In our world today the majority of kids coming to us from our communities live in some type of fractured family. These children come to church in a state of brokenness. Whether it’s the
- Child with newly divorced parents
- Child living with grandma or in kinship care
- Child in a blended family
- Child in foster care
They will have issues that need to be addressed by loving Christ-like people.
The number one thing they need besides prayer is relationships. You might say the three most important words to remember when ministering to these children is
These children need spiritually and emotionally healthy people that will take the time to connect with them. And they need church leaders that will remember that a consistent schedule for many of these children is every other week at church, not every week.
They need leaders who will take the time to educate themselves about the child in these situations. For example, just because a child is in a blended family doesn’t mean all is now well with that child. Many children are thrown into a blended family before they have processed the grief from the divorce of original two-parent marriage.
When a child comes to us with a broken arm and in a cast we accommodate that child. However, when a child comes to use with a broken heart, we tend to gloss over their needs and try to make them fit into the group. We then expect them to be happy and joyful like the other kids.
We pour on the scriptures, games and treats when what the child really needs is someone to care and to listen to their stories. Every hurting child has a story to tell and we need to learn to listen to their stories and figure out how to take their story and bring Christ into the story.
We need to model Jesus’ love to these children. Kids will do what is modeled before them more than they will do what is said to them. Modeling will work most effectively when you have developed a relationship with the child.
A child experiencing a broken spirit needs Jesus Christ brought into the relationship. And that my friend is the real key – a relationship (there is that word again) with Jesus Christ and with a heavenly Father that will never leave them or forsake them.
About those three most important words? These children need a
- Relationship with you
- Relationship with God
- Relationship with Jesus Christ
What does your relationship with the children from fractured families in your community look like?