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Ideas & stories

Benefit from the following contributions on this topic.

Taking the time to prayerfully adapt and apply at least one of these ideas will make a difference to the lives of children and families.

20minutes ARTICLE First 20 minutes #04 Culture: It is what it is!

First 20 minutes ARTICLE #01 It’s all about the first 20 minutes

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It’s all about the first 20 minutes

Are children engaged in the celebration of worship or are they just waiting to leave?
We would love to see children standing with us in our gatherings in 5, 10 and 15 years time. The first part of this is having a vision. Then we look around at children and wonder if they are engaged by anything that’s happening. We can do more to help children be present with us.
ARTICLE: Series: The first 20 minutes #00

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Key to all this is the question, “Do we think that gathering together to celebrate our worship is at all helpful to us growing individually and together as a followers of Jesus?” After all, why bother if it isn’t helpful? Keeping up attendance at some religious observance may just be maintaining the appearance of being good. Or do our gatherings have to do with experiencing something of God? Celebrating, encouraging and growing a sense of what it means to honour and show our worth of God in this hour as in every other hour of the week by our words, thoughts and deeds? Doing this together in ways that better enable us to be Jesus to one another, in our community and to the world? If it is the latter, or something like it, then surely we would love for our children to catch this idea and learn and grow in something like it for themselves. Often a child’s experience of our large gatherings (let’s call these gatherings ‘big church’) is nothing like a celebration of the honour and worth of God. He does not hear the stories of faith. He does not sing of the wonders of God. No one takes the time to talk to him let alone connect with him. It’s just a time of waiting until they are released to their kids program. Let’s call this ‘kids church’. This is where they are expected have fun and to learn at least one interesting fact about God, Jesus, love or the Bible. And they probably do. Around 11 or 12 years of age and nearing the end of his interest in a kids church with all its kids stuff, each child will be faced with a choice. As I am no longer a kid, do I: [ul style="2"] [li]Graduate into big church (which is for adults ... not fun like kids church ... I just don’t get it.)[/li] [li]Offer to be a kids church leader because I am kids church leader[/li] [li]Offer to be a kids church leader because I am a refugee from big church[/li] [li]Go the the teenagers program (possible only in larger churches) where my decision can be delayed for a couple of years.[/li] [li]Offer to help out on the sound desk because I am genuinely interested[/li] [li]Offer to help out in the creche because at least there I can text my friends[/li] [li]Sit with mum and dad until I’m old enough to figure out a way to stay at home by myself[/li] [li]Graduate to night church (if my church has one … this is often the solution of larger churches)[/li] [li]Take a Sunday activity like sport because I have more friends and better connections there.
[/li] [li]Get part time work on a Sunday because everyone thinks that will be good for me t earn some money[/li] [li]Talk mum and dad into letting me play games in the back seat with my other friends who are made to go.[/li] [/ul][spacer height="10" mobile_hide="true"] You get the idea. Add any number of reasons that a child will try in order to excuse himself from one of the central activities of the church. They may not be able to verbelise what it is they are experiencing. They may resort to words like, “Church is boring! I don’t know anyone, my friends aren’t there and there’s nothing to do!” What a child is experiencing at this point is the sense of being not connected into or engaged by this activity of worship. There is very little to help him to participate in it, belong or respond to God in a range of appropriate ways that will benefit everyone. The truth is, the experience of a gathering of church people in order to celebrate worship is often hard work to interpret and engage even for some adults. It’s culture. There is jargon. The activities and rituals are hard to explain. The ideas are meant to be listened to, understood and lived out during the week. Often I’m just asked to sit still and listen and I am not engaged in a variety of ways to do the work of transacting with God and one another. Sorry, did I just write, “I’m just asked to sit still and listen?” Hmmm. That’s me as an adult male, a visual and kinesthetic learner talking. I can only imagine what it’s like for a child. I don’t need to imagine. I see and hear what they are saying all the time. Look around at children during the first 20 minutes. Are they engaged? I once observed an 11 year old playing on his hand held game in the back seat while the singing was on. Engaged or not engaged I wondered? I could probably guess, but it was probably worth exploring as to how engaged he was by anything that happened. He might have been engaged even thought he wasn’t looking. These are a good questions to ask parents: How engaged in different aspects of this 20 minutes are your children? How do you know? What engages children? Are they engaged or just waiting to leave? These questions are also explored as part of a larger discussion on the 5 keys of effective ministry (see midst.com.au/5keys/engage/). The ways children may be more engaged is described in relation to a in a variety of contexts. Here the topic covers something that is typical in a number of churches where children are present for around 20 minutes before they attend their own program. With this in mind, the following ten or so articles will help to explore this topic. [ol style="13"] [li]Growing a vision helps … Vision, hopes and dreams are important but it’s not enough if it’s all you have. … One can aspire to be the tall, straight-kicking, muscled forward of a championship team but without passion and skill you can dream all you want but it won’t get you there. But it does begin with vision![/li] [li]What works? … Develop a coffee-shop-footy-family-christmas-party mentality. … Raise a child at the feet of the culture you would love to see them adopt is part of the answer to helping a child last the distance. Children are usually more attentive to things around them than we give them credit for so focus on the things that count.[/li] [li]Culture: It is what it is! … Sometimes there is no changing it and besides, it isn’t all that bad! Is it? … There is a fine line between helpful and unhelpful culture. The art of prayerful discernment together with reflecting on our heritage as well as on future needs is an important process. It is too easy to ‘throw the baby out with the bath water’ sometimes.[/li] [li]Are we feeling uneasy enough? … Any change is born out of a certain amount of holy dissatisfaction with the status quo. … Having determined that some change at the level at least of an individual approaches to an issue is important, taking those first, small, experimental steps towards a vision are the critical ones. Help is at hand to walk you through an approaches right for your context.[/li] [li]The Big Four huggable moments … Celebrating worship with children in the first 20mins is about choosing your priorities. … Pay attention to the four huggable moments of singing, Bible reading, prayer and communion. These are the areas we can focus on together during the week in our households as well as when we gather as a faith community.[/li] [li]Keep your cake and eat it too! … See your kids church, in part, as a training ground for children to be in big church. … When kids church is happening, does it support what is going on back in big church? There are ways to help children engage in the bigger picture by practicing some of the activities, learning some of the language or making some of the connections needed to celebrate worship.[/li] [li]Teaching Snoopy to whistle ‘Dixie’ … We are all different and all learn in different ways. So then, are kids learning? … The difference between faith education and faith formation is the difference between reading about something and then being able to do it for real. Discipleship is about learning to practice and apply a principle to real life situations. So then, what curriculum do we use?[/li] [li]Performance versus worship leading … The challenge for anyone facing those gathered is to be facing the cross at the same time. If we see those gathered as an audience, we will perform to them. If we see those gathered as the faith community, we will lead them and join them to face the cross, offering our continued worship and honour to God. If this is true, then why is it we see children as performers?[/li] [li]Just throw a dvd on in the family room … What about home groups, church meals, church meetings, missionary speakers & church camps? … Once we have applied all this to children as part of big church, we can also apply it to other contexts. When we play, learn or plan with children, the child in our midst will make a huge difference to our approach, ultimately assisting a child to be around for the long haul.[/li] [li]The language we use is important … Do we use the language of belonging or the language of leaving? So, children are in for the first 20 minutes. They have either been engaged by what has happened in that time and space or perhaps they haven’t been. It’s time for them to leave that space. What do you say? I’ve heard and cringed at the following …[/li] [/ol][spacer height="10" mobile_hide="true"] These are the topics covered in the following articles of this series but will also relate to other sections of midst.com.au as well. All these are articles may be viewed here> [hr toptext="Last updated: 22/10/2014 … pd" size="tiny" custom_size="" hide_mobile_hr="true"] [image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/think07.png" title="Reflection" alt="http://midst.com.au/" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" width="36" height="36"]

