This ad will not display on your printed page.
At Belmont Evangelical Church in Chicago, where my wife and I first began in singles ministry sixteen years ago, we felt it important to provide child care for single parents attending our weekly meetings. That baby-sitting service was greatly appreciated by the parents-but not by the nursery workers.
One baby sitter after another would come up to me after a meeting and say, "That does it! Those kids are so undisciplined and rebellious that I just can't take it. I'm afraid you're going to have to find someone else to take care of those kids." We tried volunteers. We tried paying attendants. It didn't matter. Most of them quit before long. The children of divorce were just uncontrollable.
It's not surprising. Think of the pain these kids have endured. They feel lost. Often their parents are struggling with emotional pains of their own, plus substandard housing or transportation or employment. We realized that when we minister to parents with broken marriages, we have to take into account the children as well. Unless both the parent and the child are healed, the family will never be healthy.
It was as if God were saying to us, "Why limit yourselves to providing nursery care? These kids need ministry, too." From that point on, we've taken an active interest in the children of the singles in our ministry, and we've seen great things happen.
If finding mere baby sitters was so hard, where were we to find people interested in ministering to children of divorce? We discovered they weren't easy to find, but they were there.
A bulletin announcement is almost useless for such recruiting. We've learned to hand-pick helpers. Sensitivity to the plight of the children is our first criterion. When we expose potential workers to the needs of these kids, the ones with a heart for the ministry emerge. There are few things as compelling as a needy child, and to those who demonstrate a heart for the children, we're ready to suggest ways to minister.
In our experience, previously ...