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
717-533-4848
jbennett@hersheyfree.com

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 – KPC 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.

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”: 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

Parenting Resources

Recently two couples from Hershey Free Church did presentations on Handling Conflict and on Discipline and Discipleship. Their presentations are posted in PDF format for you to use as a resource in your parenting.

This link from Henry Cloud and John Townsend provides insights into creating boundaries for your kids that will help develop their character.

Both Focus on the Family and Family Life Today have good resources to help you parent your children. Both of the links above will take you to short articles that provide ideas for effective discipline.

This resource from Intentional Parenting has an idea to help children, and parents, deal with conflict before it gets started.

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 Obedience Window:

When I was a little girl and was disciplined by my mother, she would regularly say, “You’re still standing up on the inside.” I knew without explanation what she meant because I knew it was true. I may have stopped doing what I was doing and succumbed to her correction, but I was not doing it willingly. I still wanted my own way; I was still “standing up on the inside!”

Every parent wants an obedient child. Not an outward “I’ll obey because I’ll get punished if I get caught” obedience, but obedience from the heart. Obedience from the heart reflects an attitude that recognizes that doing the right thing, making the right choice, may not be what I want to do, but it’s better in the long run. How do we as parents guide our children to embrace that perspective?  Josh McDowell, and others, have said, “Rules without relationship will yield rebellion.” Love, balanced with grace and truth, is the key to effective discipline.

Disobedience from children is inevitable; long-term rebellion is often preventable. How can parents help children develop obedience from the heart that results in self-discipline? The starting point lies in the hearts of the parents as they confront their own beliefs about God and his discipline of his children.  Hebrews 12:11 says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Jesus said, “If you love me, obey my commandments” (John 14:15).  These two verses help us see that discipline is necessary for spiritual maturity and that obedience flows from love.

So why do we discipline our children? The answer to that question lies in another question: Why does God want you to obey? He wants obedience for the same deep-down reason that a parent wants it: he knows what happens when rules aren’t obeyed. He knows what happens when we run after things that aren’t good for us. He knows that in our foolish, childish behavior we will make choices that have negative consequences. So, he disciplines us so that we can be trained to make the right, self-controlled choices that produce maturity in all areas of life. And that’s what we do as parents. We guide our children to learn to make wise decisions. With that perspective, discipline is not just about punishment, it is also about instruction and correction. Recognizing the broader goal of discipline helps parents guide children to obedience from the heart because the children are learning that the parents can be trusted. When love is at the core of discipline, children are able to feel secure in the relationship with their parents and ultimately are able to respond in a more positive way.

It’s important to remember, however, that children aren’t robots and parents aren’t perfect, so obedience is not automatic or formulaic. Simply doing the right things as parents doesn’t mean that children will magically obey. However, over time, the outcome tends to be more positive with children embracing a desire to do the right thing.

Obedience and discipline aren’t just for the purpose of getting our kids to exhibit right behavior, but to help them develop self-discipline. During childhood, there is a window of opportunity to lay the foundation for this fruit of the Spirit to be built into the life of children that will continue into adulthood. Be strong in your resolve to first be obedient to what God is asking you to do, then discipline your children with the same perspective.