Family Table: How Do We Talk to Children About Scary and Difficult Times?
By Kevin Johnson
DATE: Tuesday, June 21
TIME: 2 p.m. CDT
PRESENTER: Pastor Corey Nelson
The Family Table Mission Statement: To provide a network of children’s and family ministry leaders with resourcing, accountability, and support to enhance the spiritual formation of children and their families within The United Methodist Church.
This month’s topic is one we are all certainly facing: How Do We Talk to Children About Scary and Difficult Times?
As a world, we have been living through frightening days for years. With all the painful news from Ukraine, Uvalde, Buffalo, California, and Tulsa, our world feels very dark. As adults, we are struggling ourselves to make sense of this time and to deal with our own anxieties. For the children who have already encountered confusion, anxiety, and so much uncertainty for the better part of their lives, these events add to their sense of the unknown and worry.
So how do we help the children deal with their fears, anxieties, uncertainties, and unpredictability they deal with daily? How do we have the important conversations to help them not let difficult times overwhelm their world?
Join us on Tuesday, June 21, at 2:00 p.m., Central Time (3:00 p.m., Eastern Time) for this important discussion. Our co-host will be Pastor Corey Nelson, pastor of Grace Kids! A Church for Children.
Pastor Corey helps children who are dealing with the daily struggles in life. Grace Kids has provided a church devoted entirely and unapologetically to the spiritual needs of children and youth. Children come from critically broken homes— homes where prostitution and drugs were prevalent. These children who were dealing with profound loss, poverty, hunger, depression, behavioral disorders, and —overwhelmingly—the idea that they were unwanted. The children come unaccompanied, with no knowledge of Jesus. They get themselves to church at night, in the rain, and the bitter cold.
Grace Kids! A Church for Children is seeing lives changed and transformed in the name of Jesus Christ. Hope is not being restored; there had been none to begin with. Hope is being created, and the results have been truly spectacular. Grace Kids is now a destination; where children worship, build community, and receive food. They are safe, loved, and learning what it is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Have a seat around the Family Table as we have a much-needed conversation about talking to children during challenging times. Together, we can work through not only our children’s confusion and worries but also our own.
Rev. Kevin Johnson is the Director, Children’s Ministries for Congregational Vitality & Intentional Discipleship at Discipleship Ministries. Kevin’s hero Fred Rogers suggests that we, “listen to the children, learn about them, learn from them. Think of the children first.” This quote defines Rev. Kev’s approach to ministry. Kevin, an ordained elder of the Kentucky Annual Conference, has over fifteen years of ministry experience in which he has thought of the children first. Prior to ministry, Kevin worked with children in the hospital setting and in group homes for emotionally and physically abused children.