For reflection

What have you seen or heard of or experienced that relates to this?
• If you were part of the church as a child, what got you through the upper primary and teenage angst years? What worked for you? • Or didn’t it work for you? Did you have to go away like 80% of all children who start in church and then who did you make it back again? What brought you back? How many of your siblings and friends didn’t make it through those transition years? • For your children, what is your vision for them in 5, 10, 20 years time? Where do you see them standing?[spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/notes07.png" title="Notes" alt="Midst" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" width="36" height="36"]

Notes

• Author: phildup55 • Date: 22/10/2014
Copyright/freeshare
[phildup55/Phillip Day © midst.com.au This article is FreeShare. Part or all of the text may be used provided it is not for profit and provided it carries this complete, square-bracketed tag.] [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/ideas07.png" title="Related: ARTICLE" alt="Midst" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" link="http://midst.com.au/20minutes/article/" target="_blank" icon="link" width="36" height="36"]

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First 20 minutes ARTICLE #02 First 20 minutes 02 Growing a vision helps

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Growing a vision helps

Vision, hopes and dreams are important but it’s not enough if it’s all you have.
One can aspire to be the tall, straight-kicking, muscled forward of a championship team but without passion and skill you can dream all you want but it won’t get you there. But it does begin with vision!
ARTICLE: Series: First 20 minutes 02

