Here’s the second part of a guest post by Andy Tilly, Orange Conference breakout speaker.
From an inside standpoint, I will say that for many families the church for far too long has been the last resort for help instead of the first. Many times the church leaders end up being crisis counselors instead of crises avoiders. We host the ER rather than the regular well-check. We have all heard the stories of parents at their wits’ end, not knowing where to turn or what to do! My question to those who are in a “do or die” frame of mind more often than not is “How many places have you tried, people have you seen, friends’ ideas have you used, parenting magazines have you read, Dr. Phil episodes have you watched, and Oprah shows you have cried to before you ended up here, at the church?”
I know that may sound a little harsh, yet when families try all they know, and find themselves facing dire straits the church and God all too often become the final ending point. (Not to mention one that is not usually something most get excited or hopeful about.) Now don’t hear me say that these parents are doing something wrong, the truth is that at least they are out there looking for and perusing avenues that may help. But my question is, why do so many look that the church and it’s resources as a last resort instead of as the first solution? Why is the church and all it has to offer not the immediate answer to the questions we all ask at times especially as parents…”What in the world am I supposed to do now“ or “How am I ever going to do this“ ?
During our breakout session, I want us to look at the things we can proactively do as a church to change the perception others may hold of a Family Focused Ministry. Join us in this breakout to hear not only ideas and struggles but also hopes and dreams as well. We will focus on how to lead the church in becoming a place of support, solutions, and hope rather than a place to collapse at the doorstep exhausted and empty after nothing else has worked. I believe together we can better align parents for a vision of family ministry that can change the way that they handle challenges and issues as well as how they generally can thrive in life together!
How can your church become a main place for families to find guidance and support?