need children's ministry advice asap

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by nodak, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. nodak

    nodak
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    I need some advice re children's ministry asap, as our vbs will start soon.

    We have a lot of kids (sometimes more than adults attending) who come from very troubled homes. We pick'em up, sometimes clean'em up, feed them breakfast and a midmorning snack and send food home, and provide Sunday School and children's church for them. (By we I mean our church.)

    We have a troublesome family amongst them. One kid is very good for us. The rest in that family are not just disobedient, but physically violent. Just ask the SS teacher who was stabbed in the face by a pencil thrown at another kid.

    We've tried time outs, taking them home early, and finally went to calling the parents to come get them since they become combative and violent while we drive them home.

    Parents are unsaved....and sometimes passed out drunk and unable to come get the kids if they get out of hand.

    Would you continue to take or accept these kids at church, or would you accept them back only if accompanied by a parent, or what???
     
  2. SaggyWoman

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    I love the odd and troubled child. But there are times to draw the line. Give the child a warning about his / her behavior. If it continues, follow up with consequences (at church, maybe.) If the behavior doesn't change, contact the parent for help. If you get no help from the parent, warn the child that the result will warrant him/her being transported home. Also, it may warrant the child not being able to attend for a few weeks. Always give an opportunity for the child to make amends and correct his/her behavior.

    But don't be afraid to draw the line and hold to the line.

    Make sure you follow up with the child to make sure that they know you care, but that you must draw the line. Visit in their home. Go out for ice cream. When the child needs a second chance to make it work, give it to him/her.
     
  3. rbell

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    I would not accept them without a parent, at the very least. And if the parent can't control them with their presence...then no way they are allowed, in my book.

    We are charged with providing an environment that is safe for the kids and those leading them.

    If they cannot be controlled, they shouldn't be allowed to come.

    It's a shame, their being unsaved at all...but these kids being out of control will cost you other ministry/evangelism opportunities.

    And...it doesn't mean you have to give up on them. Visits to their home or other settings might be possible...but this obviously isn't working.
     
  4. nodak

    nodak
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    Thanks!

    Yes, we tried time outs on a bench--unless we could physically restrain them (and that would open a legal can of worms) there was no way to keep them on the bench.

    Explained til we were blue in the face why we would take them home early.

    Tried having parent come get them.

    It has reached the point one family in the church is feeling that if those kids are there they will just take their kids right back home rather than risk injury.

    Sadly, I think we may have to cut them loose...and try to reach them outside the church walls, but carefully.
     
  5. SaggyWoman

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    I would advise against physical restraints.
     
  6. rdwhite

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    This family may need more than restriction from participation in church activities. It may be time for social services to get involved. But I agree, you should not jeopardize the ministry just so these few children may participate. your activities are a privilege (not a right) that these children have lost because of their behavior. I would say that you have been more patient than I would have been.
     
  7. SaggyWoman

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    I do agree there is a point when social services may step in.
     
  8. nodak

    nodak
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    Social services has been involved for almost a year with this family.

    School had an iep on the middle child last year.

    We never used any restraining except insisting on seatbelts in autos--state law. What I meant was that since we will not physically restrain, and the kids will not remain on a time out bench, that idea was toast.

    Talked to Pastor last night during VBS. None of us had picked up the kids. I think he plans to set up some sort of one on one in home back yard Bible study for the kids, if mom is amenable. Otherwise, we will back off and pray hard.

    The sad thing is the older kid is a very well behaved sweetie, but mom makes the kids a package deal--take them all or take none.
     
  9. SaggyWoman

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    Of course, there is nothing wrong with expecting the parents to help transport them to church.
     
  10. FriendofSpurgeon

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    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far way (in another church), we had a similar problem but it was with certain teenagers in the youth program. Without going into detail, it was such a big problem that some teens left the youth group and some parents (and teens) left the church before the issue was resolved. Bottom line, the church's responsibility is to their own members & children (especially when safey is an issue) but to also find a creative way to continue to minister to this family outside the walls. That seems like what you are tring to do in this difficult situation.
     
  11. nodak

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    Thanks all!

    We are still praying about the kids in the one family. Thought ss had taken them, but they seem to be back today.

    Our vbs was great! We had 5 youngsters profess faith in Christ. We aren't a "rush to baptize" church, so they got certificates to commemorate the event. I expect them to be baptized over the next few months--or with the younger ones, in a year or so.
     

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