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The metaphor breaks down a little at the point that genetics plays a part in the role one might play on a sports team … and sport isn’t everyone’s cup of tea … I mean coffee … I mean … Overlaying any metaphor we might use to introduce our dreams and vision for children are two things. The first is the grace of God. The grace in the matter is that God partners with us and with the Church to raise a faith-filled present and next generation. Indeed, the grace of God is such that children in our midst are a joy to us as we learn, pray, grow, sing, worship WITH children and sometimes they turn out despite our ignorance or failings. The second is about truth. The truth is that raising children is and should be hard work but that it’s worth it. The truth is that it does take vision and a knowledge base to inform us of the range of possibilities in raising children of faith. It takes passion which is hard to maintain at times. It requires a whole new skill set which doesn’t necessarily come naturally. I am reminded constantly by Robbie Castleman’s book, ‘Raising Children in the Pew’. This book is founded on the premise that, as a minister’s wife, Robbie needed new information and learning to fuel her passion and motivation to find and grow new skills the area of what to do with her two boys in church. There was no Sunday School. She explored the idea of ‘vision’. Robbie’s starting point was to gain a clear image of her 2 year and 4 year old sons standing in the pews with her and her minister-husband in 20 years time, not as only their sons but also as brothers in Christ. A strong picture. A strong vision. A tough ask given that the conservative congregation had all the love in the world but none of the skills for raising typical boys. The task began with a clear vision and the realisation that it just wouldn’t just happen by doing nothing. Statistics today are showing that four out of five 11 & 12 year olds who have started in the church have left it by that age. In a family of 5 children, only one would be standing as a family group in 20 years time as an active disciple of Christ, playing a part in the Body of Christ. Only one would remain to continue that expression of what it means to be Jesus to one another and to together to community and the world around them. Only one! The sad truth is, as we read these words, our grief is for those siblings or children of our own who have made choices to face away from God in their journey. Our prayers are for them right now that we can partner with God to continue to help them to find a way to continue to explore and grow their faith; to regain what has been lost. Never the less, the task at hand and the focus of this series of articles is to attend to those who are still numbered in our midst. From a strictly marketing metaphor, it is easier to keep one customer than it is to gain a new one. On this principle alone, the church would be in growth mode just keeping the children it is losing each year out the back door. If the first step is to take hold of this information and begin to shape or regain a vision for what church looks like with children, the second is to find a passion to pursue it. This has to do with heart. A deep, heart’s desire to see children and families to become followers of and committed The Lord, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. If this isn’t the source of passion then any of this probably won’t be worth pursuing. Walls may crumble, pastors come and go and eyes will dim but what it is we are building here is the possibility to nurture and disciple people to live in and express the sovereign reign together and in households for the sake of God’s love for the world. Express this vision in any way you like with any slogan, but from the heart of it a passion will flow. Out of this will come a commitment to partner with God in what God wants you to be doing in this area. This is real. God shows up and enspirits us with Holy Spirit further grow and fan this passion. Many churches without children feel the loss. Enough people, even in an aging church, who have a vision and this sort passion to regain a ministry with children and families can learn the skills needed. The skills can be relearnt. Much of the website: midst.com.au is about the sorts of skills required. That’s not to say that an aging church needs to become a clown ministry troupe (Hmmm, wouldn’t that be fun! No, wait … ) If a vision and passion start with the skills of connecting well with everyone, not just children, then that’s where to start. Change the way we do morning tea for example. Attend to the safety issues. Learn the skills of climbing into a child’s world. Make conversations with new people and children even more possible than it already is. There’s always somewhere to start. The vision and passion will help to determine where. [hr toptext="Last updated: 05/11/2014 … pd" size="tiny" custom_size="" hide_mobile_hr="true"] [image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/think04.png" title="Reflection" alt="http://midst.com.au/" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" width="36" height="36"]

For reflection

What have you seen or heard of or experienced that relates to this?
• Are you related in some way or do you have a connection with children who are part of your gatherings for celebrating worship? If so, what do you see for them in the worship space in 5, 10 or 15 years time? • How can you continue to pray for those already starting the process of leaving or who have left? [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/notes04.png" title="Notes" alt="Midst" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" width="36" height="36"]

Notes

• Author: phildup55 • Date: 05/11/2014
Copyright/freeshare
[phildup55/Phillip Day © midst.com.au This article is FreeShare. Part or all of the text may be used provided it is not for profit and provided it carries this complete, square-bracketed tag.] [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/ideas04.png" title="Related: ARTICLE" alt="Midst" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" link="http://midst.com.au/20minutes//article/" target="_blank" icon="link" width="36" height="36"]

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First 20 minutes ARTICLE #03 What works?

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What works? Raise children at the feet of culture.

