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August 2, 2022 10:00 pm
FamilyLife's self-driven, online ministry certificate course helps you create & sustain thriving stepfamily ministry and lead transformative experiences.
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Well Blended Course: A course geared towards helping you answer key questions when building a healthy blended family.
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Have you ever done an online course. Yes, I have really go P90 X consider that a course this is reason it was years ago and I'm sort of kidding, but I'm not a member, I became an advocate like an evangelist for P90 X because it was new way to do work out you know you put it on your screen you work out with this guy and it's a great work on. You have 90 days to see the before and after that was kind of knew then for now, I'll think that's what you just know I think now with cultivating that is really pretty common for many people to an online course. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationship that matter most in Wilson and I'm Dave Wilson and you can find firstname.lastname@example.org or on our family life, family life today I read a covert taught us anything, there's a whole different and new and great way to do ministry even we did marriage conferences from our home bedroom which would turn into a studio and online courses became something that people didn't go all that is not as good as a live thing, they actually went. While it is as good, so convenient yeah and so we have run deal in a studio family life today talking about some online courses that you are part of Rhonda, who directs our blended ministry with family life.
Ron welcome back family of today.
It's always good to be with you guys. So here's a question for you if you done online course. I have done a bunch of them know as a therapist you need continuing education and more and more of that is available online these days. So that's pretty frequent for me. I just want to know if you could do 10 pull-ups. I'm getting no where is the thing that I did P90 X.
The first day is just in back in the you start with pull-ups. I could not do one single pull up because they're hard yesterday. I day 90 of doing 20. It was incredible what happens.
You really do get better so obviously were talking about more like blended you know topic we want to help people get in shape and there really a way to sit there for that.
That's what we want to do so. Family life is created a number of online courses, guys.
You know how this works. People can logon and from the convenience of their own home go through these online courses on demand. What that means is you go through it at your pace you work a little while at it and then pause and come back a week later you've chased kids and done all sorts of things in-between and just pick up where you left off and we got courses about money courses about marriage courses about manhood and what it is to be husband leading your family and we've got to courses now specifically on the topic of blended families.
One of them is designed for couples is called well blended.
And that's going to help you build your marriage and your family with what were talking about today is called our certificate and blended family ministry. What's really cool about this guys this is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. To my knowledge. It is an online course pulled from the best of the best presentations from our annual summit on stepfamily ministries know that in person today event we do every fall. People can come and meet other folks doing stepfamily ministry and learn all about it and we pulled out some of those key column. The 101 courses if you will, and we bundled them together and created this blended family ministry course it's going to help somebody understand the basics of ministering to stepfamilies in a local church with the structure can be the topics things you want to dress or to try to help you think through how you get your ministry started were really excited about this because not everybody can come to our annual summit.
We still want you to do that because there's things are gonna learn every year there's no material every every fall, but this is a really a great place to start. I remember I know if you remember Ron speaking at that summit with UN accidents. Rainey was there. I think in DC I think is near Washington. When I spoke and I remember as I sat in front of those couples in the room. I thought men they are committed not just to their blended family, but to training and helping other guy was a room of people say and I don't just want to do our family well. I want to help others. I will be trained in how to do there was really an equipping thing and so now that you can do this online perfect well at St. here we have a woman in church that took the course online with her new husband and they were blending a family and she was on our staff and she started this incredible ministry at our church for blended families. It was brand-new so many people started attending. So when are you saying that this course would be for someone like her like she's she's a leader and she wants to have this ministry, or is this for everyone you got it. It's really for everyone lay leaders like this couple you're talking about. It's perfect for them as well as I do, I just gotta say all the way up to senior pastors who are trying to get a vision for the audience are speaking to every weekend, whom I talking to one of their lives where they live in day to day out.
I need understand that better use ministry leaders, children, ministry leaders who are working with kids all the time who are maybe in your children's program once a month because they're moving back and forth between two households, like how can you be sensitive to that. That's the kind of stuff and those of the people that this would be appropriate for premarital counselors, people who are just trying to get a sense of ministering to couples and families and individuals in this day and age. And you know it occurs to me we have to start the series with a theology of stepfamily ministry and that's important because we always need to go to the Scriptures and say all right what we find here that are principles that help us move forward in how we minister to people and so one of the messages that we really want to bring the people were to start with a clip from this message from Pastor Abu who at the time was senior pastor of Wheaton Bible Church in West Chicago. A little background before we roll into this clip. His first wife died of cancer.
