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.

Please visit our KidStep page on Facebook!

Deb Hinkel
Deb Hinkel

Director for Spiritual Formation and Family Ministry
717-533-4848
dhinkel@hersheyfree.com

Deb Hinkel's Blog

Jill Bennett
Jill Bennett

Administrative Assistant for Children's Ministry and Family Ministry / Interim Director for Nursery
717-533-4848
jbennett@hersheyfree.com

 Spiritual Disciplines  – Recently, KidStep Parent Connect discussed the importance of helping our children learn the value of spiritual disciplines. Please take some time to view this pdf of the material and think about ways that you can implement spiritual disciplines as a part of the spiritual formation rhythm in your family.

Discipline is Discipleship  Tiffany and Allen Dark recently gave a presentation at our KidStep Parent Connect group regarding biblical discipline. Click on the following link (Discipline) to view their presentation in PDF format.

Resolving Conflict – Matt and Diana Davis led this discussion, June 4. The following link (Resolving Conflict) will allow you to read this content.

Family Resources

Parenting Resources

The Source 4 Parents – This link resources a two-part article that provides parents with talking points when their teen communicates that they no longer want to attend church.

Center for Parent and Youth Understanding – This particular resource page, from CPYU (The Center for Parent and Youth Understanding) provides excellent resources to listen to or read about ways to engage your teen/young adult with the Bible.

Family Worship – This short article provides insights about the importance of families worshipping together.

Focus on the Family – This article addresses the issue of reconciling a loving God with suffering in the world. At the conclusion of the article are a number of good resources that are helpful to parents as they address questions that their kids have regarding faith.

Recommended Reading

The Ology: Ancient Truths, Ever New – An excellent resource for parents of preschool/elementary aged children to engage them in conversations about theology.

77 FAQs About God and the Bible – This resource is for adults, and it provides good answers to tough questions. It’s a good resource for parents who may want more information when answering their kids’ questions.

Answering Your Kids’ Toughest Questions – This resource focuses on providing answers to children about tough questions they might ask about God.

How to help your child deal with grief
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.

Resources for Leading your Child to Jesus. . .
As a children’s ministry team, we count it a joy to join your children on their spiritual journey and help be a part of your village as you faith-train your child. To help with these conversations and those that follow asking Jesus in their hearts, here are a few of our favorite resources.

Gospel Project Video – This is a great resource to help give you language as you explain salvation and is quick and easy to watch! This is produced by “The Gospel Project”—a resource we love.

“Leading Your Child to Jesus”  by David Staal – If reading is up your alley, this is a good one for your shelf! David Staal takes the time to talk about discussions to have with your children to help lead them to Jesus!

Resource List for Children who Have Just Become Believers

Books For Parents

  • “Spiritual Growth of Children: Helping Your Child Develop a Personal Faith” by John Trent, Rick Osborne, Kurt Bruner (Focus on the Family)
  • “The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity & How to Answer Them Confidently” by Alex McFarland (Focus on the Family)
  • “Spiritual Parenting: An Awakening for Today’s Families” by Michelle Anthony

Books For Kids

  • “A Believe Devotional for Kids: Think, Act, Be Like Jesus” by Randy Freeze

Spiritual Growth for Kids – This website brings you to a number of articles about spiritual growth for kids and how you can help guide them on their spiritual journey.







Faith-Building Fun

spiritual-window

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 Curiosity Window

We all know the saying, “Curiosity killed the cat;” but our children aren’t cats, and investigating the unknown is an important task of childhood. Every parent knows the exasperation of their child’s unrelenting “why” question. The desire to know more is a fundamental task of childhood. Exploring new things, being introduced to new information helps children feel more confident and secure as they learn to navigate the ups and downs of everyday life. Many experts say curiosity may be the most important factor for children’s brain development and the most important factor for the academic tasks they face in school.

But what about a child’s curiosity about God? About life? About faith? How can parents enrich their children’s faith development by engaging their questions about God? What keeps parents from nurturing their children’s spiritual curiosity?

Most parents want their children to know and love God; however, they are often fearful of knowing how to respond to the questions their children have about God and his involvement in the world. Following are some basic principles that can help parents engage in conversations about God:

  1. Be a student of God’s Word. Spend time in reading the Bible for yourself. The more you read and reflect on God’s Word, the better able you will be to converse with your children.
  2. Fan the flame of your children’s curiosity by encouraging questions. Create “kitchen time” or “play time” when you talk with your child about nothing in particular but provide space for meaningful interactions.
  3. Create “explore” times when you intentionally play a game or engage in an activity that stimulates interaction and discussion. For example, put a card with a question under their cereal bowl or in the car which will provide an opportunity for conversation. Do this activity in reverse where the children get to write a question for you.
  4. Handle their questions with enthusiasm and genuine interest. Don’t shut down their curiosity by disinterest or indifference.
  5. Don’t feel like you need to have all of the answers. As your children ask you questions, or wonder about something, pursue the answer with them. Your children will feel like they are an important part of the process of discovery when you include them in finding the answer.
  6. Accept your children’s outside-of-the-box answers. Instead of correcting or criticizing, listen to your children’s perspectives and explore other options with them as they come to a new understanding of the issue or question at hand.
  7. Be comfortable in the mystery of God. Some questions have no specific or concrete answer, but you can always stand firm on the character and heart of God. Remind your child that even when there are things that you don’t know, God is sovereign and in control. He can be trusted.
  8. Use the resources provided on this page to help you navigate your children’s questions.

Enjoy the natural curiosity of your children. Encourage them to ask questions and engage the pursuit of the answers with them. You’ll both, parents and children alike, learn to appreciate one another in new ways as you satisfy your curiosity.