Develop a coffee-shop-footy-family-christmas-party mentality.
Raising a child at the feet of the culture you would love to see him adopt is part of the answer to helping a child last the distance. Children are usually more attentive to the things going on around them than we give them credit for.
ARTICLE: Series: First 20 minutes #03

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I heard a long time ago the way a Pacific island culture (I have forgotten which one) teaches the children the rituals and celebrations of that culture is to always have children present at each of these occasions and allow them to play and grow up into the culture at the feet of that culture. This is reminiscent of the Old Testament instructions to the people of Israel and how children were to be a part of the Passover meal. To this day, a young child asks the questions that lead the meal and its explanations. There are similarities in our everyday experiences. The cafe culture that has grown up and is so highly valued that even small children will not deter parents from the rituals and behaviours associated with the coffee shop. It doesn’t always work. As a parent of very young children I didn’t always make it or a cafe or last too long if I did get there. Perhaps the caffeine addiction was sated but the conversation, relationships, friendships and talking through the parenting issues confronting us were put on hold for the next time. We persisted. Over time children listened and learnt the art of conversation. They wandered off but learnt not to touch the merchandise. They started on the taste of the froth of baby chinos. The continued with the froth of the late. They drank coffee and are now one of my daughters is a barista behind the counter. They weren’t taught cafe culture and coffee bean roasting out in the back room while their parents were left in peace. Children grew to follow a Australian rules footy team by being a part of the crowd on the hill at the Western Oval. They would wander off the make a little money collecting cans. They would ask what it’s called when someone catches the ball (a mark). And wonder why everyone would cry out, “Balllll!!!!!” (telling the umpire we believe the our player caught and tackled the opposition player while still holding the ball having had prior opportunity to kick or hand-ball the football away .. a free kick to our tackler!!!). And what about grabbing someone, what’s that about? (to tackle: to grab and drag an opposition player who has the ball to the ground without contact above the shoulders or by tripping.)(Holding the man: tackling someone who hasn’t possession of the ball) Children would learn in the footy stands. Nearly always a child would be given team colours, sometimes at birth. Even if they chose to follow a different team, parents would be sad but at least they still followed the code. They would grow to stand with their family at the MCG to watch and cheer their teams as they clashed. Children were not taught the culture of footy by learning the rules in the change rooms while the game was on outside. To learn to play, they attended clinics and played the game in age appropriate ways and didn’t just sit in a room and watch videos and listen to stories about footy legends. When a new son-in-law arrives on the scene and family Christmas parties come around, many of the rituals and behaviours have been long set in concrete. Change rarely occurs and if it does, it is because old Grand Aunt is too old now to host; a grown child marries and juggles competing family interests; a baby is born into that family and changes around travel, feed times and present giving are necessary. In fact, a child in the midst often necessitates the biggest changes to culture. That child is not left home until they are old enough. They don’t watch the video replay of the party until they turn 14! They even receive presents before they know what a present is. Don’t worry, by the time a child is three they understand presents! That’s a ritual enacted for them just twice a year and they get it. Each of these metaphors break down at certain points as they relate to children in the church. The point is well made however that, by whatever means, we learn culture and form faith best: [ul style="5"] [li]through doing; [/li] [li]through growing a sense of connection with, participation in and belonging to the culture [/li] [li]through growing a sense of connection with, participation in and belonging with those practicing the culture [/li] [li]by being engaged by it and immersed in it. [/li] [li]by being raised at the feet of it. [/li] [/ul][spacer height="10" mobile_hide="true"] Sometimes the fear of congregations is that in order to involve children they will need to have gimmicky performances of puppets and drama, that the deeply significant elements of a worship service will change and there will be more noise and disruption. While there may be small concessions that need to be made, much of what we do may not need to change at all. Perhaps the way we do them or introduce certain activities will need to be more carefully thought through but this is an activity that generally helps everyone to consider why we do things the way we do. Even the most liturgical or the most contemporary services where it seems like there is nothing for children can be engaged by children. There are plenty of stories like this around. What is required in these cases are parents and church leadership determined and passionate about learning the skills to raise children in the midst of such activities. We can do nothing and children might form faith in our midst. We can do more and children will form faith in our midst. Raise children at the feet of the culture we would love to see them adopt.
[phildup55/Phillip Day © midst.com.au This article is FreeShare. Part or all of the text may be used provided it is not for profit and provided it carries this complete, square-bracketed tag.]
[hr toptext="Last updated: 06/11/2014 … pd" size="tiny" custom_size="" hide_mobile_hr="true"] [image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/think03.png" title="Reflection" alt="" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" width="36" height="36"]

For reflection

What have you seen or heard of or experienced that relates to this?
• What culture have you grown up in that you have appreciated and learnt from the ground up? • There are often things about culture we would love to change. What have you seen that would be worth thinking about changing? [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/reference03.png" title="Reference" alt="" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="18" width="36" height="36"]

Reference

We gratefully acknowledge the following sources.
[spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/notes03.png" title="Notes" alt="" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" width="36" height="36"]

