We’ve all heard stories of families struggling and know that many feel isolated and alone in the issues that they are facing in raising their kids. Jesus talked about feeding the hungry – well, many families are hungry for help in parenting their children.
As churches, if we are going to care about our local communities, one of the things we might want to consider is how we are going to support and encourage families.
Most churches have a heart to reach out to families in their neighbourhoods but struggle to really connect with them. We’d like to suggest something.
Parenting Toolbox is a tried and tested way for churches to make positive connections with families in their local communities.
Louise Bartlett from Bayside Community Church tells what Parenting Toolbox has done for Bayside over the past five years.
- It’s given the church connections with people in the community whom they didn’t know. And since it runs over six weeks, it provides the opportunity for relationships to develop.
- It has increased opportunities for deepened relationships and support of families already connected with Bayside Church.
- It has improved the parenting skills of church parents.
Louise explains that Parenting Toolbox is totally accessible to those who aren’t followers of Jesus. You won’t find Bible verses quoted throughout the course, but you will find solid principles that translate into practical wisdom for Iiving. The course gathers materials from various sources and brings them together for three different age groups –the early, middle and teen years.
Bayside has run Hot Tips Events in their local community centre, multiple Middle Years courses in the two local public schools that the church is connected with, and Early Years courses for their Mainly Music mums in people’s homes, all using Parenting Toolbox, which is easy to use and not expensive.
Louise recalls one mum saying, ‘I thought I was going to “fix” my kids, but it fixed me. It has changed the atmosphere in our home’. Louise loves the impact that Parenting Toolbox has had on her own life. ‘Parenting Toolbox has helped us be better parents to our own children,’ she said.
The best way for your church to get involved with Parenting Toolbox is to send one or more people along to the facilitator training that Louise will run in Sydney on 15 June. The one-day training, together with an application, will see you accredited to facilitate this excellent six-week course for families in your local community.