One question that I get asked more than any other since I started Divorce Ministry 4 Kids is:
What can a church do to minister to children of divorce?
I believe there are number of things that the church must do in order to truly ministering to children of divorce. One significant thing a church can do is to start a support group for kids who have been, or are going, through a divorce. The best program that I am aware of for churches is Divorce Care 4 Kids (DC4K).
Starting tomorrow, I will have the opportunity to serve in a first Divorce Care 4 Kids group near my home. Unfortunately, at this point my church does not offer DC4K, but a local church close to my house was kind enough to let me participate in their program. I thought I would write this article before starting the program and check back after the program ends – sort of a before and after look at DC4K. If your church is thinking about starting a support group for children of divorce, and it probably should be at least thinking about it, I would recommend DC4K.
What is DC4K?
DC4K is a special group to help your children heal from the pain caused by a separation or divorce. DC4K provides your children with a safe and neutral place to recognize and learn to share their feelings.
For 13 weeks your children become involved in a fun, caring group at a church near you. The weekly session topics help your children learn that God’s love strengthens them and helps them turn their sadness to hope and their anger to joy.
Each session is filled with motivating and exciting activities. Games, crafts, role playing, discussion times, journaling and activity books help your children process the divorce and move forward in their lives. The music CDs, snacks, read aloud stories, exercises and Bible verses teach your children to relax and rest secure in God’s love. The Kids Like Me and Stories from the Bible video dramas present stories of children just like your children, who are experiencing divorce-related problems and have found help and encouragement.
DC4K is a powerful ministry for kids 5–12 years of age.
What Topics Does DC4K Cover?
During the 13 week course, the DC4K curriculum covers a variety of topics in a setting where your kids can feel safe. The topics covered by week include:
- What’s Happening to My Family?
- God Loves Children in All Kinds of Families
- Facing My Anger
- Journey from Anger to Sadness
- I Am Not Alone
- God’s Plan for Me
- Developing New Relationships
- Developing Money Smarts
- It’s Not My Fault
- Telling My Parents How I Feel
- Loving My Parents
- Moving On: Growing UP and Closer to God
What Does A Child Experience at a DC4K Session?
Although I have not yet participated in DC4K, the following represents what I know of how the curriculum works. A common session might include:
- A video presenting circumstances that a child of divorce can relate to.
- A video presenting a relevant Bible story.
- Journaling and drawing pictures in a child’s Activity Book.
- Arts and crafts projects which allow children to express themselves.
- Singing and listening to music.
- Playing games.
- Connecting with leaders and other children of divorce.
- Stretching and exercising to help reduce stress levels.
- Reading scripture.
- Eating together.
How Do I Find a DC4K Group in My Area?
Go to http://www.dc4k.org/findagroup and enter your zip code, or search internationally, to find a group in your area.
Is DC4K Related to Divorce Ministry 4 Kids?
No. As explained on our About Page,
…there is no direct relationship between Divorce Care 4 Kids and Divorce Ministry 4 Kids. We acknowledge that the names are similar (and actually wrestled with this before launching Divorce Ministry 4 Kids). In the end, we decided that the names were similar because both organizations aim to help children of divorce.
Divorce Care 4 Kids (DC4K) is a curriculum distributed by Church Initiative. It is a 13 week program designed to help children heal from the pain caused by a separation of divorce. We believe it to be the best curriculum/program available for children of divorce…Linda Ranson Jacobs, who will be writing a weekly column for this blog, is the writer behind the DC4K program and has instituted the program at several churches.
Divorce Ministry 4 Kids, on the other hand, is a teaching and equipping ministry designed to help churches and those who work with kids to see the need to minister to children of divorce and equip them to do just that. One tool would be a program like DC4K, but our ministry is bigger than just a program – it’s about a fundamental change in the church’s approach to the children of divorce and ministering to them. One friend of the ministry summarized it this way:
“So, DC4K is a tool or program, but Divorce Ministry 4 Kids is about a vision.”
We believe that to be accurate differentiation between the ministries. You can expect that we will feature DC4K as a valuable tool on this website.