One of the best parts of Parent Life, our teen parenting ministry, is seeing young families build community with each other. Our Parent Life parents often tell us that they don’t feel like they fit in at school or even in their own families. Their relationships with their parents are often stressed, their friends are doing different things, and some who have attended church feel like everyone is staring at them now.
We seek to build authentic Christian community at our Parent Life Nights as young moms and dads learn parenting and relationship skills, spend time sharing stories and praying with each other. But this fall we have also been intentional about doing FUN activities with our teens and their children.
On a beautiful and warm September day we went to Deanna Rose farmstead. Many of the children are too young to interact with the farm animals, but as the parents pushed the kids around in strollers they engaged in conversations with their mentors and with each other. In October we went on a Parent Life outing to a local Pumpkin Patch, where we had a professional photographer take family photos. Bumping along, laughing together on the hayride, and running through the pumpkins, it was another opportunity to share life.
These outings also provide opportunities for families to have experiences that they might not otherwise have and create new family traditions. When we told one of the young moms that we were going to the pumpkin patch, she told us that it was on her “bucket list.” After going to the pumpkin patch, many of them are making plans to come back next year.
Our Parent Life community ended the year with traditional holiday activities. Our December Parent Life Night included cookie decorating and a white elephant gift card exchange. For Christmas, a local church set up a store so that families could shop for new gifts to give their children, as well as enjoy breakfast, crafts, and a photo with Santa.
Many of us enjoy our own holiday traditions, and we thank you for partnering with us to help build up a new community of Christ followers that are growing in strength and in knowledge of God while raising their young families.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” -Psalm 28:7-8