Notes

• Author: phildup55 • Date: 06/11/2014
Copyright/freeshare
[phildup55/Phillip Day © midst.com.au This article is FreeShare. Part or all of the text may be used provided it is not for profit and provided it carries this complete, square-bracketed tag.] [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/ideas03.png" title="Related: " alt="" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" link="///" target="_blank" icon="link" width="36" height="36"]

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5keys belong ARTICLE Belonging is key #00 Belonging is key

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Belonging is key

Children will stay longer and own their faith to deeper levels if they sense they belong.
We want our kids to stay and be part of our church. We don't want them to leave. In order to reduce the risk of this happening one of the keys is to help children sense they belong.
ARTICLE: Series: Belonging is key! #00

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Growing a sense of belonging is a key in encouraging healthy faith development in children, We all benefit as we value their contribution to our faith development as households and churches. Belonging is more than just a warm feeling. There is much the church and our households can understand about belonging in order to foster it.

There are many factors involved in belonging.

These will be explored briefly here. Before that though, think of a group of people you 'belong' to. How do you define your belonging? How do you talk about it? Is it a feeling or vibe? Is it a belief? Can you say how it is you know you belong? Do you have a legal, inherited, genetic, social, ethical or moral understanding of what it is that suggests you belong? Can you belong without the feeling or having the knowledge of belonging? It is complex, but worth some exploration in order to review how we as households and churches can help play a part in fostering a sense of belonging.

There are a few things worth noting about belonging.

Belonging is more than the relationships that connect us to one another although connections are a part of belonging. Someone might have a range of significant relationships and still not feel or think he belongs. Belonging is more than an ability, a capacity or opportunity to participate in a group although this may form a part of belonging. Even if a someone participates in major ways in the life of a group, they may not sense they belong. Sometimes an employee of a group or organisation, for example, may feel this way. Belonging is more than adherence to a set of beliefs or forms of activity or a set of faith responses although this is part of it. Belonging is more than the sum of the parts.

Belonging: An individual's perception and a key in a church's strategic thinking

Belonging has to do with a range of feelings and thoughts arising from the perceptions of an individual based on his experience. It is subjective. Different individuals will perceive the same situations differently and may or may not be able to use talking, writing or drawings to articulate there feelings or understandings. Belonging also has to do with the host group or organisation who mediates a set of experiences for the individual. A group's practices, policies and norms may be applied in different ways to different individuals depending on defined or undefined criteria. The focus of this discussion is children. The way churches or faith communities mediate a set of experiences to children are also the particular the focus of this discussion. Youth are included in the sense that the legal understanding of a child is someone less than 18 years of age. From this point, the personal pronoun 'his' will be used. A child is in a process of negotiating his relationship with his church. It happens over time and as he grows. His needs and his capacity to perceive what is happening also changes and develops. This is true for the child who is born into the church as much as the child who enters a church later on either on his own or with his family. The church either considers the complexities of belonging for each child or it doesn't. A faith community has a choice as to how they will work with individual households to ensure a child's experiences of faith community is as helpful as it can be in building his understanding and experience of belonging. Or they may choose not to review their current practices. A church doesn't mean to exclude or alienate children in their actions and language but sometimes they do. There are many reasons for this. Partly it is often perceived as too hard and too complex for time and effort to be given to it. A child's sense of belonging is not valued by action, effort, time and resources. Advocates for children and their faith development in this respect are often ignored despite their prophetic voice pointing to the stats that children are leaving the church in droves at significant transition points because, amongst other things, that they don't feel or think they belong.

It is important to stress that a sense of belonging is subjective.

It is about how a person feels or thinks. It's about what a person says about their experience of a sense of belonging to a group. Sometimes an individual does not have the language to express this sense of belonging and observing their behaviour may help define what belonging means to them. On the other hand, it also has as much to so with how a group feels, thinks, says or provides an experience of belonging. A parent or worker's role is to foster an environment where opportunities exist that allows for a greater possibility of a sense of belonging for a child. Whether a child can articulate it or not, providing for a child's sense of belonging can be a part of a child's experience of church. Sometimes the only clue an individual senses about belonging is 'a vibe'. If someone has the language to describe it they may say something like, "Yeah, I reckon I belong" or "This is where I feel I belong for now." It is not necessary dependent of any quantitative or qualitative level of contribution. Sometimes one might sense or know he belongs even though he connects with very few and contributes very little. Even when a church or parents have been faithful in providing a positive environment there are no guarantees. Children, youth or young adults still may not sense they belong. Even though their are strong connections and high levels of participation, a child key feelings, thought processes or actions may indicate a lack of any sense of belonging. It is complex. [hr toptext="Last updated: 24/08/2014 … pd" size="tiny" custom_size="" hide_mobile_hr="true"] [image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/reference04.png" title="Reference" alt="http://midst.com.au" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4"  width="36" height="36"]

