisions along the way that have hurt your chances to conceive. Maybe you’ve already considered or started some kind of infertility treatment and you’re worried about the cost or risks that you’ll face.

Topic(s): Marriage Coaching Tips

Family Finances

The Bible has a lot to say about money and much that is specifically of value for someone trying to be intentional about family relationships. A financial treadmill of working and consuming can dominate your energy and thoughts to the degree that your good intentions for family relationships get squeezed out. How can you master your money in order to be intentional in other areas? How can you turn your money from being a challenge to your spiritual and relational goals to being an asset?

Topic(s): Marriage Coaching Tips, Family Coaching Tips, Single Coaching Tips

Grieving: Death, Divorce, Separation, Change

Nothing hurts like losing someone you love due to death, divorce, or separation. Similar feelings often surface after a major life change such as a job loss or a move. The ache inside can feel as if your soul will be crushed under the weight of a deep, paralyzing sorrow. You may find yourself asking how a loving God could allow such a painful thing to happen. The dull sadness often bleeds into denial or anger. Grief is unpredictable, affecting each of us in slightly different ways. And while it may not ease the pain, understanding that grief is normal can help us cope a little better when we lose a special person or go through a significant change.

Topic(s): Family Coaching Tips, Special Situation Coaching Tips

Hope to Marry: Proactively Pursuing Marriage

Most of us are called to marriage. It’s the natural design for fulfilling our drive for companionship and sexuality. If you aren’t called to celibate service (1 Corinthians 7) then a significant priority for this season of your life is preparing for and moving toward a Biblical marriage. An intentional path to finding a mate recognizes that God is at work. But we also have a responsibility be faithful in our part of the process. So, how does a person who hopes to marry become intentional?

Topic(s): Single Coaching Tips

Influencing Grandchildren

Grandparents in the 21st century face a mix of new opportunities and challenges. Extended life expectancy has dramatically changed the length and look of the empty nest years. Many grandparents now have greater opportunities for work and travel. Tight-knit family relationships have increasingly given way to family members spread over wide geographic distances. Some grandparents face the challenge of getting time with grandchildren because of divorce. A growing number of grandparents have watched circumstances drive them to take primary responsibility for raising their grandchildren.

Topic(s): Grandparent Coaching Tips

Intentional Parenting

Every believing parent hopes his or her child will embrace the faith and grow deep spiritual roots. But studies tell us that over half of those growing up in Christian homes will walk away from Christianity by the time they leave the teen years – never to return. Too often, parents “outsource” the spiritual formation of their children to the church. And while a good church is very important, God designed the family to be the primary place where faith is nurtured. So parents need to understand four principles that can help them become more intentional about their child’s faith.

Topic(s): Parenting Coaching Tips

Introducing Your Child to Christ

The fact you’re reading this indicates you are concerned about your child’s faith. As you care for your child’s daily needs and work to prepare him or her for success in life, there’s nothing more important than caring for their spiritual needs and helping them prepare for eternity. It’s likely that you are reading this because, like many parents, you don’t know quite how (or when) to go about introducing your child to Christ. Parents who worry that they don’t have the training or understanding to lead their children to salvation may be tempted to just leave it to the “professionals”—to rely on people at church or ministry events. That’s understandable, but God has given you the most important and most influential role when it comes to influencing your child’s path to salvation. All it takes is a little training for you to feel more comfortable about the when and how of introducing them to Christ.

Topic(s): Parenting Coaching Tips, Family Coaching Tips

Launching Young Adults

After years of saying, “When I grow up, I’m gonna be...” there comes a point in which your children start going through the steps of actually making it happen. Dr. James Dobson calls ages 16 to 26 the “critical decade” as young people transition from childhood to an adult. We’ve all heard the phrase “failure to launch” describing young men and women who don’t make that transition for one reason or another. Unfortunately, more and more parents are inadvertently keeping their children from growing up by protecting them from the risks necessary to adulthood. How can you be intentional about successfully launching your older children?

Topic(s): Parenting Coaching Tips

Living Together: Taking Next Steps

Prior to the 1970s it was rare for an unmarried man and woman to live together. Today it is much more common, accepted as an important “next step” for couples before committing to marriage. We often assume living together can help us avoid making a mistake that could lead to a painful divorce. But is that assumption correct? How should a follower of Jesus Christ view the living together option?

