In the article “Leading and Managing Kidmin Change,” Greg Baird wrote:
Fear – people are naturally afraid of change. Change is unknown, and we’re usually afraid of the unknown.
The reason this caught my attention is because it opened a door in my mind about why children’s ministers might be reluctant to want to minister to children of divorce. It is a change from the “normal” kids that usually come to our churches.
It makes sense that fear of the unknown, aka divorce, logical.
Some of these fears might include,
- Divorcing families are messy.
- Supporting divorce goes against my moral standards.
- I don’t know much about divorce except there are lawyers and angry people involved.
- How would I comfort the kids?
- How could I fit them into our kid’s ministry when they might not come on a regular basis?
I’m sure there are many other fears that keep churches from purposely reaching out to the child of divorce. Let’s look at each of these and see if we can lessen the fear for you.
Divorcing families are messy
All of us that work with children are acquainted with messy. We do messy things all the time. Silly string is messy. Art projects can be messy. Serving snacks to two-year olds is messy. When we do these kinds of things, we prepare our environment and ourselves. We are aware we will need to do some cleaning up afterwards so we move forward.
The same kinds of thoughts can hold true when starting to purposefully minister to children of divorce. Prepare yourself, and just know that there might be some cleaning up to do afterwards. Besides, not every divorcing family is messy. If a church can host a support group like DivorceCare for the adults and Divorce Care 4 Kids [DC4K] for the kids, it makes life not quite so messy for the kids after all.
Just like you wouldn’t do a messy art project with a group of kids alone, don’t do ministry to children of divorce alone. Find some kindred hearts to walk alongside you. This might be a person that you can vent to or share your thoughts with. Sometimes, we find clarity when we can talk through a situation. It would need to be someone you can trust to keep things confidential.
Supporting divorce goes against my moral standards
There is a funny thing about this thought process. Divorce goes against God’s directives and His standards too, but He still loves the divorced person. Don’t think of it as supporting the act of divorce but as loving the divorced person. What can you do to make these kids lives easier? How can you be someone who shows them the love of Christ?