He later married Rhonda whose first husband had also died and then they blended a family of seven kids Robin Rhonda blended family with seven kids in the first part of Rob's presentation. He shares that they had a rough process integrating their family in their in their home. Like many stepfamilies they found it harder than they anticipated in any shared some the stats that we know about stepfamilies 40% of parents raising kids or blended families, 62% of couples in the US under age 55 have a step relationship with a either a stepparent or stepchild connected to their their relationship and about 1/3 of all weddings in the US today at least 1/3. I think that's a low estimate of weddings in the US for blended family. So he he shared all that to come to set up what you're about to hear and then he begins to make a case for stepfamily ministry. So why stepfamily ministry first stepfamily life can be hard. Second, it's a pervasive cultural reality now.
Third, it's a river of mercy that flows from the fountain of God's mercy to a world that increasingly wonders if there is any mercy the God of the Bible is not a single person God like a great uncle is distant and in different know the God of the Bible. We know from the beginning of the Bible through the end of the Bible is try your God father son and Holy Spirit, who is eternally existed in perfection and majesty as well as compassion on wall so we asked the question why did this triune God create the world, was it not so the father could share his love for this son with others through the spirit so that we as his people might share in lobbying the father as the son loves the father by the power of the Holy Spirit that indwells us this infinite this unstoppable this unfailing love directed toward sinful fallen human beings is what the Bible calls mercy. The third reason we give ourselves to stepfamily ministry. The reason were intentional were sacrificial and stepfamily ministry is often tough sledding hard going in. The reason we give ourselves to this ministry is because it's a tangible expression of God's mercy. There's a truth you rarely think about Rob. I mean it's like yeah I mean this is what when you minister to families like that you are a tangible expression of God's mercy is a beautiful point.
I was so struck by his statement, it's a river of mercy to a world that doubts if there is any mercy left over for anybody you know when we act with God's love and favor towards other people were communicating God's mercy that he's given to us. It's a little odd to me but on rare occasions I've had somebody say something to me something like you know art people in blended families there because of their own sinfulness as if to say, well, you made your bed you just got stuck in it all by yourself. Too bad for you. I don't really get that because that's a person who on some level has received God's mercy and then is sort of refusing to pass it on to anybody else.
If we have been touched by his mercy, shouldn't we want to pay it forward to give it to others. You know Micah chapter 6 verse eight act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God in us will suggest, be merciful or tolerate mercy. You're supposed to love mercy love other people receiving the same gift that you have received to me that's what stepfamily ministry is we do this in a lot of ways, in church work in local church ministry ministering to people who are down on their luck financially or limiting hard situations or got kicked out by a spouse and left destitute or you know all kinds of circumstances people find themselves in and we say, you are welcome here. This is the church is the body of Christ. This is where you belong. Imperfect people are welcome here will that's what stepfamily ministry is. That's the theological foundation for it that we start this certificate course in blended family ministry with just that foundation. That's what we stand on. That's what were trying to do in local church and we go from there. I remember in Iran we have this conversation decades ago, standing on the stage at my church and apologizing to the blended families because I had sort of miss that I was often ministering in my mind to the married families to the one husband, one wife do even singles and forgetting there's a whole is amazing because I was in a blended family as a young boy I am a good part of our church is a blended family, and often I'm not speaking to their situation and you know you and I talked about that. Then as I sat there at the you know the summit is your training people how to minister them on my guy and put my hand up like train me because I could be easily one I didn't feel like I didn't want to give them mercy, but I just look past that I felt like I need to apologize and say I see you because God sees you. God's mercy is extended to you in the way you're going to feel that is when we the people of God extend that mercy. So what a beautiful way to start with a the foundational theology, but I guess you get real practical as well redo the course gets real practical. From there, and one of the things that we talk about is understanding the basic underlying dynamics of stepfamily living up in a blended family and so here's a little clip from a presentation that I often do at our summits called understanding, stepfamilies 101. It basically gives leaders the basics in understanding stepfamily living and how it's different from biological families and it helps people check their assumptions at the door and learn what they need to understand about working blended families.
