At 10:00 AM Eastern time today, ministry leaders, church staff and volunteers from anywhere in the world will be able, through their computers, Skype or smart phones, to view a presentation I did on behalf of Key Ministry from my home church in Chagrin Falls, Ohio and chat with me online after the presentation. They’ll be able to do the same for seven other children’s ministry leaders today, and view presentations from Harmony Hensley and Katie Wetherbee from our Key Ministry team later in the week and interact with them online as well.
In my day job as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, great attention has been directed to the problems kids experience because of the Internet…cyberbullying, sleep deprivation because of late night texting with friends, distractions during study time and concerns that too much time online may lead to attention problems to name a few. But consider the positives for a minute.
When our team is old and gray (some of us are already there) and reflecting back on our Key Ministry adventures, we’re going to look back upon this week as a turning point.
Up to now, the scope of our ministry has been limited by the ability of trainers to take time away from their families and work responsibilities to travel to churches and church conferences and the costs involved with travel and producing resources to be shared with the churches we serve. Because of the resources that folks like Jeremy Collins have developed, our team can make our training, consultation, resources and support available, free of charge, to churches everywhere. We’re no longer tied only to those cities where we’ve been able to offer extensive live training (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Des Moines, Houston, Orlando, etc.).
In the next few weeks, you’re going to have the opportunity to visit a website that will allow families of kids with disabilities everywhere to go online, complete a one-time registration, and after entering their zip code parents will be able to do a one-click signup for high quality, free respite care at a Christ-honoring church in their local area. This will be possible because we’re going to make the training necessary for church staff and volunteers to offer the service with excellence available for free online through Pajama Conference or a similar resource. Resources to help include kids with disabilities and their families in all the activities offered through the local church will also be available. There’s also a good chance that there will be smart phone apps available later this year to help churches provide parents of kids with disabilities with resources to equip them for their role as their children’s primary faith trainers.
We’ll continue to face big challenges. Key Ministry has always been different because we don’t just offer resources, but relationships. A pastor or ministry leader can email or call us and connect with an experienced person to help problem-solve a response to a challenging kid or family. We can’t lose that…after all Christianity is a relationship, not a religion. Figuring out how to maintain relationships when the churches we serve number in the thousands will force us to continue to rely upon God for wisdom and direction, but the opportunities are pretty mind-boggling.
We’re not to the Promised Land yet, but I feel like I can see it from where we’re standing this morning.
There’s still time to register for FREE for Key Ministry’s presentations during this week’s Children’s Ministry Telesummit. Go to http://www.pajamaconference.com.