Family Ministry

advice, thoughts, and discussion

How do you say Goodbye?

It was announced to our church body this morning that my husband and I are moving on. The Lord has blessed us with another opportunity for ministry. We are excited for our new opportunity, but are so very sad to be leaving the place we’ve called “home” for the last year and a half. I’ll miss all the kids’ smiling faces and the love and encouragement from the families here. But, this made me think….what’s the best way to say goodbye?

Saying Goodbye

Once the congregation knows of your resignation, be prepared to answer questions. Most people will fall somewhere in the grief process:

  • denial — “no way”;
  • anger — “whose fault is this?”;
  • bargaining — “maybe if we ‘fix’ things, you’ll stay”; and
  • acceptance — “God is in control.”

Allow these people to move through the grief process at their own pace.

Anticipate and prepare for the hard questions ahead of time by agreeing with those you previously reported to as to what’s a mutually acceptable response to questions. Be as specific as possible without wounding the church on your way out. If your reason is too nebulous such as, “It’s in the best interest of our family,” people may wonder if someone in your family has cancer or if your marriage is breaking up. In any case, request that everyone who knows the details share only what’s been agreed upon. I can assure you that the phone calls and visits will come.

Take care of your family during the transition. Even though your family members were involved in the decision-making process, they too are in a process of change and recovery just as you are. When children are involved, it might be good for someone from outside the church — a denominational representative, a counselor, or possibly a mature friend who relates well to children — to visit with them, share the promises of God’s faithfulness from Scripture, and talk about any personal stories of experiencing God’s faithfulness in change.

As you work through the change and begin to explore new possibilities, keep talking as a family. When I left a staff position in one of the churches I served, my 6-year-old daughter’s greatest fear was that we would become homeless. We talked about this issue and I constantly assured her that God, our relatives, and good friends would never allow that to happen.

Also, keep praying individually, as a couple, and as a family. Give God the glory for his faithfulness and lean on him for the future. You may not actually feel this while you’re in the process of saying goodbye to a church that you’ve invested your life with, but it is true: God is good all the time. And all the time, God is good (Psalm 100:5).

 

I love and will miss you all!

 

Thanks to Children’s Ministry Magazine for resources

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But that’s not the movie I want to watch!

As I was sitting on my couch on Monday night, watching the NCAA championship basketball game (so sad Michigan lost by the way) I was thinking, this really isn’t what I would choose to watch. This happens all the time in my home – especially when there are sports on tv. My husband enjoys watching baseball, basketball, football, hockey, golf….and of course the countless hours of sports center on ESPN.

I, however would choose to watch shows on HGTV. And while my husband is really great most of the time when there’s Love it or List it or Property Brothers on, and I will watch a U of M game, Bills or Sabres game (Let’s go Buffalo!)….we have issues in choosing  the entertainment that we watch sometimes. And we don’t even have kids yet! This most definitely gets more difficult as a family expands. (and we need to filter our entertainment even more than we do already!)

After reading an article on the Focus on the Family website, this is what I’ve gathered:

Obviously, when we have disputes over what to watch we know that we need to make a plan. Something that worked for my husband’s family growing up was making a tv schedule: each person can watch 1 hour of tv a day, with their choice of what to watch. So, say you have 4 kids; Alan, Dan, Leah, and Morgan. You would schedule each kid for an hour a day, and they would rotate times. (This doesn’t have to be the way you do it….some families like more informal rules. It doesn’t matter.)

But, when it comes to content, that when things can get messy. Say it’s Friday night. The long-awaited, box-office-smash starts playing every 30 minutes at the local theater. Your oldest is begging to go because “all” his friends will be there. Your daughter’s been invited to a slumber party where some romantic comedy is the big draw. Your youngest is raving about a hot new band his buddies like. You just want to kick back with your spouse, pop some popcorn, and watch a new pay-per-view movie.

How do you and your family make decisions about these entertainment opportunities and know in your heart you’ve made the right ones? Is there a straightforward guideline all of you can agree to follow?

While there are factors like age appropriateness, spiritual maturity, and the possibility of being a “stumbling block” to a brother (Romans 14:13). Basically, as corny as it may sound…we need to ask ourselves What Would Jesus Do?! I actually prefer an expanded version of the question, something like this: If Jesus were walking the planet today with His 12 disciples, how would He respond if Peter, John, or Matthew asked, “Can we go see or listen to [fill in the blank here]?” Or “How about if we play this video game?”

These are questions we should always ask before choosing entertainment. And they’re questions we need to train our kids to ask as well.

Help your son or daughter understand that Christ’s answer to these questions would be based entirely upon His love for His disciples, not on a desire to squelch their fun. None of us knows what Jesus would do or say in every situation, but it’s our job to train our kids to prayerfully seek what He likely would do based on His holiness and character.

Here’s an easy place to start. Go to http://www.pluggedin.com or http://www.kids-in-mind.com and search the movie or music your kids want to see/listen to. Go through the list with your kids. Explain the violence, sexual content, and language that may be inappropriate for them. Explain what elements we believe Jesus wouldn’t want us to view or hear. Do this every time your kids ask to see or hear something. Even when it gets tiring and annoying. As your kids get older, you can have them review the material for themselves and see if they make the decision you chose for them. Once they reach driving age, have them read the material and make the decisions on their own. This is a practice that my husband and I have done for every show and music we’ve wanted to be entertained by. IT really helps to keep you on the right path!

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Did your kids understand Easter?

Here’s an article that I read on Focus on the Family’s website, and I thought it was written really well. It’s something I wanted to share with all of you:

Many parents would agree that children should wait until they are older to see the acclaimed movie The Passion of the Christ, which graphically depicts the horrible violence that Jesus Christ endured before giving His life on the cross.

For the most part, children in our culture are privileged enough to be insulated from the reality and “scariness” of death.

Death and life, however, are at the core of the Christian message exemplified by Good Friday and Easter and remembered each Sunday. How much does your child understand that message?

Children need to know that dying was Jesus Christ’s reason for living on earth. They also need to know about Jesus’ resurrection three days later. As a parent, you can have the wonderful privilege of talking with your child about these important truths. The Easter season (which only begins with Easter Sunday) is great time to do this.

The following mini-lessons are designed for you to download, print out, review with a Bible in hand and then read with your child. These lessons will help you give your child a greater appreciation and understanding of the purpose of Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection.

Ultimately, these five mini-lessons will encourage your child to join God’s family.

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April Resources

Here are our Family Ministry resources for the month of April:

All Parents:

Orange Blog

252 Basics (1st grade-6th grade)

Parent Cue

Extra Memory Verses

God Time Week 1

God Time Week 2

God Time Week 3

God Time Week 4

First Look (age 3- Kindergarten)

Parent Cue

Don’t forget our Schedule!

Our TrinityKids services:

9:00 Sunday morning eXplore!

  • Group 3s-kindergarten
  • 1st-4th grade groups based off of The Dig Curriculum
  • 5th-6th grade Grapple Group

10:30 Sunday morning eXclaim!

  • Small groups 2s-Kindergarten
  • Large group for 1st-4th grade
  • 5th-6th grade X-Crew

6:30-7:30 Wednesday night  eXplosion!

  • Game Based Lessons 3s-Kindergarten
  • Game Based Lessons 1st-4th Grade
  • eXtreme56! for 5th-6th Grade (Game Based Lessons with a Youth Group Atmosphere)

The Nursery is always up and running when we have programming!

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