So now I want to do is spend a little time talking about how stepfamily living is different. Again, I'm trying to show you different points of view about complexity. That's the whole point of this is understanding complexity so out, let's talk a little bit about biological families. Traditional families that you you're probably more familiar with and how stepfamilies can be different from that. Just to give you another snapshot will do a number of these triple later in percolator.
What's that all about her that phrase as goes the marriage, so goes the family right that makes a lot of sense and that's up triple later observation right as goes the marriage. It drips down on to the kids in the parenting in the process of being a family and doing family life because he was the couple are the leaders the guides to the family and so if your marriage is struggling in your fighting and if they are at odds with one another not cooperating, then it drips down on everybody in stepfamilies that is true, but it is also true percolator as goes the kids in the children in the parenting, so goes the marriage, it can go up, which had a nickel for every time a couple is said to me, Ron. We get along great in our marriage but when the kids come back from the other home we fall apart. That's percolator is the kids bring stress the kids bring something there fill in whatever it is mom's and the other homes that sell it. So now this kids coming back another being mean to the stepmom, the stepmom goes the husband and says what I do and husband says I don't know where you bother me with this what you're my husband. Why are you not on my side.
Could you talk to your daughter know Micah talk my daughter.
That's an issue between she and her mother know now it's an issue between you and me and it can just go like that. It starts in the other home ripples through a kid into the stepparent relationship.
Next thing you know it's the marriage I would even say there's another dynamic and go side to side. So top down bottom up and between homes right stress just can ripple in a lot of different directions, it always ends up in the couple's marriage because they're the ones you cure the responsibility to figure things out, and that's hard on him. It's just hard on anything we do the come along to help make sense out of that to support them and encourage them in bold their relationship. Keep them secure with one another, even if they can't fix anything going on in the other home believes that marriage is holding on.
Then there is a stabilizing force in the minutes of all of that stress. Here's another assumption that we often have about family life and that's it. Putting the marriage first provide stability and security for the kids the way we like to say this, if you're heard the best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother that's based in systemic understanding of relationships. Very true. Very insightful when a father loves the kids mother their marriage sets a climate environment for him to love his children and for the children to grow up in a healthy environment where they feel safe and secure because mom and dad are together in their safe in their relationship and they are the leaders and backbone of our home and so everything just flows very nicely, but let me ask you this question would be also true to say that the best thing a stepfather can do for his stepchildren to love their mother. That's really a question and I want to know the answer. Need to, that's Damien Wilson with Ron deal on family life to a Iran's answer in just a minute, but if this conversation about blended families is resonating with you, or it's something that's personal for you coming up on October 13 and 14th will be having this year's Summit on stepfamily ministry this year, the focus is on helping ministry leaders better understand loss and grief in blended families.
If you want to learn how to come alongside blended families in your church and community. You can find out email@example.com right now, back to Dave and Anne's conversation with Ron deal and whether the best way a stepdad can love his stepchildren is by loving their mother and the answer would be eventually yes the best thing a stepfather can do for his stepchildren is to love their mother. Eventually that's a long-term outcome in the beginning, his love for her is potential you threat to children. When a minute limit. That's my mom. I now have to share my mom with you. I really don't mind sharing mom with my dad because that's all as it should be. There's a unison there in us being a family, but because mom and dad are now divorced. I'm not having to share my mom with somebody whom I like but I don't certainly love I don't really know where you fit my heart and really don't understand our new family. And so it's a threat for you to love my mom.
What a totally different dynamic. And that's a foundational difference between blended families and first families. This is why guys those of us in marriage ministry like family life is all about. We gotta be careful.
But the advice that we give and to whom we get into that standard go date your spouse thing, your kids will be thrilled when you come home happy works in biological families and it can work in blended families, but in some blended families, especially new ones where relationships are fresh and fragile happy couples a threat to me as a kid it hasn't completely different impact on children and so that's why we talk about these unique differences in blended families. I'm so glad you are. As I listen to that Dave did you feel this like men as leaders in our church we missed it often by not being able to address these issues and as leaders knowing how to address makes all the difference whether it's taught from the pulpit or in a marriage class or parenting class yet. So as you are training through this online course.
