Saturday, July 7, 2018
A year ago today, the Bluebonnet Child book was printed for publication by Wipf and Stock. I viewed this as an omen of sorts since July 7th is my best friend's birthday. While seeing one's idea printed on paper is exhilarating, hearing folks share of how this lil' book has enhanced their serve to kids truly takes the cake! In honor of this day, I suggest that we all eat cake and that I repost the original PR blog that was shared many moons ago.
Can you picture a child who has fallen through the cracks? You know--that student who makes your job ten-times harder, but it's impossible to stay mad because you know what darkness awaits him at home? Though we don’t quite know how to address it, there are kids like this in every church and I call them Bluebonnet Children. This is their book, and if you have a heart for kids, this books is for you.
The renowned bluebonnet flower grows in poor soil. One would never guess this to be true, but the bright, proud bonnet tells no lies. Not even unkempt soil can keep a bluebonnet from producing its lovely blossoms. People can be similar to the bluebonnet flower. They too can be born into poor soil with environmental and contextual challenges. Kids from neglectful or abusive families are called Bluebonnet Children.
We are trained in Children’s and Family Ministry that the parent is the primary faith nurturer. But what happens to a child who does not have a healthy parent to nourish him?
While it is tempting to leave such work up to the professionals of the courtroom and counseling sessions, the faith community can also play a formative role and act as a supplemental family. This book offers helpful tools and inspiring stories to catalyze the entire congregation towards action. The tale of the Bluebonnet Child is heavy, but in Christ there is hope.
The Bluebonnet Child: Finding Grace in Poor Soil is a ministerial resource that guides readers to adopt the Triple-A Approach. With this approach, they can become more aware of the child’s story, advocate for her needs, and theologically articulate how the healing power of Christ is at work in her life. Each chapter is full of concrete examples and educational tactics that are immediately applicable in one's ministry setting. This is an intentionally short work (twenty-four-thousand words) for the busy practitioner.
The Bluebonnet Child brings a unique voice to the conversation on healing through trauma because it is written from a theological perspective, as opposed to an autobiographical, or psychological/ legal one. Its foundation is James 1:27 which calls the Body of Christ to care for the orphan, the loveless and the fatherless. Unlike similar reads, this book seeks to improve the systemic issues latent within Children’s Ministry programs. The author is well-versed in developing healthy volunteer teams - the bedrock of a Children’s Ministry system. Regardless of a reader’s prior knowledge of theology, psychology, or educational theory, this book will hold his hand and lead him into the light of this dark work. Readers can also earn CEUs for this book through a two-week online class/book club where they can discuss its contents right along with Meg and others.
So if a kid's face came to mind as you read this, may I encourage you?😌 Don't be intimidated by this dark topic. Don't think that only counselors and caseworkers can make a real difference. Don't think praying as you turn down the other aisle is enough. You are needed, and this book will hold your hand as you extend the other out in hope.
Get your copy of The Bluebonnet Child: Finding Grace in Poor Soil on Amazon or shop local at Graves Drug Store Online.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Now, before the operational and tactical side of this compels you to hurriedly exit this tab-hear me out. There is a very helpful tool I can offer you to help make this a reality for your church family. It’s called BeaDisciple.com. This is a digital hub for Christian education with professional wisdom at extremely reasonable prices. You will find a course which uses Joy Thornburg Melton’s text, Safe Sanctuaries, to walk your team through creating your own Safety Policy. The course blessed us with a consultant that held our hand every step of the way. With focus groups, data collection, and then the actual writing (and rewriting and rewriting) of the policy, this intimidating task turned out to be a lot more manageable. The course also guides your team in ensuring your policy meets the unique needs of your church’s programs.
It has been seven years now since our policy was created, and it has been so refreshing to have this foundation as we strive to protect the safety of our kids, adult volunteers, and the overall integrity of our program. A supplemental tool that has helped us along the way (and that is required by our denominational conference) is www.safegatherings.com. It makes screening and training for abuse prevention BEYOND simple for our KidMin team. Safe Gatherings certifications are only good for three years. And our Office Administrator keeps our certification records.
Having a solid safety policy in place sends the message, “We love you with the love of the Lord, and we are going to work our tails off to provide you with a safe, nurturing church family, filled with loving and equipped Christ-like mentors to guide you as you grow in your faith. Despite the poor soil to which you may return, here at [insert your church’s name] you will learn that God’s grace has the final say in how you blossom in life.”
Stay tuned as we explore the power of practicing mindfulness with your students. Be sure to subscribe to the right. 😁
Can't wait that long? Own The Bluebonnet Child eBook now!