During one of our Grow Coaching days our theme was to discuss, brainstorm, and plan for Missional Faith Formation and how we could share the love of Jesus with the people in our local communities. However, I couldn’t help but notice that much of our conversation centred on our mission and ministry specifically to parents and families.
A focus on families is certainly part of our planned training session. Interestingly though, it was like we couldn’t move on until we talked more about these families and wondering what we could do to reach them. Especially on the families that haven’t been seen since the doors of our buildings closed at the beginning of COVID-19 lockdowns.
Our hearts are broken and aching.
It wasn’t long before we realised that our hearts were broken and aching for these children and their families. So, we decided it was important to spend some time acknowledging this hurt. We needed to spend some time in lament. We needed to acknowledge that this grief was underlying a lot of our conversation and the absence of families in our congregations was a reality.
So, we put aside our agenda for the day and expressed some of our thoughts and feelings.
There was a range of emotions from anger, frustration, hurt, sadness to wondering what we had done wrong and what we could have done differently both during and post lockdowns. We took some time to pray and seek God’s wisdom. We chatted about what we could do to re-engage with these children and their families. We pondered what might be going on in the homes and family life of the people we don’t see anymore.
We knew talking about it wasn’t going to fix it. Adding a new program wouldn’t help either. But voicing our concerns and future possibilities helped us.
So, maybe it is now time to talk with families, one family at a time, and discover what challenges they are facing and how the congregation, its people and ministry, could support them and help show them the love of Jesus.