We’re Teaching This @ Fusion Sunday Bible Study 9:15am

When we hear the word entourage, most of us think of celebrities walking the streets of Beverly Hills, barking orders at their “people”—people that work for them or just get paid to hang out with them. By definition, an entourage isa group of people attending or surrounding an important person. Even if we don’t feel important, most of us want at least a handful of people who like to hang around us—people who laugh at our jokes, go to the movies with us, and simply have our back. King David, his son Absalom, and his grandson Rehoboam were no different. As royals, each had an entourage and through their experiences we see that the choices we make with those around us can change everything.

 Think About This:

A quick internet search reveals the worries many parents feel when it comes to their student’s friends. “How to spot a bully”. “How to spot a bad influence”. “How to spot the wrong crowd”. There is plenty to worry about when it comes to your child’s friends. But what if you have more influence than you think? What if you were able to not only help your teen choose friends, but to directly influence the life choices those friends make?

More and more studies say you can.

A study published in the archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine suggests that teens with friends who have strict parents are less likely to binge drink and make other poor life choices.


Think about that. The students in this study were most influenced by their friends’ parents, not just their friends.  In fact, you probably don’t need a lot of research to know this. Have you ever heard someone say, “She is like a second mother to me”.  Probably so. Many of us grew up with at least one set of friend’s parents who influenced us. Part of maturing is beginning to listen to multiple voices, multiple adult influences. As parents we have an incredible opportunity to speak into our own children’s lives by using our influence to guide their friends.

Having influence on your child’s friends doesn’t mean you have to be the “cool one”. It doesn’t mean you have to host or allow parties, throw caution to the wind, and be their best buddy. It also doesn’t mean you have to legally adopt them or have them over every night of the week. Having influence can be as simple as taking one step toward including a friend in your normal family plans.

  •  Invite them in. Invite your teen’s friends to spend time at your house. You don’t have to do anything special or make a five star dinner. For a lot of students, the concept of a normal (even boring) family dinner is almost unimaginable. Simply being in a home with someone other than their own parents can offer students a different perspective on things like marriage, work, family, and decision-making. So don’t feel the need to put on a show or have the most fun house on the block. Just allow someone else to be a part of your family once in a while. You may have more impact than you think.
  • Invest in them. Invest time and energy in your teen’s friends.  Talk with them, ask questions, and listen. Teens are often more likely to open up to other teens’ parents than their own. Do you know how to fix a car or bake a cake? Can you fish, play tennis, or scrapbook? Offer to show them!  Sometimes the best conversations take place while working on something else. Chances are they’ll appreciate the new skill and your own student is more likely to join in if their friends are involved.


Try This:

 Everyone wants their teen to be wise and intentional when it comes to friends. And the best way to teach that skill is to model it. Think about the friends your teen already spends time around. How intentional are you about investing time in those people? Are you using your influence to help that person in any way?  Is there one teen you could invite to dinner, to hang out, or to be helpful?


  • Use the spaces below to help you figure out how you can be intentional with your teen’s friends.


My teen spends the most time with… 




One friend I can pray for this week is




  One friend I can invite and invest in this month is




 Get connected to a wider community of parents at www.orangeparents.org.

XP3 Students: BUILD Parent CUE

XP3 Students: BUILD Parent CUE



We’re Teaching This:

What is the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced? Maybe it’s a basketball game against your archrival. Maybe it’s passing your math class. Maybe it’s just trying to get up and go to school on time. Whatever it is, you’re probably familiar with the little knot that forms in your stomach. The nerves. The feeling of being completely overwhelmed. The Bible tells the story of a guy named Nehemiah who was all too familiar with that feeling. In fact, it isn’t just one story—there’s a whole book in the Bible named after him. Growing up in service to a king in Babylon and then Persia, Nehemiah probably didn’t think his life would make much of a story. But when he learns that his family’s homeland is in ruins, something changes in Nehemiah. He decides to do something about it—to go there. To build. Nehemiah decided to face, head-on, the God-sized challenge of rebuilding the wall surrounding Jerusalem and creating a safe place for his people. And through his story, we may just find the tools we need to face the challenge of improving our town or our school. It’s time to build.


Think About This:

Where did you grow up? Was it a small town with little to do outside of farming. Or was it a big city with tall buildings and a public transit system? Or something in between? No matter where you grew up, one thing is for sure—it still affects you. Whether its in our taste for certain types of food, our comfort level with certain groups of people, or the dialect with which we speak, there are always traces of where we grew up tucked in the folds of our personality. And that’s a great thing! Environment is one of the things that God uses to mold us into unique individuals.


But does your student know that?


The reality is, life begins long before you move out on your own. Not only does their current town profoundly shape them, but it’s also the first place students will have the opportunity to invest themselves—to care, or to serve others. It’s the first place they learn to assign value to the people around them. What students learn in their hometown will be what they carry into every town after that.


So if our hometown is so important, why is it that so many of us get the idea that the real-world exists after high-school? And how can we teach our students to make the most of their time here?


Focus on now. College is coming. The real world is coming. But for today, your student is right here. While it’s important to talk about the future, we also need to fight the urge to talk only about what comes next.  The truth is, if your student is in high school, he or she already has a limited amount of time left in your home and possibly in your town. By teaching them to use this time wisely and value the impact they can have right now, we are also teaching them a principle that they will take into their future. The principle of caring for where you live.


Try This

As parents, it’s easy to talk about the glory days of college or our experiences when we moved out on our own. Those stories are often more exciting or have better morals to them. But, even in our well meaning way, we sometimes accidentally communicate that our lives didn’t start until after we left home.

Try sharing a story of what it was like growing up where you lived as a student. Was it a big city or a small town? Was there a lot to do or were you often bored? Most importantly, in what ways does your hometown shape who you are today? As you share, you may just find your student starting to value his or her own experience more exactly where they are.


Get connected to a wider community of parents at www.orangeparents.org