{Non} Traditional Families FAQ

Family / Ministries //

lately, i’ve been speaking more frequently on the topic of {non} traditional families. the subject means a lot to me personally, and i’m always thrilled to share my thoughts with a group.

each time, at the beginning of the talk, i highlight a few statistics that represent today’s family:

in the United States

  • 1 of every 2 children will live in a single parent family before they reach the age of 18.
  • there are approximately 13.7 million single parents, and those parents are responsible for raising 21.8 million children.
  • since 1972, over 1 million kids each year {!} join the ranks of children of divorce.
  • approximately 120,00 children are adopted each year.
  • 25% of same sex couples are raising children {42% of heterosexual couples}

in Canada

  • according to Census Canada 2011: 1,078,600 children {19%} live with single parents.
  •  29,590 children ages 14 and under live in foster care.
  • 30,000 children live in “skip generation” families with one or both grandparents.
  • 9% of same sex couples have at least one child at home. same sex marriage tripled between 2006-2011 from 7,465 to 21,015 {due to Canada legalizing gay marriage in 2005}.

and, without fail, people ask me the same set of questions following the session {every time!}:

  • by encouraging {non} traditional families and offering supporting to families, am I blessing their lifestyle?
  • should there be a litmus test for teaching & leadership positions in children’s ministry? {IE: should gay parents/adults, or divorced adults be allowed to serve in children’s ministry?}
  • how do we raise awareness & offer training in our congregations and amongst children’s ministry volunteers for discussing the topic?

for today: how would {do} you respond to these questions? you first. i’ll respond next.





About the Author

Amy Dolan is founder, leader and blogger for Lemon Lime Kids, a children’s ministry consulting company that seeks to encourage churches to consider a fresh approach to leading and teaching children. Amy started the company in 2005, as a way to empower and encourage fellow children’s ministry leaders, and since that first day has had the opportunity to work with leaders & organizations committed to the spiritual growth of children. Amy believes that the church fully empowered, combined with the commitment of the family, and the compassion of the community has the power to inspire children’s faith for a lifetime. In addition to her consulting work with Lemon Lime Kids, Amy leads the strategic curriculum development for Phil Vischer’s new curriculum What’s in the Bible? (whatsinthebible.com), and serves as Director of LOCAL, a Chicago-area children’s ministry collaborative (kidmin.com). Amy is the former Executive Director for Children’s Ministry at the Willow Creek Association, a former Children’s Ministry Director at The Chapel in Libertyville, IL and a Curriculum Writer for Promiseland at Willow Creek in South Barrington. Amy is proud to be married to her husband Kelly, and loves living in Chicago. Amy blogs at lemonlimekids.com and tweets at @adolan.