Topic(s): Single Coaching Tips, Special Situation Coaching Tips

Married To An Unbelieving Spouse

Growing in intimate relationship with Jesus Christ is a source of great joy. But it also can be a source of conflict when your spouse doesn’t share your commitment to Christ. It makes it more difficult to face life challenges, to make important decisions and even to grow in your faith when you are not both centering your life on God’s will.

Topic(s): Marriage Coaching Tips

Preparing for a Baby

Congratulations on the exciting stage of life you’ve entered. Whether you’ve recently had a new baby or counting down to your due date, you’ve likely noticed that parenthood is an entirely different world. In the midst of all the joy and anticipation comes a whole new level of stretching (not just your belly) and character development. You may be wondering if life will ever be the same. In many ways it won’t. So, become intentional about this season by preparing yourself to take three important steps for the transition to parenthood.

Topic(s): Parenting Coaching Tips, Family Coaching Tips

Preparing Your Child for Adolescence

Enjoy ‘em now, because they’ll drive you crazy when they’re teenagers!” That’s the warning parents of pre-teens often hear. The implication: the teen years will be excruciatingly, unavoidably rough for everyone concerned. Obviously you and your pre-teen are in for a lot of change, but turmoil isn’t inevitable. You have the opportunity—before the cataclysmic transition from childhood to adulthood begins—to intentionally navigate your son or daughter through that change in a proactive and positive way.

Topic(s): Parenting Coaching Tips

Prodigal Kids: When They Reject Your Beliefs

Every teen and young adult goes through a season when they try to establish their own identity by distancing themselves from their parents’ tastes and preferences. But what do you do when your son or daughter rejects your faith and embraces beliefs or behaviors that you know could be harmful?

Topic(s): Parenting Coaching Tips

Raising a Child with Special Needs

Only those with first-hand experience truly understand the blessing and challenges of raising a child with special needs. Parenting is hard work under the best of circumstances. When you add managing the needs of a child with physical or mental disabilities it can bring a whole new level of physical and emotional stress for parents. But it also brings a level of joy others rarely comprehend.

Topic(s): Parenting Coaching Tips, Family Coaching Tips

Schooling Options

Parents today often feel like they fail to measure up in their responsibilities— especially in something as challenging as giving their children a good education in an increasingly complex world. As you evaluate the many schooling options available to your family, reflect on the following questions to help apply Biblical wisdom to your educational choices.

Topic(s): Parenting Coaching Tips

Single Parent: Raising Children Alone

One of life’s greatest blessings and sources of joy is being called somebody’s parent. But if you find yourself raising children alone, you know better than anyone else that parenting is a job meant for two. That’s why Dr. James Dobson calls single parenting “the toughest job in the universe.” Few understand the loneliness and emotional hurt many single parents carry or how exhausting the role can be. So, how can you be hopeful and experience joyful success as a parent despite more challenging circumstances?

Topic(s): Parenting Coaching Tips, Single Coaching Tips

Unplanned Pregnancy

It’s a jarring shift for a woman to go from processing a relationship that has become sexual to trying to figure out what to do about a newly conceived life. Even if you’ve always believed that life is precious and that babies deserve the chance to live, experiencing an unplanned pregnancy yourself can be overwhelming. You find that it’s more complex than just a yes or no decision. All the things that are at stake, added to the hormones that are likely affecting your emotions, can leave you feeling confused and afraid. What should you consider as you try to decide the best options for both you and this new life?

Topic(s): Parenting Coaching Tips

Sound Bites are audio and video media offering inspiration and advice on becoming intentional at home. Download media below or visit the HomeTeam Resources Center in the Mountain Park lobby for physical copies.

You will need a jukebox in order to play media, we like iTunes. Get it here.

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HomeTeam Opening Day

On Sunday, January 8, 2012 we celebrated “Opening Day” of our new HomeTeam center in the Mountain Park lobby. In this sound bite we’ll identify why we’re so excited about this "HomeTeam" strategy for families here at Mountain Park and in our surrounding community. Why “Home”? Why “Team”? How will this fuel Mountain Park's passion to grow stronger families?

