This summer was one of significant change. I left a job I loved, but realized it was not where God was truly calling me to be. It was one of those seasonal change things…I had stepped away from Children and Family Ministries, but apparently no forever.
God began to unfold all of this late last winter. A Facebook group I’m part of had advertised a diploma program for Kidmin and through a “contest”, we had an opportunity to be given a scholarship towards the tuition. So, I completed the steps, but was sure that this Canadian wouldn’t hear anymore. I put it out of my mind, until April Fool’s day (really!!). Someone hadn’t claimed the scholarship offered to them, and when a name was drawn to be offered that space – it was mine! We Prayed about it, and said “Yes”.
Fast forward to a lovely trip with friends into our local wine country, and a conversation about the dream of change that their church was having for an impactful Family Ministry. He asked lots of questions, and I gave just as many answers. We said our goodbyes and I carried on – but the conversation just wouldn’t let my spirit rest. Later that week, I asked, “What if it was me who came and worked with you?” to which is response was “Wouldn’t that be fun?”
So here we are – 3 months into a 6 month contract and we’ve begun to lay the foundations for what could change an entire community. A ministry focused on empowering families as they influence their children for Jesus.
The leadership believes that Psalm 78 and Deuteronomy 6 are the foundations we must build our ministry upon. We know that our time with kids is so limited through Sundays only, but it we pour into the time that families have together, we can exponentially increase that leverage.
By flipping the order in which children encounter the Word of God, we give the opportunity to parents to watch the first steps of their children into God encounters and faith. Just as a parent loves to be the ones who watch the first tentative steps, so to with first tentative steps of being a Jesus follower. Our times of ministry will be a reinforcement of the times at home.
Through the intentional building of the child’s “hearing from God” muscles, the family will, together, make God the centre of their decisions and interactions. We then, will support that with resourcing, serving opportunities and times of learning – together and separately.
Our community gatherings on Sundays will be ones of support and learning – all with each one discussing the same Scripture focus in an age appropriate way. This will give the entire family a common experience and intentional conversation starting points.
We will further put building blocks for community into place, and beginning on Thanksgiving Sunday – we will host a breakfast that will lead directly into Worship. A safe, welcoming setting to bring guests and those who are put-off by the formality of traditional worship settings. This will encourage those who have been around forever to interact, through the fellowship that food creates, with those who are new to the gathering.
By modelling that our relationship with Jesus is an integral part to all aspects of life we can begin to effect real transformation in the lives of our church community, and the community around us – all for the building of the Kingdom
I can’t believe that I get to be a part of this journey! It’s one I never expected to find myself on again, and to be in a community who is excited at what God can and has already started to do is humbling beyond words.