If it wasn’t obvious before, there can be no doubt we are living in a world broken by sin. It’s hard enough to navigate for adults who have extensive Bible knowledge and life experience. For children and teens, it can seem overwhelming and insurmountable. They need help from godly adults to navigate the constant exposure to a world turned upside down in the worst possible ways.
Unfortunately, many parents – and even quite a few Christian parents – have metaphorically tapped out on parenting their children in meaningful ways. They allow day care centers, schools, coaches, sitters and other adults to spend almost every waking moment with their children. As a result, kids and teens no longer have the same resilience that earlier generations did? Why? Because the foundation of resilience is a strong, healthy relationship with a nurturing, supportive parent who also spends time teaching you other parts of resilience like problem solving skills, planning, etc. When children spend little time with their parents, this type of relationship is almost impossible, leaving young people with little resilience.
Which means you are probably ministering to more hurting children than ever before. They don’t have the resources or tools to deal with the bad things that have happened in their lives. If their parents aren’t providing this support, you may be the only person they know who will.
You may feel ill equipped to help hurting children and believe they are better served in counseling. And in extreme cases, you are correct. For more normal issues, however, there just aren’t enough counselors available. The average wait time is between 1-3 months to be seen. Thankfully, the counseling world is admitting that much of what they do can be easily done by lay people. You just need the resources to give you the confidence you are saying and doing the right things.
We have several free resources that can give you the information and confidence you need.
- Ministering to Marginalized Children. This book was designed to give you the basics for ministering to children and teens who have a variety of issues they are facing. It covers topics like disrupted family models, generational poverty, foster care, special needs, chronic illness, refugee life, orphans and more.
- Ministering to Children of War. Originally written to help children who have experienced armed conflict, much of the information is also useful for children who have experienced violence in the home or community, as well as trauma in general.
- Tips for Raising Empowered Kids. This quick tip sheet gives you a few basics to help children who feel powerless.
- Tips for Raising Hope Filled Kids. Another quick tip sheet for helping restore the hope hurting children may have lost.
- Effective Teen Ministry. Written to help strengthen ministries to teens, many parents have found some of the information on brain science and specific issues teens face that is included included in this book to be helpful.
- Bibliotherapy list. Coming soon to our website is this list of children’s books you can use to begin discussions on a variety of issues with young people. We will post on social media when it is added to our website..
Need another resource you can’t find? Use our contact button on the website and let us know. We may know where you can find what you need or add it to the list of new resources in development.