HFC Families

HFC Families is a ministry of Hershey Free Church that is dedicated to the encouragement, care, and equipping of families.

The vision for HFC Families is to empower parents to be the primary disciplers of their children and to partner with them to become Live/Love/Lead families by providing

  • Seminars, classes, and forums that equip parents;
  • Resources that strengthen family life at home;
  • Opportunities for families to worship and learn together in multi-generational environments.
Deb Hinkel
Deb Hinkel

Director for Spiritual Formation and Family Ministry

Deb Hinkel's Blog

Jill Bennett
Jill Bennett

Administrative Assistant for Spiritual Formation and Family Ministry



Please join us in the auditorium on March 12, 2017 at 10:30 AM for our next Family Forum. The focus will be “Love Like Jesus,” and the forum is for parents and their children, grade 4 through grade 8.


Habitudes of the Heart – Rhythms or Habits to Help Your Family Live with Jesus

What Next Steps Will You Take?

  • Reading and Reflecting on God’s Word: personally and/or together
    • Take time to read the passage slowly, thinking about the situation.
    • Who are the people involved? What do you hear, see, smell, feel?
    • Draw a light bulb next to ideas that stand out to you.
    • What is God directing you to do (obey)?
  • Journaling
    • Write out your thoughts about the Bible passage you are reading or about the things you are learning about yourself. Write out ways you are praying for yourself and others.
  • Praying
    • Create a weekly prayer sheet and pray on specific days for different family members, friends, our country, the world.
    • “Pray in color:” draw, doodle, write a poem, etc.
  • Intentional Silence or Quiet
    • Take 5-10 minutes of silence to quiet your heart and mind from the noise of your life in order to hear God.
  • Mealtime Conversations
    • Intentionally plan to eat together as a family at least 2-3 times each week to share how the “habitudes” are going in each person’s life.
  • Morning and Bedtime Interactions
    • Intentionally start each day with encouraging words and cheer each other on to have a meaningful day.
    • Deliberately end the day by praying with your child and tell them that you love them.
    • Kids—make sure you end the day by telling your parents you love them.

Family Resources

New Resources for 2017

As 2017 begins there are two new resources for parents. First is an article for parents on shepherding their children. The second link will take you to different indoor games that children and parents can do together during the winter months to provide a fun focus on faith building.



Focus on the Family – Parenting Babies, Toddlers, Preschoolers – Focus on the Family is a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive. They provide help and resources for couples to build healthy marriages that reflect God’s design, and for parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles.

Focus on the Family – Parenting School-Age Kids – more from Focus on the Family specifically for school-age kids.

Katie Searfoss speaks at Moms Connect – Our Elementary Ministry Director recently spoke at Moms Connect about helping your children cope with death and dying. Below is a handout that talks about what children experience at different age levels, ideas to help you help your child, and other resources.

Death and Dying – a copy of the handout given at Mom’s Connect. Includes book resources.

Something to Help You Say Goodbye – a coloring book for kids.

Faith-Building Fun


Over the next several months, the Faith-Building Fun ideas will focus on how to open your child’s spiritual windows. For additional insights about ways to nurture your child’s faith, read the book Opening Your Child’s Spiritual Windows by Cheri Fuller.

The Habit-Building Window

Getting in the way of Jesus. As a staff, we sometimes refer to this sermon series as GITWOJ; it’s easier to write than that long title! The bottom line is this: as followers of Christ we are to get in the way of Jesus. We need to understand that he invites us to walk on this journey called life with him. And one of the best things we can do for our children is to help them start walking that journey at young age.

As you listen to the sermons each week and think about the challenges that Pastor George is giving us about habits we can incorporate in our daily lives, take time to also process what it looks like to integrate those habits into your family’s life.

Habits or spiritual rhythms are one way that we grow and change spiritually. Regular rhythms are especially formative and help us become more and more like Christ. Listen to this link by Ric Olsen as he explains why approaching the discipleship of our kids from a spiritual formation perspective is so important. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AdncOxJ9QE

I want to encourage you that your parenting doesn’t need to be perfect and that the most important thing that you do for your children is to offer your authentic self on your journey of faith and invite them to join you on that journey. Regular spiritual habits are one way to invite your children on the journey of faith. Below are some ideas that can help you on your journey:

  • Pray with your children as often as you are able, especially at night when they go to bed;
  • Choose a family verse for a month and memorize it together;
  • Choose one person from the Bible every month and read their story in a modern translation. Ask each person to share what they learned from that person’s life.
  • Have each family member start a prayer journal and periodically share what you’re praying for with other members of the family.

The above ideas are a few ways for you to get started as you live out the “Habits Window” in your families!