It Takes a Village

Parenthood has been much different than I expected. Our first child was 14 years old and in the beginning stages of a gender transition. We’ve had kids from all over the economic, developmental, trauma, and educational spectrum. We’ve had kids from the city and the ‘burbs, black kids, white kids, American Indian kids, Latino kids, Christian kids, Jewish kids, homeless kids, and rich kids. I thought after being a parent-figure to so many kids, I would have figured a few things out by now. 16 children later and I honestly still feel like I’m figuring this out for the first time.

Raising children simply hasn’t come as naturally to me as I expected it to. It seems like such a natural thing from the outside and I assumed that it would come naturally to my wife and me. In reality, it has taken a lot of trial and error, help from friends and family, tons of prayer, and good resources to help us navigate the ins and outs of parenthood.

It really does take a village to raise kids. In our case, it takes a church.

On Sunday evenings we row out black folding chairs in the main meeting space in our building. We set up musical and amplification equipment. We turn on screens and fire up sounds boards. We make coffee and put out signs that say, “Welcome”. All of that is focused on the adults who come to our church; but, in several other rooms around our building, our KIDS Staff and volunteers are getting ready for the smallest among us. Each week my kids come home from church knowing a little more about God, the Bible, and themselves. Each week they gain a simple but clear concept that I get to reinforce as a parent. It’s a gift to my kids but it’s also a gift to me as a parent. Their development seems to be accelerated by the short and simple work our KIDS Staff and volunteers do for them each week.

A little over a year ago our church started to host Round-Table Discussions to help parents navigate seasons of the church calendar, spiritual practices, and difficult questions and concepts. These discussions have certainly helped us find language to teach and lead our children but they have also helped us find community with other parents from our family of churches. Simply knowing that we’re not alone on this journey is so important.

This Sunday we’re hosting a Round-Table Discussion on Communion & Baptism. We practice Communion as a church each week and we will have a baptism in October. We’d love for your kids to feel invited and welcome to participate in these practices. Please join us this Sunday from 9-10:30AM at 3220 S. ACOMA for a great discussion about how to invite our children into these practices.