Recently, I was able to chat with Michelle Anthony, the leader behind Tru Curriculum and the Family Ministry Conversations taking place across America. Michelle shared her heart about these events, detailing where the inspiration came from and what she hopes to accomplish (catch that post here). I also wanted to get participant’s perspective and Trevor Lee, a fellow blogger and family mininstry friend generously offered to fill me in on his recent experience.
“If I had to describe it on one word,” Trevor began, “it would be stretching. Spiritually and relationally stretching.”
Trevor confessed that he’s a pretty private guy (definitely not one of those “turn to your neighbor and pray” types) so when he discovered that the first half the of Family Ministry Conversations event (powered by David C. Cook Publishing) was all about relationships, he got a little squirmy.
“I’m the type of guy who wants to go to an event, sit down, open the notebook and learn. Give me your 3 point lesson. Put up the powerpoint. That’s how I like it. Straight to the point.”
Despite Trevor’s preference for straight-to-the-point teaching, he really appreciated the relationship building by the end of the event. He explained that the whole first half of the event was designed to lay a foundation for the second half of the event. In addition, it planted the seeds of friendship with the hope that those friendships continue to grow and flourish after the Family Ministry Conversations team has moved onto the next town.
“These type of events were really a fact-learning type of thing. It’s more about building rapport with people already in your community. And when it comes down to it”, Trevor explains, “that’s way more important in the long run”.
The meat of the event was served in the second half of the event. Trevor revealed this is when the tangible, practical parts of Family Ministry were brought to the table. However, the answers and ideas presented came from the community of ministry workers who were present at the event, not an expert’s opinion. On the positive side, these were ideas that had been tried and tested in the very community where everyone was currently doing ministry — a great way to see how communities were currently responding to different methods of family ministry. On the negative side, it didn’t bring any wider perspective to the table.
To finish out the day, the room was divided up into different groups and each group was given an article about Family Ministry to discuss. The groups rotated articles a few times to bring in different topics, but the event ended strangely, Trevor said.
“There wasn’t any real closing”, he commented. “The more I reflect on it though, they more I think that was intentional. This event was true to its name — it was a conversation — not a teaching event. I think the architects behind Family Ministry Conversations wanted to give the impression that the conversation wasn’t over. That it should continue. They didn’t want to ‘wrap it up’ because they want relationships to continue to grow. The hope is that a true community will be formed and these types of conversations will continue to happen throughout the year. ”
Trevor acknowledged that was his hope too. He said he felt really comfortable by the end of the event. It was great too meet some fellow ministry workers in the area and he can’t wait to see what happens next. Was the event worth attending? Most definitely! To read more from Trevor, check out his blog, listed below!
What About You?
Have you attended a Family Ministry Conversation or a similar event? What did you think? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Trevor Lee is a Family Life Pastor at Life Community Church in Kirkland, WA. More importantly, he’s husband & father. He blogs at at TrevorLee.me.