Westwood Baptist hosting ‘Parenting in the Modern World’ classes

By WILLIAM MARLOW | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER — Westwood Baptist Church will begin hosting parenting classes throughout the month of September as part of an ongoing fall series examining family life from a biblical perspective.

The course, named ‘Parenting in a Modern World,’ will be jointly led by Senior Pastor Kenneth Bruce and Families Pastor Ric Callahan, who will explore 12 individual topics over a three-month period.

Callahan said he and his fellow church members were inspired to create the course after counseling to their congregation and to local families in recent months.

“Well, just working with families as well as children and teenagers, we’ve noticed that there’s a lot of challenges that families are facing today,” Callahan said. “Challenges from the world within which we live, and we want to help our families and our parents especially in ministering to their families from a biblical perspective.”

As such, much of the course material is derived from biblical teachings with lessons encompassing both the New and Old Testaments.

“We’re starting the course with just a real understanding of God’s design for the families,” Callahan said. “We’re also going to talk about different characters in Scripture, different kinds of parenting styles that were used and of course we will focus mostly on the characteristics of Jesus Christ and how we can apply those to our family life.”

Classes will be split between ages 3-18, with a focus on four specific childhood milestones: preschool age, young adolescence, middle school and then high school.

Callahan said he was particularly drawn to this course structure because oftentimes each age group faces a unique set of challenges.

“What we’re finding is that, you know, at every stage in life, kids are dealing with different challenges,” he said. “Teenagers are definitely dealing with things that the younger children are not, and so we just want parents to be as prepared as possible.”

Callahan said the course is welcome to any parent in the community that is interested, including newer parents and even grandparents.

“We would love to invite the community, and anyone who is a parent that feels like they need some encouragement and guidance in parenting skills,” he said. “We know that at every stage of family life that parenting is difficult, and by coming to this class, we hope parents can gain some wisdom and some perspectives that will help them be a better parent, build some relationships where they can have a support system and have the resources to ensure their kids grow up to honor God.”

Classes will span from September to November with both classroom instruction as well as a variety of speakers ranging from professional counselors to family therapists.

The first class was scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 1, and was led by Bruce. All classes will be held in the church’s worship center on Wednesdays from 6:15-7:30 p.m.

Session Topics and dates include:

  • 9-1 God’s Design for the Family      – Kenneth Bruce
  • 9-8 Raising Positive kids in a negative world – Ric Callahan
  • 9-15 Raising Girls, Acceptance, Anxiety, Relationships – Jessica Dieken – Pathways
  • 9-22 Raising Boys who become Mighty Men of God – Kenneth Bruce
  • 9-29 Fathers of Valor – Guest Speaker – Brian Pitts – Life Coach
  • 10-6 Family in Crisis – Kids Dealing with Divorce, Death, Distress, – Kenneth Bruce
  • 10-13 Local Challenges facing our Kids – Guest Speaker – Clay Hammac
  • 10-20 Preparing your kids to win life’s biggest battles –            Ric Callahan
  • 10-27 Adolescent Suicide and Self–Harm – Michael Bozeman – Pathways
  • 11-3 A mother’s hat rack – Speaker – Carla Callahan
  • 11-10 Social Media, Internet, Cell Phones – Guest Speaker -Ben Debell – Pathways
  • 11-17 Ask Anything Discussion (Parent Commissioning) – Ric and Kenneth