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Showing posts with label small church. Show all posts
Showing posts with label small church. Show all posts

13 September

FOMO for PKs in Small Churches

I want the best for my kids. We all do. It’s part of being a mother.

When God called us overseas, we had to forsake a loving nursery where every worker had a background check, followed by a well-structured, modern children’s program, and culminating in a large, energetic youth group. Without these, I was anxious about the spiritual education of my children.

·         Who would teach them the Bible stories?
·         Would they be “normal kids” without pizza parties and emphasis weekends?
·         How would they learn how to battle PEER PRESSURE?!?
·         What if they never learned “Jesus Loves Me”?!?!? (I was happy to avoid “Father Abraham,” because that song just drives me crazy.)

Maybe you’re in the same position. Maybe you live in a place with no churches or you serve in a small church with no “quality” programs for families. Maybe your FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) has kicked in, too, and you think God might be short-changing your children for the sake of the unreached people around you.

I did.

One day, I was almost crying as I walked through the narrow streets of our city, torn by my conflicting responsibilities, when the Holy Spirit stopped me in my tracks. Literally; I stopped walking and may have stopped breathing for a second there. In prayer, I realized something I should have known all along: God loved my children just as much as He loved the lost person I was going to visit. He was equally interested in the spiritual development of my children and my lost friend. Sure, I knew it intellectually, but this fact hit me at a heart level. I knew His purposes in bringing us to this far-away place included my children. I knew their souls were not sacrificed on the altar of service.

Over the next few months, I began to notice the depth of their spiritual understanding. I taught them “Jesus Loves Me,” but they loved and trusted the Bible at a deeper level than that. They prayed incredible prayers, and they spoke of faith issues with confidence.

Another mom in church planting felt the same way. She watched her children learn how to pray for lost people. She saw their faith deepen from sitting in small groups with adults because there were no children’s programs. She, too, is glad for the lack.

There are many great things happening in larger churches with children’s programs and youth groups, but don’t bemoan your church’s lack of such things. Don’t think your children are missing out because your church plant, small church, or house church lacks programs for kids. God will place people and events in your children’s lives that strengthen and expand their faith in unique ways. He loves them just as much as He loves the people you’re trying to reach with the gospel.

And as far as I know, my kids still haven’t learned “Father Abraham.” Whew!

Question for Reflection: Are you anxious about some aspect of parenting because of ministry? Relax into God’s faithfulness and watch Him mold your children for good in that exact area.

About the Author:

Carole Sparks is passionate about God’s Word—about how it can change our everyday lives! After years of globetrotting, she now lives, learns, and loves (plus a good bit of writing) in the hills of East Tennessee. Connect with Carole through her blog, http://notaboutme1151.wordpress.comor on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

18 March

Relaunching The Pastor's Wife Blog

(Today's post covers an upcoming weekly link-up, plus upcoming topics of discussion: sexual abuse in the church, a soon-to-be released pastors' wives novel, the unique challenges of small churches, and some advice you may have heard that I believe is unhelpful.)

When I began this site last year, I burned myself out a bit. I tried to write every day on this blog, plus keep my personal blog updated, plus spend time to adequately promote this site. It just got to be too much, and I needed to take a break and regroup.

There was a time when I could keep that up. But life has just been really weird for a long time now. Although we're rounding out the 4th year since we've moved across the country, I still feel like I've lost my bearings somewhat. We live 30 minutes from our church building and it's challenging for me to minister in that context, plus also be involved in the community where we live, which is completely separate. I also can't dismiss that whole bad salad incident as perhaps part of me is still damaged (i.e. my brain?) -- I've just not been the same since. 

So, I've broken down and regrouped, and have set more realistic goals. At this point, I'm hoping to post once a week. I'm still open to others posting, but I'm thinking this site needs to grow a bit first before there's interest. I also hope to have a weekly check-in where you guys can link up your favorite post of the week. I'm thinking I'll do that link up post on Fridays?

I do have several posts I've been working on in the queue that (Lord willing) you can hopefully look forward to in the coming weeks. The topic of sexual abuse in the church has been in the news lately. I'm working on a post with the help of an old friend, who's going to help me navigate the sensitive elements and also clarify facts for me, as needed.

There's a new pastors' wives novel coming out in late April, and I had the opportunity to read an advanced copy of it. I'll be reviewing it and also posting some questions for discussion. Though not a pastor's wife herself, the author really did a good job of portraying many realities we may find ourselves in. Also, unlike too many others in media, she didn't violate us with unflattering stereotypes.

I also have an upcoming post or two specifically for pastors' wives in small churches. I grew up in a small church and probably will always be in small church ministry, as my pastor husband seems to be gifted with the patience it takes to slowly revitalize these situations with God's mercy and help. Many ministries try to address our struggles and they generally do a good job; but unless you're in them and are even experiencing them fresh, I think it's hard to fully relate sometimes.

And finally, a topic I'm working on and would love to hear your input: "Be Dead to It". Have you ever been given that advice, especially in regards to enduring criticism or personal attacks? I have, and I've tried to put it into practice. But, I'm realizing that it's another case of bad advice. I've got a rough draft with some practical reasons of why it's harmful, but I'm also searching out God's word and others' input for help. If you have any thoughts on the subject, please weigh in with your comments!


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