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Wishing Parents Would

Every time I attend a conference there are some guarantees that I know will happen.   First, I will probably run into someone I know at the airport, but can t remember his or her name.   Second, I will eat more food in that one-week conference than I have in the month prior.   Lastly, and almost assured to happen is that I will commiserate on some level with people that share my burden for children and their families.   It s not all bad, it s just refreshing to be in a room with people that dread the Saturday night phone calls as much as I do!

Over their years, I ve collected my long list of things that I wish parents would do to make my job easier.   When I share my list with other Children s Ministry Leaders, I find a common pain in all of us. We wish parents would take their kids to church EVERY week.   We wish that parents would stop ARRIVING so LATE for the environments we ve worked all week to prepare.   We wish that parents would STOP GROUNDING their kids from church when they get in trouble at school, especially in those pre-teen areas.   We wish that parents would take the time to TALK AT HOME about what their kids are learning at church.   You agree, right?  I d dare to say that I ve never met a Children s worker that wouldn t want to stand up and wave his Bible at that wish list.

However, at some point we have to begin to look at how easy we make it for parents to fulfill these wishes.   Remember the old saying, While you re pointing one finger at them, you ve got 4 more pointing back at you! (I never understood that as a kid, I mean can you really point with your thumb?)   It s oh so true, isn t it?   For me I have to start evaluating my own ministries and my own leadership to see if I m truly making it as easy as possible for parents to connect with what I m doing for their kids.   It s on me. It s on us.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.