The purpose of this page is to share some information about Divorce Ministry 4 Kids and answer some of the more common questions about the site and our ministry. Much of this information was largely covered in a series of articles published in the Summer of 2011 prior to the official launch of the ministry on August 1, 2011. We have compiled it here for ease of use.
Why Divorce Ministry 4 Kids?
Since 1972, over 1,000,000 kids each year have joined the ranks of the children of divorce. These kids face struggles which are very unique and very real. And, unfortunately, many of our churches are ill-equipped to deal with the special needs of this growing segment of their congregations. Whether they worry about addressing the issue of divorce for fear of alienating their congregations, pretend that the problem simply does not exist, or simply fail to recognize the magnitude of the issue, many churches are ill-equipped to deal with, or minister to, children of divorce.
God calls us repeatedly in his word to care for the widows and the orphans. While we believe that these words are meant quite literally to call the church to care for widows and orphaned children, we also believe that they apply to the effective or circumstantial widows (including widowers) and orphans of our time. That would most assuredly include the children of divorce. Children who are forced, by no choice of their own, to wonder between and attempt to acclimate to two separate worlds. When a couple chooses to divorce, at least one party makes a choice. Far from choosing, the children of that divorce, forces upon them a whole new way of life. We believe that the Bible clearly teaches that children hold a special place in God’s heart, and that the hurting children of divorce are part of the “least of these” which Jesus calls us to care for.
The Bible tells us that:
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
These words, and many like them in the Bible, remind us that God is the ultimate source of healing for the children of divorce, and our churches owe it to these kids to be equipped to minister to them effectively.
That is the primary purpose of Divorce Ministry 4 Kids. Our goal is to equip churches and children’s workers in those churches to more effectively and compassionately minister to children of divorce.
What is the Mission Statement of Divorce Ministry 4 Kids?
Here is our mission statement at Divorce Ministry 4 Kids:
To honor God by standing up for the child of divorce (including children whose parents were never married and are no longer together) by
- Teaching people about the effects of divorce on children;
- Equipping those who work with children to serve these kids more effectively;
- Calling the church to serve, support and minister to these children and their families; and
- Serving children of divorce and their families as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.
What does the Mission Statement of Divorce Ministry 4 Kids Mean?
We stand for the child of divorce. We stand for the child who, all too often, is blind sided by the news that one or both of his/her parents has decided to completely undercut everything they have ever known and change their life forever. We stand for these children who are on the front lines of these divorces and their unwitting victims.
As we began to study the effects of divorce on children and the statistics surrounding divorce, we quickly came to realize that today’s “child of divorce” includes more than just children whose parents have been through the process of a legal divorce. For purposes of our ministry, we choose to define children of divorce for purposes of our mission to include:
- Those children whose parents are separated, have gone through, or are going through, a legal divorce.
- Children whose parents were never married and who are no longer together. With the rate of cohabitation increasing, and the number of cohabiting couples with children also increasing, there are more and more kids whose parents have broken up but who had no need for a legal divorce because they were never legally married.
- Children born to single mothers whose parents were separated before they were ever born.
Our mission at Divorce Ministry 4 Kids extends to all three of these groups of children.
How Does Divorce Ministry 4 Kids Intend to Achieve Its Mission?
As indicated in our mission statement, there are four prongs to these efforts including teaching, equipping, calling and serving. Let’s look at each.
Teaching people about the effects of divorce on children.
Part of our mission at Divorce Ministry to Kids is to educate people about the effect that divorce has on children. Despite the popular, and widely held, notion that kids are resilient and bounce back from their parents’ divorce, there have been a multitude of studies that show the emotional impact that divorce has on children at the time of the divorce, throughout their childhoods, and into adulthood. Part of our mission at Divorce Ministry 4 Kids is to combat the mistaken notions about the impact of divorce on kids by educating people about the effects of divorce on children. Initially, we intend to do this primarily through articles here on this blog, through Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. We hope that this mission will take the form of a discussion whereby we can engage people in conversation about this important issue. Eventually, we hope to spread our teaching ministry to live events and other venues for even greater reach.
Equipping those who work with children to serve these kids more effectively
This ministry was born, in part, based on my work in children’s ministry. Another part of our mission at Divorce Ministry 4 Kids is to equip those who work with kids to serve them better. This includes, primarily, children’s ministers and children’s ministry volunteers, but also extends to anyone who works with kids (teachers, counselors, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, family friends and more). Our goal if to educate these people about what children of divorce are experiencing, and give them tools to more effectively serve the children of divorce. As with our general teaching ministry, our equipping ministry will, at least initially, be accomplished here on this blog and in various social media. This will include information about who to relate to these children, how to deal with their emotions and actions, resources and information about children of divorce and links to other online resources. In the future, we may take the equipping ministry further by engaging in live teaching events.
