Thursday, November 6, 2014

Before and after family ministry expectations

Those who work with kids on a Sunday morning can get frustrated by the flocculating numbers experienced each week.

One week you'll have a handful of kids, the next you'll get a near-full-turnout, seemingly, without any discernable pattern or reason.

Thus, planning can be problematic and, on a week you've got something special planned, quite discouraging, if that happens to be the Sunday families "have off."

We can even, in our weaker moments, wonder why families are "so flakey" when it comes to church attendance.

But, there are two stages of life for those who work with families...

Before, when you expected families to be a church each week, and after.

Before, when you didn't fully get why families are tired, stressed, overworked, and after.

Before, when you didn't live the life of someone on four hours sleep - months on end, and after

Before, when you didn't know what croup was or were kept up due to whooping cough, and after.

Before, when you didn't have to plan the next day ahead for someone who's totally dependent upon you, and after.

Before, when each journey didn't involve car seats and contingency plans "just in case," and after.

Before, when you didn't have a toddler who can radically tantrum at any given moment, and after.

Before, when toilet training and "big girl pants" never entered your mind at the start of the day, and after (what my wife and I are going through currently).

Before, when you didn't have kids, and after.

Before, when you didn't understand, and after, when you do.

A commonly quoted "stat" is that a regular church family will make it to church twice a month.

Once you've got kids, the perspective you have for those families transforms.

Now that my wife and I ARE THOSE FAMILIES, getting to church when able... despite our willingness, I LOVE IT whenever families attend church.

Because now I understand just how much of an effort it is...

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