For reflection

What have you seen or heard of or experienced that relates to this?
•  What are times and contexts where you have experiences a deep sense of belonging? •  How has that been of benefit to you? [spacer height="10" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/reference04.png" title="Reference" alt="http://midst.com.au" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" width="36" height="36"]

Reference

We gratefully acknowledge the following sources.
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Notes

• Author: phildup55 • Date: 03/09/2014
• Personal pronouns used as required in this article: he/him
Copyright/FreeShare
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5keys belong ARTICLE Help children belong #00 Factors in belonging

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Factors in belonging

Factors affecting a sense of belonging need to be explored in order to foster belonging.
These factors, once understood, need to be applied to help each child sense he belongs so he may remain fixed to his own faith and faith community even in the tough but faith forming times of questioning and transition. We would all love children to stay and not leave!
ARTICLE: Series: Helping children belong #00

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As subjective as belonging is, there are clear attitudes, values, systems and behaviours of a group or church that can foster belonging regardless of who the recipient is. This is true of adults who come to explore our group or children who are born into it or come along with their families later on. The following list is not in order of importance. In fact it could be argued that for each child they are all equally important in belonging. Each builds on the other and the sense of belonging derived from all of these is more than the sum of the parts. Belonging involves fostering: [ul style="5"] [li]Safety & trust[/li] [li]Connectedness & communication[/li] [li]A positive attitude and partnership of the family/household of the child[/li] [li]Valued participation in a wide range of activities[/li] [li]Help in navigating the environment … boundaries and familiarity[/li] [li]Differences and acceptance of differences[/li] [li]Ownership of vision and future directions[/li] [li]Member rights and responsibilities[/li] [li]A way of dealing with past experiences[/li] [li]Opportunity for challenge and growth in skills, gifts & ministry[/li] [li]Identity in Christ as well as identity in the church[/li] [li]A cultivation of leadership[/li] [/ul] [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"] Fostering is a key word here. Making sure things in the environment help and encourage a sense of belonging rather than harm or hinder a sense of belonging will be important. 'Foster' is that non-parental, gender neutral term that implies mutual responsibility and partnership between parents and the wider group to ensure the environment is right for healthy growth. A sense of belonging … sensed … not just felt, not just thought, not just caught as a hunch or inkling … a mixure of all three … any or all of the senses at work. And it is something that is not always able to be put into words by a child. [blockQuote position="center"]As cliche as it might be, we can more accurately describe the sense of belonging as 'the vibe' of belonging. Nevertheless, there are tangible, real-time attitudes, values and practices to implement in order to grow 'the vibe'.[/blockQuote]

 'Factors in belonging' series

Articles in this series will expand on each factor and will explore: [ol style="13"] [li]What the factor is. [/li] [li]Why it's a factor and why it is important? [/li] [li]How a church can do something about it. What can be put in place to foster this aspect of fostering belonging. [/li] [li]How will can we know this has made a difference, what will it look like if it works? [/li] [li]Reference to a 'Quality Improvement Cycle' [/li] [/ol] [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"]

A quality improvement cycle:

[ul style="5"] [li]Create a process of evaluation/review[/li] [li]MAP a Mission Action Plan[/li] [li]Implement the plan[/li] [li]Study/review the outcomes …[/li] [li]Sample review questions include:[/li] [li]• Who's this working for? Why? Identifying how to keep doing it well. Embed best practice. &/or [/li] [li]• Who is it not working for? Why not? Go back to start of cycle .[/li] [/ul] [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"] [hr toptext="Last updated: 29/08/2014 … pd" size="tiny" custom_size="" hide_mobile_hr="true"] [image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/think07.png" title="Reflection" alt="{L1-WebsiteSlug:145:value}" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" width="36" height="36"]

For reflection

What have you seen or heard of or experienced that relates to this?
•  What are you or your faith community already doing well to help foster a sense of belonging for the child in your midst. [spacer height="10" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/notes04.png" title="Notes" alt="Midst" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" width="36" height="36"]

Notes

• Author: phildup55 • Date: 03/09/2014
• Personal pronouns used as required in this article: he/him
Copyright/FreeShare
[phildup55/Phillip Day © midst.com.au This article is FreeShare. Part or all of the text may be used provided it is not for profit and provided it carries this complete, square-bracketed tag.] [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/ideas04.png" title="Related: FACTOR" alt="Midst" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" link="http://midst.com.au/5keys/belongideas/" target="_blank" icon="link" width="36" height="36"]

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5keys belong ARTICLE Help children belong #01 Safety and trust

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Safety and trust.

