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 Spiritual Formation and Family Ministry
717-533-4848
jbennett@hersheyfree.com

Resources for Leading your Child to Jesus. . .
At Easter, we reflect on Jesus’ death and resurrection. Conversations of the cross and the relationship we can have with God are common. Salvation is not something we only talk about at Easter, but certainly, it goes hand in hand with the “Easter story.” As your child is listening to these lessons and reading these truths in Scripture, we pray you can have good discussions about how they can have a personal relationship with 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”: 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” – 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” – Alex McFarland (Focus on the Family)
  • “Spiritual Parenting-An Awakening for Today’s Families” – Michelle Anthony

Books For Kids

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

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

Family Resources

Everyday Resources
5 Love Languages – “Live with Jesus, Love like Jesus, and Lead Others to Do the Same” is the discipleship model of KidStep and Hershey Free Church. We discussed “Love like Jesus” at the last Family Forum. You can download copies of the cards we handed out here or go to the 5 Love Languages website for additional resources.

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.

Shepherding your Child is a great website to help you grow your child in the way he/she should go.

10 Active Indoor Games  That focus on faith building for parents and children to do together during rainy days.

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.







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 Identity Window:

Every child has a name—one carefully thought about even before the child was born. I remember the conversations that my husband and I had about names before our first son was born. We went through name after name before we landed on two girls’ names and two boys’ names. (Since God ultimately blessed us with three sons, those girls’ names never did get used!) The two boys’ names were Andrew Timothy and Joel Matthew. We carefully selected those names based on two criteria: one, was it a biblical name; and two, what was the meaning of the name. Andrew is Scottish but traces its roots to a Greek word that means strong or manly and Joel comes from the Hebrew and means Yahweh is God. My husband and I debated both names, liked them both, and ultimately decided we would wait until the baby was born to decide what this child would be called. Upon the arrival of a ten-pound baby boy, we quickly came to the conclusion that Andrew seemed like the appropriate and logical choice.  Interestingly, Andrew has commented numerous times that he was glad we didn’t name him Joel because it just didn’t seem to “fit.”

Names are a part of our identity; they provide clarity about who we are. The definition of identity is, “the condition of being oneself and not another.”  We were created to be who we are, and who we are is first and foremost a child of God with a name that helps identify us as a specific person. Helping your child see themselves as a unique child of God is a significant task of parenting. Opening their identity window helps give them value and worth because they are learning from your words and actions that they are deeply loved by you and by God. Ultimately, opening your child’s identity window answers the question, “Who am I?”

However, our children encounter barriers that prevent them from having a clear understanding of their identity. Those barriers come from replacing identity with identification, which is defined as the “labels we assign to ourselves, or allow others to assign to us.”  Think about the labels that you have lived with or are currently living with. How have they defined you, hindered you, or caused you to struggle with your identity? Throughout our children’s lives, we can inadvertently describe them by words that become labels and undermine their identity. Peers and other adults can also cause children to struggle with their identity. Labels like lazy, stupid, loud, angry, bad, inferior, or shy all begin to negatively impact a child’s view of self. Other labels like pretty, good, smart, athletic, musical, or gifted, while more positive in nature, can still construct an inadequate and incomplete view of self.

Opening your child’s identity window begins by believing that your child is a reflection of God, an image bearer of the Creator. As you interact with your son or daughter, be mindful that your attitudes, actions, and conversations all work together to shape your child’s view of self.  Help your children create an accurate view of self by speaking words of value to them. Let them know that their identity is not in what they do, but in simply that they are a son or daughter of God. Remind them that they are loved, not because of what they did or did not do, but simply because “they are,” and they belong.

The question of “Who am I?” is best answered by remembering that each of us, parent and children alike, are made in the image of God and that our identity is rooted in truly believing and receiving that truth. As you interact with your children this week, look for opportunities to send the following messages:

  • You are loved!
  • You are enough!
  • You belong!

As you send those messages to your children, remember to receive them for yourself; you are a son or daughter of God, you are loved, you are enough, and you belong!