Raising Kids in a Community

In today’s society it takes more than parents to raise children…it takes a community of loving adults.

In his new book, All Kids Are Our Kids, Peter L. Benson, PhD. (President of Search Institute) makes a very important point regarding the current status of child rearing in the U.S., “Despite all of our efforts, programs, and investments to give young people adequate support and encouragement, many young people in today’s society still aren’t close with caring adults outside of their family.” Dr. Benson paints a vivid picture of a culture in which kids aren’t welcome in certain public places, where they can’t find safe places to hang out, or where they find it difficult to get involved in programs that are designed just for them.

Search Institute has historically represented a clear point of view on child development through their Developmental Assets research and model. In his book, Peter Benson updates this critical thinking and discusses action strategies for better alignment of communities with the needs of kids. He also summarizes key learnings derived from decades of experience with the assets approach being used in communities.

LOGOS supports the work of Dr. Benson and Search Institute as it relates to the healthy development of children. And we certainly echo his claim that kids need to be in relationship with loving Christian adults beyond their parents. LOGOS’ approach to effective ministry with children has always featured cross-generational relationships between kids and adults…to the benefit of both.

How is your ministry with children bringing kids and adults into healthy, ongoing relationships?


8 Responses to Raising Kids in a Community

  1. GR says:

    So, it really does, “…take a village.”

    Seriously, we must not continue to push kids off to the side, give them too much autonomy, or let them raise themselves. We must get involved with them substantively and stay involved…we are not their friends, we are their parents and their mentors – leading them through word and deed.

  2. I just blogged about this a few days ago. It is so true! I think that great things happen when children are in a position to develop deep relationships with adults who can guide them spiritually.

    In our Sunday school we have shepherd roles in a Rotation Model. The shepherds spend the entire year with the same kids building relationships and helping them on their spiritual development journey.

    Its pretty cool!

  3. greg says:

    That continuity of the shephards staying with the same kids is a critical element of this approach. Solid relationships are build over time…not as one-time events.

    The literature on contemplative ministry encourages us to “be with” the kids through the thick and thin of life – consistency over time.

  4. TM says:

    Jaded, I was reading your blog on “othermothers” and I couldn’t agree more. In a church, ultimately every person there has a responsibility to serve as an “othermother” and raise up the children in their midst.

  5. I happened upon this posting while cruising around the Web. Greetings from Search Institute. We have long been pleased with the way LOGOS has utilized the Developmental Assets, and we appreciate the great stories and examples shared here. Keep up the great work.

    Some folks may be interested in our new work that complements asset building. It focuses on spiritual development in a global context. You can check in on what we’re doing at http://www.spiritualdevelopmentcenter.org.

    Best wishes to all! Gene

  6. Tom says:

    Greetings to you as well. We appreciate your message. The great thing about the Assett Approach and LOGOS is that it not only is a spiritual connection but also a practical one. Building the assets can make a difference here and now in preventing at risk behavior and provide for the spiritual nurture and well being of the individual.

  7. Curtis says:

    In my life I remember that I had a pair of youth leaders that I called my secondary parents. They were always willing to listen and allowed me to simply “pop in” to their house as I was finishing up my senior year. They played a key role in my christian development and I have thanked them many times for their desire to invest in my life.

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