A child will more easily sense they belong when they sense they are safe.
Providing a place that is a safe environment and where safe relationships and programs are not only encouraged and taught but insisted upon will provide a setting where a child may sense that this is somewhere he is safe.
ARTICLE: Series: Help children belong #01

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Safe places help to build trust in the place, the people and the message. As trust is a foundational aspect of faith development, this sense of safety and trust helps a child sense there is a place in the midst of their faith community and household for him. As a sense of 'my place' is an important factor in belonging, this idea of safety and trust is a significant factor in building somewhere that could be considered as 'my place'. The way a household or faith community works to make a place safe for a child is both an individual and corporate responsibility. On one hand, we train everyone to exercise 'parent antennae' when it comes to assessing places, programs and relationships surrounding a child. On the other hand, the role of the organisation is to have process around managing the safety of the places, programs and appointments and training of people surrounding our children. It's easy to assess this from a managing safety point of view. Ask. Listen. Look. Sense. Walk around the building and it's programs and talk to all the people involved from the viewpoint of a child, a parent, an insurance assessor, a litigation lawyer and, more importantly, a faith nurturer. What would unsettle each of these people? What would assure them? If any of these people have cause for concern then there is work to be done. Such people would ask things like: [ul style="5"] [li]How does it make me feel/think?[/li] [li]Is it safe? An adventure? Scary but safe? People look after me in this place![/li] [li]Are your workers screened? (application form; police check; interview; referees checked; managing safety training)[/li] [li]What are we teaching or modelling to our kids?[/li] [li]Do we teach and insist of the discipline of respectful, inclusive, loving behaviour towards one another?[/li] [li]Have we done a safety audit recently[/li] [li]Is managing safety training a regular, compulsory activity?[/li] [li]How do we conduct reviews about all this and how often?[/li] [/ul] [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"] Toolkit for growing great kids also explores this theme in Tool 02 … An engaging environment and Tool 03 A warm welcome. Both are key to building a sense of safety and trust. [blockQuote position="center"]Assessing safety and trust is important. Children won't stay long term in places or with people they are uneasy with.[/blockQuote] Mistakes will happen and hopefully these won't be catastrophic. When they do, forgiveness and reconciliation (if possible) will need to take priority to restore relationships. Trust will need to be rebuilt. This is the subject of Tookit's Tool 08 The art of apology
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For reflection

What have you seen or heard of or experienced that relates to this?
• Is a sense safety and trust growing in our kids? If so, how have you achieved this? Let's keep doing it! Enhance it! If not, why not? Let's change something. • Does this article help you to consider a child's sense of belonging? What is a practical next step for you in this regard? [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"] [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/reference07.png" title="Reference" alt="http://midst.com.au/" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" width="36" height="36"]

Reference

The following related articles may also be of interest.
Tool 03 … A warm welcome Tool 04 … An engaging environment Tool 08 … The art of apology [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/notes07.png" title="Notes" alt="Midst" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" width="36" height="36"]

Notes

• Author: phildup55 • Date: 03/09/2014
• Personal pronouns used as required in this article: he/him
Copyright/FreeShare
[phildup55/Phillip Day © midst.com.au This article is FreeShare. Part or all of the text may be used provided it is not for profit and provided it carries this complete, square-bracketed tag.] [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/ideas07.png" title="Related: FACTOR" alt="Midst" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" link="http://midst.com.au/5keys/belong/" target="_blank" icon="link" width="36" height="36"]

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5keys belong ARTICLE Help children belong #02 Connectedness and communication

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Connectedness & communication

Informal and formal ways of connecting with children is a building block of belonging.
How we greet, speak and listen to one another helps us to connect and to sense whether or not we belong. It’s not just about the initial vitally important welcome we receive. It is also the ongoing welcome and effective, respectful communication that keeps us sensing we belong.
ARTICLE: Series: Help children belong #02

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The possibility of belonging is measured in the first instance by the welcome we receive. If we are generally ignored or talked at in a patronising way we quickly pick up that we are not welcome. This will significantly undermine any other factor that might foster belonging. There is a social theory that has been around for a while now that suggests if we are not active or actively helped to connect with at least five others in a significant way there is a decreasing sense of the need to attend the group. This quantifies the idea that if a child turns up to a place and their isn’t anyone who knows or cares about her then she will have a decreasing desire to turn up or to sense she belongs. This idea of connecting with children is a foundational part of growing the sense of belonging. As such, is important enough in its own right to be a key to children and families ministry. See references below.

Effective communication

Effective, positive and respectful communication on all levels shows a care and concern for each individual and will help foster belonging. Directing some of out attention to children in order to keep them informed will help. Explaining things, putting things on age appropriate posters, introducing new concepts or guidelines carefully, helping children make some of those announcements, making sure children are invited, welcomed and catered for at various events, using age-appropriate and safe social media methods to contact and inform them all combine to underline this aspect of connecting through communication.