Topic(s): Marriage Bytes, Family Bites

Intentional Moms

Topic(s): Parenting Bites, Family Bites

The Marriage You've Always Wanted

Sample Text

Topic(s): Marriage Bytes

Intentional Parenting

Topic(s): Parenting Bites

Play Cards provide ideas you can implement this week including date-night discussions, family-night activities, mealtime conversations, movie night chats and much more. Download Play Card PDF's below or visit the HomeTeam Resources Center in the Mountain Park lobby.

Adobe Reader required to view PDF's for computers running windows. Get it here.

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What Dad Does

Call this play to show how/what dad sacrifices for the family.

Topic(s): Holidays

Popcorn Father's Day

Call this play as a fun way to show dad how much everyone appreciates him and all he does.

Topic(s): Holidays

The Mom Awards

Call this play as a fun way to celebrate mom and her love for your family.

Topic(s): Holidays

Commitment for High School

Call this play to set expectations and commitments for both you as the parent and your teen during high school.

Topic(s): Parenting: Teen Play Cards

The Blessing Party

Call this play to bless and celebrate your graduating high school student.

Topic(s): Parenting: Teen Play Cards

Mom Knows Best

Call this play as a fun way to show how much mom knows about the personality, likes and dislikes of each family member.

Topic(s): Holidays

Special Gift

Call this play to learn about the special gift of sexuality. Sex was given to adults as a gift to be enjoyed only in marriage, as a sign of commitment and trust, found in Exodus 20:14 and 1 Thessalonians 4:3–8.

Topic(s): Parenting: Teen Play Cards

One Team

Call this play to show how God designed marriage to be the union of one man and one woman who work together as one team under His guidance for life, found in Genesis 2:20–24, and that marriage requires mutual sacrifice, teamwork and compromise.

Topic(s): Parenting: Kid Play Cards

Light to My Path

Call this play to help teens understand that the Bible is our main source of guidance and truth about God, ourselves and the world we live in; it lights our path for life, found in Psalm 119:105.

Topic(s): Parenting: Teen Play Cards

Upstairs/Downstairs

Call this play to help children understand that God did for us what we could not do for ourselves, found in Romans 6:23 and Ephesians 2:8-9.

Topic(s): Parenting: Kid Play Cards

Kids Memory Minute

Use this play card as a meal time discussion to give children a strong sense of family connection and identity.

Topic(s): Parenting: Kid Play Cards

Special Thanksgiving Table

Use this playcard to give your family an opportunity to share what they are thankful for.

Topic(s): Holidays

Tree of Thankfulness

Use this playcard to spend time with family and friends as a reminder of the many blessings the Lord has given us.

Topic(s): Holidays

Creating Impression Points with Kids

Call this play to help launch frequent faith discussions with your kids in order to fulfill the commandment to “impress them on your children” found in Deuteronomy 6:6-9.

Topic(s): Parenting: Kid Play Cards

Discovering Needs for Couples

Use this Play Card as a date night discussion guide. It is designed to help husbands and wives discover ways to meet one another's needs.

Topic(s): Marriage Play Cards

Love Dances

Use this playcard to reflect on your roles in marriage and process together each of your responsibilities in a God-honoring marriage.

Topic(s): Marriage Play Cards

Love Fades

Use this playcard to identify things that may be causing your marriage to drift apart and create ways to draw closer to God and each other in your marriage.

Topic(s): Marriage Play Cards

Love Happens

Use this playcard to reflect on why you got married and how your marriage relationship reflects God’s image.

Topic(s): Marriage Play Cards

Love Interrupted

Use this playcard to reflect on your roles in marriage and process together each of your responsibilities in a God-honoring marriage.

Topic(s): Marriage Play Cards

Love Sizzles

Use this playcard to reflect on the gift of sex and God’s design for intimacy with one another in your marriage.

Topic(s): Marriage Play Cards

A Movie Night With Your Teen

Use this Play Card as a movie night discussion guide for parents and teens. It is designed to trigger meaningful dialogue on the Gospel in action.

Topic(s): Parenting: Teen Play Cards

Opening Dialogue With Your Teen

Use this Play Card as a "cheat sheet" for a parent trying to open up meaningful communication with his or her teen. It is designed to help parents push past the sometimes awkward process of talking to a teenager by sincerely listening to what matters to them.

Topic(s): Parenting: Teen Play Cards

Strong Marriage Annual Plan

Use this Play Card as a date night discussion guide. It is designed to nurture a pattern of fun dates and creative themes for couples to connect with each other throughout the year.

Topic(s): Marriage Play Cards