Welcome back to our series of “Sunday Morning Strategies” for accommodating children of divorce, children from single parent homes and children from other modern family types in your Sunday morning children’s ministry. In today’s installment, we’re going to talk about the absolute necessity of training your volunteers so they will be prepared to deal with these kids.
As those who work with kids on a regular basis, we need to be in a position to react to, and deal with, those circumstances that are likely to occur in the lives of some of the kids in your ministry. As I thought back on some of my most uncomfortable moments I’ve experienced personally in children’s ministry, I realized that they were uncomfortable primarily because I was unprepared for the situations to come up. Given the circumstances involved (one was a child who had a grandparent die, and the other was when a child told me they had spent the day before helping Dad to move out of the house), I should have been better prepared. Since then, the same or similar circumstances have presented themselves multiple times. The only difference was that I was better prepared for the conversation. They are never easy conversations, but they can be made less uncomfortable with adequate training.
As leaders in children’s ministry, it is our responsibility to make sure that our volunteers are not caught off guard by these conversations and that they are equipped to speak into these kids lives no matter what circumstances they may find themselves in. Particularly in a large group/small group format where the small group leaders consistently speaks into the lives of the kids in their group, they need to understand and appreciate what the child of divorce and child from a single-parent home is going through.
Here are some ideas for how to train your volunteers to help them to minister to children of divorce and children from single-parent homes: