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Reaching parents through childhood ministry

The April 16-17 Dare to Dream conference at Oklahoma City, Southern Hills allowed children’s ministers, pastors and other leaders a great opportunity to receive practical help for parent ministry. Selma and Rodney Wilson, authors of The Parent Adventure, provided conferees with insight into the lives of today’s parents. “Deuteronomy 6:7 instructs us to teach our children when we lie down, when we get up and all the time in between. Times have changed but we still lie down and get up and all the stuff in between,” Wilson said. “Take advantage of the time in between and teach your kids as you go. Formal family altar times might not work easily today, but all the time you’re together is valuable teaching opportunities. Talk to your kids and pray together.”

“I thought Dare to Dream was wonderful,” commented Debbie Thompson from Tulsa, First.

Cindy Lumpkin, LifeWay Christian Resources, and Keith Burkhart, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma men’s and family ministry specialist, were just two of the speakers who challenged the 90 participants toward effective parent ministry in the church.

“I really enjoyed the conference. The Lord confirmed several things going on in my life through this conference. He is GOOD!, said Paula Lawson from Newcastle, First, South.

An FBI agent from the Cyber Squad was present to inform and resource ministers with practical helps for which parents should be aware.

“Thank you for bringing the FBI guy—I appreciate the information concerning online pornography and child predators that I can share with my parents! What great timely information for Children’s Ministers,” said Connie Faurot from Tulsa, South Tulsa. “Just Sunday, our Sixth graders were on that topic. I happened by to pick up records, so I was able to add to what the teachers had already been sharing with the boys and girls. Of course, they thought it was fine to chat with strangers on the Internet! Scary!”

Family Fun Weekend ideas were provided by Amy Adams, Children’s Minister at Choctaw, First. They have enjoyed this annual event for several years. She shared strengths and weaknesses so other churches seeking to provide an event like this could have great success. Amy and her team organized the Amazing Race for teams at the conference. These “family teams” had to work together to discover and perform the crazy and zany tasks in order to win.

“I thought the conference was absolutely wonderful,” said Sarah Redwine from Norman, First. “I have been a children’s’ Sunday School teacher for about 40 years or so, have attended many children’s conferences in my time and this was one of the best if not THE best I have attended. I’m looking forward to more of your conferences.”

The Darlene Koch award is a very special award given to an outstanding Children’s Minister in Oklahoma each year. This year, the award was given to Gina McKean of Oklahoma City, Portland Avenue. She was nominated by her pastor, Walter Mullican, and Capital Association staff. McKean gives strong leadership for children with after school tutoring through Whiz Kids, Missions involvement, VBS and Bible skills, to name only a few.

“She is one of the hardest working individuals I know, and she never does it for self-recognition. You can see the delight in her eyes when she is working with kids,” Mullican said. “Her greatest delight is to see one of the kids trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior.”

Participants walked away from this two-day conference with new insight for reaching and helping parents become the spiritual mentors God designed them to be. The Cooperative Program and the Church Weekday Organization provided books and materials to benefit each conferee’s ministry to children and parents.

“Thank you for the conference,” said Karen Brantley, Oklahoma City, North Pointe. “It was one of the most timely and practical conferences I’ve attended in Oklahoma City. Great job!”

Author: Mark Jones

View more articles by Mark Jones.

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