Book Review: Parenting Beyond Your Capacity

Parenting Beyond Your Capacity: Connect Your Family To a Wider Community by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof.

This book was not on my reading list. In fact, it was not even on my radar. It was given to us at the dedication of our daughter, Lynleigh.  Joiner and Nieuwhof make a strong case for why your kids need to be involved in a local church. For a subject that could easily become boring, I was surprised to find it an exceptionally thought-provoking read.

The main idea of Parenting Beyond Your Capacity is that you, as a parent, are to partner with the church in raising your kids. While reminding parents that, “no one else can do what you do” the authors insist that being mentored by other adults is crucial to your child’s spiritual growth. The church plays a part by providing relationships with people “who care about [your child] but are not responsible for him.”

Perhaps more than anything, I appreciated their focus on sincere, authentic faith. Instead of “encouraging children to conform to a superficial ideal” they urge parents to help children “embrace an everyday faith.” One of the main things I came away with was the reminder, “If you want it to be in them, it needs to be in you.”  Church is not to be just another weekly activity, but a community investing in your child and in which your child learns to serve and grow in his relationship with God.

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