This is a subject thats been close to my heart lately as I have 4 growing boys who are venturing out into the world. I would just as soon keep them close and be all the companionship they need but we know it doesn't work that way. So how do I help my children find Christian friends? Good solid young people who are a positive influence on their impressionable lives? I have some ideas, thanks to some wise moms and friends that I am blessed to know.
1. Your home church - It is wonderful for children to have a supportive home church that they attend regularly. What better place to build solid, lasting friendships with children and families who share the same values and beliefs? It is also a place to find support from adult mentors. Take the opportunity to plug into Sunday school, youth groups, bible studies, social outings, Cadets or Gems Groups, summer Vacation Bible Camps, etc.
2. Area Churches - If your church is small or short on kid's clubs that your child can get involved in, don't be shy to visit neighborhood churches. In most cases you don't need to belong to a church to be welcome at their programs. In fact usually they are happy to welcome new people, Christian or not, and make them feel at home.
3. Christian College Programs - Many Christian Colleges offer summer camps or other programs for kids. Check your local school's website or give them a call for their summer or fall lineup. My kids are enjoying a sports camp put on by our local Christian College this week... with lots of kids their age, plenty of activity, sunshine, and fun. And the price is right too! How can I go wrong?
4. Public School Christian Clubs - If your children attend public school, there may be opportunities there as well. Many public schools have different types of clubs... including Christian clubs, prayer groups, etc. If your child is shy, you may need to look into it and encourage them to join, but it would be well worth it to find like-hearted souls in the same school your child is attending.
5. Start a group - If all else fails, or even if you just have the desire, start a group! Put an ad in your local classifieds or on-line, or on library or church bulletin boards. Ask local churches to run an ad for your new group in their weekly bulletin. You could start a playgroup, a girl's or boy's club, a date at the local YMCA or gym or pool, or whatever you'd like. I have a friend who ran a week-long cooking class for her daughter. The world is yours! Pray about it and allow God to bring friends into the lives of your precious young ones!