Thursday, July 03, 2008

Could the Spirit of God be leading us to divorce recovery ministry?

Missional theology says that the Spirit has already been sent into the world. Therefore, our role is discover where the Spirit is at work and how we can partner with what God is already doing.

This theology is why a minister or church planter cannot simply go into a new area/work with a complete set of plans. Plans are good, and there are many things that need to happen in most churches in order to make the church outward focused and effective in reaching the lost. However, ministers and church planters need to listen as well and be looking for new opportunities that the Spirit is opening.

This is why it takes some time for new outreaches to begin at High Pointe. One of the things I have been trying to do is to see what types of ministries to the hurting and broken God has already laid on the hearts of the people here.

People have come to me about the need for a divorce recovery ministry here. And after mentioning this in last week's sermon, some additional people have responded, stating a need for this. This can meet not only the needs of our own people, but also can reach many in the community.

I am excited to find where the Spirit seems to already be at work that we can get behind and that will support our mission. Rather, God's mission to the world.

Do you think that divorce recovery ministries are needed in the church and community? What resources are you aware of? What do those who have experienced divorce most need?

3 comments:

Becca said...

You wrote: Do you think that divorce recovery ministries are needed in the church and community?

Absolutely. I think that children are often times neglected (not intentionally)in times of divorce, no matter what their age. I know because I've been there. That's the area of divorce recovery I would be most passionate about. In your previous blog post someone mentioned how once the community was made aware of the divorce recovery at their church that many people came walking in off the street. That is a fantastic way to reach out to people.

You wrote: What resources are you aware of?

When my parents divorced 20 years ago, I had no resources to help. Here I was, 1,000 miles away from home at a christian university and I was all alone with this problem. I woke up every day realizing that no one really cared (ok..maybe they cared..I just wasn't aware of it) and I was right smack in the middle of christiandom. Wow, what a testimony to ourselves! I think our greatest resources come from the hearts of those who have walked the path.

You wrote: What do those who have experienced divorce most need?

I think for my parents who divorced, they needed friendship from within the church. 20 years later I can see how one of my parents felt rejected and that plays out today in their life. I also think that parents going through divorce will oftentimes convince themselves that their kids are doing great. I don't care how great someone thinks their kid is doing...they've bought off on a lie. Kids can be very resilient and some are really good at acting. It may not be evident now but it will be at some point down the road. Most times younger kids don't know why they feel the way they do and it may take years to work through all that on their own if they are fortunate enough to do that.

The good news is that I believe I have been strengthened by my experience. I know all too well how devastating divorce can be. It's the sin that keeps on giving until death do you part (God knew what He was talking about, didn't He?). Weddings, reunions, family gatherings on the holidays, births, vacation time, family photos, illness, you name it...it shows its ugly face and cannot be conveniently shoved under the carpet and forgotten about. It sounds worse than death doesn't it?

James said...

Rebecca,

Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your story shows that even college adults are incredibly hurt by divorce. And no child at any age is left unscarred by the experience.

I am glad that you have somehow been strengthed over the years. God can take even something like the cross and make it a story of redemption.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the church could use a divorce recovery ministry. Divorce is tough on everyone involved. Everyone involved needs to feel like they have a place where they belong. Too many times the church trys to make it like you are a sinner because you are divorced. This also hurts kids that are involved in divorce. During a divorce you need the strength that comes from God and the support from other christians. Kids see their family torn apart, and then see no support from christians and then they start to wonder what being a christian is. Kids need to know they still have a christian family that will not leave them even if there family is being torn apart. I've seen this with my kids as I have recently gone through a divorce.