by Ted Lowe
While my primary focus at Orange is MarriedPeople, I still have the privilege of connecting with leaders who work with children and youth. While every church is different, the struggles I hear from those who work with kids are often the same.
I recently talked with a children’s pastor who came to my marriage ministry breakout at Orange Tour. She said she was seeking answers to the constant barrage of “sad stories” happening at her church. Some of her “best families” had determined divorce was the only option. The changes in the children of the families broke her heart—some withdrawn, some defiant, all not the children she had grown to know and love.
But how could she help? How could she add one more thing to her already full plate? At MarriedPeople, we’ve been toying with answering that question for the last couple of years, and here’s where we landed.
My advice to her is the same I would give to any children’s or youth worker— give kids in your church the best Christmas present possible. Help make the marriages in their lives the best they can be. This can be mom’s and dad’s, mom’s and stepdad’s, small group leaders’, grandparents’, aunts’ and uncles’, etc.
Why? Because if you are a church who believes what happens at home is even more important than what happens at church, then you have to help make home great. For instance, if you are partnering with parents to teach their kids about grace, then mom and dad have to know how to give it to each other first.
- Start with the marriages of the couples who are serving in your ministry. Send them out on dates, send them our E-ZINE or create your own. Give couples tools. But don’t administrate any of this yourself. From the very beginning, ask for help. Find a leader to own it. As you are searching for this leader or leaders think outside the box, think older couple and some tech savvy teenager to help you with the E-ZINE.
- Once you have a leadership plan in place, start helping the moms and dads of your church date, and send them the E-ZINE as well. But don’t administrate any of this yourself. Are you seeing a trend here? Start out with a surplus of leaders.
Many kids are going to get a lot of junk for Christmas. Give them a gift they won’t know they received until they get married themselves.
And if there’s a way we can help, let us know. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.