I frequently hear people say, in a variety of ways, how important our young families are. I hear comments that delight in our children and youth and their presence in our church. I hear the older people of our church longing for more young adults, and longing for the days of youth musicals and crowded Sunday school rooms. I often hear that our children are our future, which is true. They are also our present!
I see our dedicated youth leaders. I also see our dedicated Sunday school teachers. Some of the youth leaders and Sunday school teachers have no children of their own. Some have children who are grown. Some are men. Most of them are young moms. And they are exhausted. They want their children to have quality Sunday school and youth groups, yet they are stretched to the breaking point by the additional responsibilities of teaching. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if church could be a way of recovering rather than additional stress for them?
There is much that could be said. We could talk about changing times in the church and the reasons why. We could talk about the good old days. What I want to talk about today is this: How can we care for our young families in ways that they feel supported and loved?
One of the primary ways, I think, is for those of us, both men and women, whose children are grown to take a short turn teaching Sunday school. Perhaps you can teach for two weeks. Perhaps four weeks. Perhaps a group like a UMW Circle or a Bible study could take responsibility for a particular class. Children need both male and female role models. Is this a gift you could give to the young families of our church?
Other ways include adopting a family. Are your grandkids far away? We’ve got families here who would love some TLC from you! Perhaps you can take a meal to a young family on an occasional basis. Perhaps you can write a note to a child who would love to get a letter in the mail. Perhaps you can offer to babysit so that mom can run errands. The possibilities are endless.
If God is nudging you to be in ministry to our young families, talk to Kendy or myself. Who knows? We could end up being the most family-friendly church in town!
On the Lenten journey with you,