I am still reeling from editing a video for Mothers’ Day. (Ha! I didn’t mean the pun… I’m soooo funny…) The video isn’t done yet. What I did was take some video of a group of ladies that my wife meets with every other week. When they meet, one person brings a question or discussion topic (it could be anything) that the group will talk about for the duration of their time. I asked Erin if I could film their group talking about motherhood and how their spirituality and being part of a church community affects their motherhood. I am putting together some of what was said into a documentary type video.
I was struck by some of the things that came up in their conversation. Some of it very encouraging about the what we are doing in children’s ministry at Redwood and some of it made me stop and question some assumptions we make about parents and volunteerism.
One of the things that made be sing for joy (internally… because that would’ve been distracting to the group if I did it out loud), was when one of the ladies stated her satisfaction that the church was a support to what parents are doing at home. I’m convinced that I had one of those stupid grins on my face when she said that. It was encouraging that parents have caught on to the value that parents are their children’s primary faith model and the church is here to support and equip them to do so.
There are a couple of things that were said, though, that made me stop and reconsider some assumptions I’ve made.
One of the ladies expressed immense gratitude that we had children’s programming because they knew their children were being well cared for and taught… but also because that hour and a half, many times, was the only time that week in which she was able to spend time as an adult and worshipping with other adults as well as being with her husband.
Another thing that was expressed was thankfulness that we don’t “pressure” people to volunteer. We don’t have any kind of co-op or require parents to volunteers. The sentiment was that there are different seasons of life, and she did not feel guilty for stepping out of volunteering to care for her newborn. Because of that she has a greater respect for the leadership and is looking forward to being able to step back in and be more involved as her kids get older.
It was really neat being able to be a fly on the wall of sorts and hear some unedited conversations of parents who are a part of our ministry. I was also honoured that these ladies trusted me enough to crash their personal connecting time. I’m already thinking of how I can do something like this periodically to get some unscripted thoughts from parents about their life, their children, what they think about church and how we might be doing to lift them up as families.
How do you evaluate your assumptions? How do you get feedback about what you do in ministry?
What do you think about what was said about the importance for parents to have children in their own programming at church?
What do you think about “no pressure” recruiting/volunteerism?