Calling the church to serve, support and minister to these children and their families.
For far too many years, many churches have sat idly by and ignored the issue of divorce. That have either failed to see the problem or purposely avoided it for fear of alienating their congregations. This extends to ignoring the impact that divorce has on children. It is past time that the church stood up and actively served those suffering through divorce. At Divorce Care 4 Kids, part of our mission is to call churches to do just that. We will accomplish that goal through both our teaching and equipping ministries which we hope will serve to spark the conversation that needs to be had. We also hope to feature churches who have stepped up to serve the children of divorce and single parent families. By highlighting these churches, we hope that other local churches will be inspired to serve this oft neglected part of their congregations.
Serving children of divorce and their families as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.
At Divorce Ministry 4 Kids, we believe that we have been called to teach, equip and call others to serve the children of divorce and their families. However, we would be remise is we did not, as a ministry and as individuals, do what we can do personally to serve the children of divorce and their families. We will serve children and their families on this website by featuring resources and articles specifically geared towards helping them through the situation they find themselves in. As individuals, we also pledge to do what we can to help the children of divorce in our churches and communities. Whether that is simply engaging them in conversation, starting a support group like Divorce Care 4 Kids, or simply loving on a child from a single parent family, we never want to be accused of simply teaching and preaching without practicing what we are encouraging others to do.
What is the purpose of your survey?
We are surveying people whose parents divorced before they reached 18 years of age. The purpose of this short and confidential on-line survey is to gather information to help us better minister to current children of divorce. If you meet the qualifications for the survey, please click here or on the picture to the left to fill out the survey. Once we reach enough respondents to the survey, it is our plan to compile to information and publish it on this site to help those currently working with kids to better minister to the children of divorce.
Who is Divorce Ministry 4 Kids?
Divorce Ministry 4 Kids was founded by Wayne Stocks. Wayne is a devoted follower of Christ, Husband, Father and Children’s Ministry Worker. You can learn more about Wayne in these articles:
You can also find out more about Wayne, including his personal testimony, on his personal blog at Dad in the Middle and his blog for children’s ministry volunteers and those who lead them named Kidmin1124.
Will Anyone Else Be Writing Here on DivorceMinsitry4Kids.com?
Yes!! We are excited that Linda Ranson Jacobs, one of the nations leading experts in ministering to children of divorce, has agreed to contribute a weekly article to the site. You can find out more about that in this article.
In addition to Linda, we plan to invite a number of people to contribute guest posts to the site. These will include leaders in the fields of divorce ministry, children’s ministry and church leadership as well as secular experts from the field of divorce. We also hope to encourage adult children of divorce to share their own testimonials.
I Want to Submit An Article to Divorce Ministry 4 Kids. What Do I Do?
We would love to read your article. Please submit your article to wayne@DivorceMinistry4Kids.com and make sure you include “ARTICLE SUBMISSION” somewhere in the subject line*. In addition to your article, please submit a brief biography to be published along with the article. We do not have published criteria for guest writers, but we would suggest that you browse the site to make sure your article is consistent with our mission and purpose.
*By submitting your article to Divorce Ministry 4 Kids, you agree to transfer the rights to that content to Divorce Ministry 4 Kids and that it will be distributed in a manner similar to all other content on the site.
Can I Use The Articles from Your Site?
Yes! Yes! Yes! and…..Yes! Our mission is to train, equip, call and serve and spreading the word is an important part of that mission. To that end, we include a link to a pdf file with most articles to make it easy for you to print and share or e-mail articles to people in your life who would find them interesting or useful. If you re-post an article on your site or in printed materials, we would ask that you include a link back to the site and attribute the article to its original author.
How Can I Get Involved?
We want Divorce Ministry 4 Kids to be community of people who care about the issues related to children of divorce.
The easiest way to engage the community to is begin commenting on articles right here on the site. Our authors check comments frequently and would love to have a conversation with you.
To receive our articles in your reader click here.
You can reach us by e-mail at wayne@DivorceMinistry4Kids.com. We try to check this e-mail frequently and will get back to you as soon as possible.
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Are You Related to Divorce Care 4 Kids?
No, 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. In fact, Wayne Stocks will begin serving in a local DC4K program this fall. 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 churches 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.