How do you help laughing because unlike couples like Anna and I that missed it and how do you help them see the blended families that there around every day and maybe haven't seen and and now that maybe they get to see you have a heart for what they need to know okay how I minister to them. So were going to in this course turned the corner so to start with theology like we talked about were going to talk a little bit about the unique dynamics of blended families in there and say, okay practically what can you do and were in turn a corner and say all right in this case about same date, your spouse and come home happy organ essay and if you're in a blended family recognize that that might actually bring a different response from children. So don't be surprised when you come home happy if one of them is feeling a little envious or little jealous or little put out, and they act up a little bit don't be surprised by that you didn't do the wrong thing by going out on a date seat when you just add that little part.
All of a sudden this couple's going okay yes is still the right thing to do, we might see a different response from our children, it shouldn't keep us from dating is shouldn't keep us from loving each other and the kids being aware of that but we do have to step into that space with children and help them process their emotions so it's advice. Plus if I could say it that way to help people. One of the big things we want to help church leaders do is just see blended families in their church recognize that there there for years. I've suggested that churches on Mother's Day. Use the word stepmom you know hey if your mom or stepmom or a grandmother or foster mom. If you're just volunteering and helping in our children's ministry program in your love and on somebody else's kid. We want to thank you for the stuff that you'd like. Just use a word like that in a public setting at church because a long way towards affirming the stepmothers in the room. All of a sudden they feel like it's okay to be me and to be here. I'm feeling weird about the day because my stepchildren I'm not there mother they wish they were with their mother there here with me and they asked all the moms to stand and I don't know if I should stand.
You know, do I earn that position on this. It's an awkward day for a lot of people. And so when you say something from the pulpit. It helps adults. It helps kids affirming it says to them you belong here. Little things like that are a part of the big picture of doing stepfamily ministry that it's great.
I mean even as you say that I'm thinking of at least 30 years of Mother's Day's that I did as a pastor and I always had a my mind obviously the moms but I always made sure and I told all her other teaching pastor to make sure you know for some people this is a hard day.
Their mom is died so mention that I don't know if I ever said and mention stepmom's that little thing that you just said is such a little thing but it's huge. I can tell you stories about people that cried sitting in their church. Just hearing that from the pulpit for the very first time just a passing remark, but it affirms all right were in the right place. And God is with us in our churches for us. That is a great great feeling. That's just the beginning of sort of the practical things that we unpack in this course to help people think about ministry. Of course people can have classes or small groups or at an annual weekend retreat for couples. We do blended and blessed here in family life which is a lifestream event every spring that gives your church at weekend thing to do for your couples where you don't have to put it all together. We put the content together. You just get the to borrow it if you will use it as an opportunity to minister to couples so very much a partnership with family life. Want to help to empower you and equip you we have coaches that can come alongside you for free. As I mentioned earlier, annual fall Summit on stepfamily ministry is all about helping you get network and find the latest resources what's new in research and just connecting with other people who were also in this space doing ministry were all about supporting the local church as you love and support stepfamily's that I would just add way to go. I mean, like you said it at the beginning. I don't know if there's anything in the world like this you would often have get on a plane or car and get to a settlement which is awesome and still some I would encourage people to do. But if you can't you can do the next best thing, which is almost the best thing do it right in the family room your home. You could even bring some people over to your house and be trained together through this online course where to go. I think it's great. Thanks for listening today and it's not you, but it's someone you know and love. Tell your pastor. Tell your children's ministry leader about this online course get them interested in it. Thanks even listening to Damien Wilson with Ron deal on family life to day. You can learn to better minister to blended families and get the certificate in blended family firstname.lastname@example.org and while you're there, don't forget we've got a great discount on all small-group kits including the smart stepfamily. Again, that's it. Family life to day.com tomorrow Damien Wilson meet with Rob Singleton to chat about my social media is culprit to a loss of our own authenticity is tomorrow on behalf of David and Wilson. I'm shall be added.
See you back next time for another edition of family life today. Family life that he is a production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most