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What It Takes to Engage Families of Divorce

 
 

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Ministry is hard work. Ministering to anyone connected to divorce takes a lot of energy and passion. For those who have experienced divorce in some way, such as being an adult child of divorce, being divorced, or having someone close to you go through a divorce, your passion is fueled by your personal experience.

But what about a children’s minister or volunteer who has not had a personal experience? Can your passion be fueled? Absolutely!

Here’s what it takes to fuel your passion and engage these families.

  • It is about relating to these children. It takes building relationships with the children and understanding their situations. This is difficult when the children only attend sporadically as they bounce back and forth between homes on the weekends. Through the many posts on this blog, you can begin to learn how to relate to the children.
  • It’s about being part of the village that will impact each child who enters your church doors. Wess Stafford, in the book Too Small To Ignore[1], says, “Children learn what they live, and isolation in the ‘village’ is one of the most destructive messages we daily write on the tablets of their hearts.” The church, your “village,” can either open its arms, accept all children, and love on them or allow the kids who come to your village to feel isolated and alone. Kids will also notice the interactions you have with their single parents. You may never notice, but they are watching.
  • Four criteria when ministering to these children:
  1. Pray—Open your heart and your mind.
  2. Understand—It is important to try and understand the children’s situation and the single-parent life.
  3. Reach out—Use God’s Word or your personal experiences to reach out to the children of divorce. Ask questions, and learn what is going on in their lives.
  4. Caring—Allow God to use your experience with each child to fuel your passion.
  • It’s about empowerment. Use God’s Word to empower this ministry.

  • Many children’s church workers and volunteers fall into ministering to the children of divorce. What do I mean by that? These kids show up at your church, and before you know it, you are trying to figure out how to minister to them. You are usually doing it on the spot, and you might not feel very confident in your ability to impact these children. You want to help them. You know you should help them. You want to bring the love of Jesus to them. You understand what the Bible says about the orphans, so you fall into ministering. “As soon as I pray, You answer me; You encourage me by giving me strength.” Psalm 138:3

I do a lot of conferences and workshops about children of divorce. After one conference, a participant said, “I thought your presentation was very helpful for me to be able to start relating better to the kids of divorced and single parents.” Bingo! That’s exactly what I pray for at every event.

How will you engage these families? How will you fuel a passion for kids of divorce?

 

This article is updated and adapted from an article originally published on the Kids & Divorce blog on October 22, 2013.

DC4K blogs posts are great to use for training children’s leaders and volunteers and they are free.  Subscribe to the DC4K blog here.

Want to learn more about how to start a DivorceCare for Kids group for the hurting children in your community? Click here.

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[1] “Too Small To Ignore” by Wess Stafford (Waterbrook Press) page 55

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