children’s ministry & the urban context – weds

DKelley-1we are continuing in the urban conversation with contributing thoughts from darlene kelley. darlene says that ministry to urban children and family ministry necessitates the inclusion of the following:

develop a holistic approach

the best urban kids’ ministry is a ministry effort that embraces a holistic approach. a ministry that refuses to ignore the daily needs and social disparities encountered by urban children cultivates the ground of receptivity to the gospel message. jesus must be presented as one who is not only concerned about their salvation, but also about their daily situations. urban ministry at it’s best will extend beyond sunday morning gatherings to include programs that address the social and educational needs of children in a particular area. in many urban areas children do not have access to arts, music, and dance classes due to financial challenges or inaccessibility. the urban church is a great place to provide these types of classes in the community at reduced costs.

help children see beyond today and develop a proper view of self

many urban children, particularly children of color, are constantly faced with societal messages that communicate to them that they are “less than.”  whether it’s the texture of their hair, the style in which they wear it, the way they talk, or the manner in which they dress – receiving messages that one is less valuable can wear down self esteem and diminish self confidence. many consider themselves inferior and uncertain of what it means to be loved, and children feel the constant pressure of needing to prove themselves because of a lack of positive affirmations. in addition – issues of violence, insecurity, and poverty fuel a ‘live only for today’ mentality that smashes dreams to the ground. ministry in urban environments must find ways to inspire hope and confidence, and help children live for more than just today.

join us for thursday’s conversation – creating environments of hope and solace.

Darlene R. Kelley has served as a leader of various ministry teams throughout the East Coast and Midwest teaching and shepherding children, parents and volunteers, hosting various community wide family events, and preaching to local congregations. She is a pastor and teacher with a heart for teaching the Bible and training others for ministry. She currently holds a Master of Arts in Educational Ministries from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and is currently studying full time as she pursues a Master of Divinity from North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL

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One response to this post.

  1. I must say – I love this post. My heart is filled with compassion for kids who live in these environments. I live in a rural area, and yet we still have kids who live in such sad conditions, and I’m not necessarily thinking financially. We have buses who pick up kids and bring them to church and their home lives are just so hard! We pray for the kids and love them as we can, and Darlene is right, all of that is well and fine but sometimes these kids just need the very basics! We have one boy who waits for after the Wednesday night meal and asks me for leftovers. I don’t think he’s eating much at home. He needs Jesus yes! But he also needs food and encouragement.

    Reply

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