Imagine what it would look like if children, teenagers and their parents with no faith background at all, who know nothing of the stories of Jesus, start to come along to your gatherings in significant numbers – as little as three or four families could change the dynamic of some smaller churches and some fifty families will have a considerable impact.
It was with a mixture of excitement and incredulity that I read the following question from a working mother in a column in one of the UK’s quality newspapers. She was seeking advice from the well known TV presenter Mariella Frostrup :
I feel angry a lot at the moment – I'm taking it out on my husband, and because my two-year-old is inseparable from him I'm worried I'm also hurting him when I head for the front door. I'm so frustrated. I'm the main breadwinner and I work 60 hours a week while my husband and mother-in-law look after our children. It's the best-case scenario, but it drives me mad. My husband constantly whines about how tired he is from his 27-hour working week. When I'm at home I'm in primary care of the children. I would find the sick feminist joke that is my life funny and enjoyable if I was appreciated, but I'm not remotely. I have my character assassinated on a daily basis. Do you think church is the answer? I don't believe in God, but all that singing and being grateful has to help, surely?I read this woman’s desperate question just days before I finished an edit of my book on getting ready for children and families to seek out solace and meaning in the church - community - and I felt a deep urge to include a reference to this story in the book, so I hope I have snuck it in despite the deadline.
This precious family is who we are to be ready for – will you love them with me?
There were a variety of comments in the online section of the newspaper following Ms Frostrup’s reply, with one person suggesting that the advice given back (“why not check out church?”) was written sarcastically. I know that the actual scenario was true, as I personally have met women who have expressed the identical sentiment to this. Something is drawing them. Let’s be ready to welcome whole families coming to or churches to check us out, to come to a church gathering so that they do something together and experience something different from consumer-led weekends - there is a growing desire for community and I'm up for whatever this entails!
Full source reference:Life & Style column, Observer magazine, p54, Sunday 15 January 2012, online link in second paragraph