Friendship is also important.

Friendships spring from a place much deeper than any level or connectedness or form of communication. Friendships will grow sometimes in spite of poor connections and communication. Understanding how friendship works will be the subject of another factor of belonging but is raised here. For a child, friendships with others from a variety of different generations will benefit her in a variety of ways and can only be helped with a deepen abilities and capacities to connect and communicate with others.

A few things are worth noting here.

Firstly, systems in place for connecting with children need to work for all children, not just the minister's or worship leader's children. This is difficult to assess unless we first recruit the help of a parent or significant person in each child's life. After establishing the importance of healthy connections helping to foster a sense of belonging, here are a few questions for a parent to ask a child. [ul style="5"] [li]Who do you like to see and talk to when you go to church? Who else? Who else? Who else?[/li] [li]What do you talk to each person about? What do you ask each person?[/li] [li]Who likes to talk to you even though you are not so interested to talk to them?[/li] [li]Hypothetically, if we had a lunch together, who would you invite … all ages, young or old? (Suggestion: Do it!)[/li] [/ul] [spacer height="10" mobile_hide="true"] All too often this review isn't undertaken. We assume an informal approach to connecting in with children is working. We see kids running around having a sense of fun and eating the biscuits and we might assume they are connecting in with their peer group and others for the long haul of relationships in community. We are more often than not wrong in this assumption. Often our faith education system is more about just teaching the Bible story of ‘loving your neighbour as yourself’ than its application. One application of this for faith formation is about the training and practice of listening to and praying for each other. Imagine if this was ensured, by what ever means, in each child by the age of 11 and not just with peers, but in safe and appropriate contexts with others regardless of age. There would be a lot less drop out if this was part of our curriculum for children.This level of connection doesn't just happen while kids are running around eating biscuits as important as a sense of ‘fun’ is for children. [blockQuote position="center"]On balance, too much running around and not enough intergenerational connection.[/blockQuote]

This raises the idea of connectedness and communication with God as well.

Time spent with God, allowing space for that time with God both in the home and as part of our worship celebrations hold a sense of importance. How we encourage children to do this on their own and as part of a gathering of people takes us beyond just faith education. This is the modeling we do together. This is the work of helping to form faith with the children in our midst. This topic is explored elsewhere at midst.com.au Then there are the nonverbal and indirect ways of communicating. We model relationships. We model the way we encourage and the way we communicate that encouragement. We model the way we show respect and the way we communicate respect. We model the way we disagree and the way we communicate that disagreement. And so on. When children are present in our midst we will model connections and communications in ways that will help them to grow healthy connections and communications in our present into all our futures. Hopefully. As we do, we will foster a sense of loving connectedness, a significant building block of a sense of belonging.

[phildup55/Phillip Day © midst.com.au This article is FreeShare. Part or all of the text may be used provided it is not for profit and provided it carries this complete, square-bracketed tag.]

[hr toptext="Last updated: 03/09/2014 … pd" size="tiny" custom_size="" hide_mobile_hr="true"] [image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/think10.png" title="Reflection" alt="http://midst.com.au/" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" width="36" height="36"]

For reflection

What have you seen or heard of or experienced that relates to this?
• Count the number of significant relationships that connect you in with your faith community or other important group? How did that happen? What help did you receive? What initiatives did you take? What worked? • How could these principles provide insight in order to help children to grow deeper connections and thus foster a greater sense of belonging? • Begin to work out a MAP out a Mission Action Plan to change just one small thing to help. • Does this article help you to consider a child's sense of belonging? What is a practical next step for you in this regard? [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/reference10.png" title="Reference" alt="http://midst.com.au/" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="18" width="36" height="36"]

Reference

We gratefully acknowledge the following sources.
http://midst.com.au/5keys/connect/ [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/notes10.png" title="Notes" alt="Midst" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" width="36" height="36"]

Notes

• Author: phildup55 • Date: 03/09/2014
• Personal pronouns used as required in this article: she/her
Copyright/FreeShare
[phildup55/Phillip Day © midst.com.au This article is FreeShare. Part or all of the text may be used provided it is not for profit and provided it carries this complete, square-bracketed tag.] [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/ideas10.png" title="Related: FACTOR" alt="Midst" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" link="http://midst.com.au/5keys/belong/" target="_blank" icon="link" width="36" height="36"]

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5keys belong ARTICLE Help children belong #03 A positive attitude and partnership

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A positive attitude and partnership

Working on attitudes and approaches helps overcome barriers to belonging.
People come a new place for a variety of reasons. They come from no experience, a good experience or a bad experience. Each of these make it tricky or difficult to be fully receptive to all the good things on offer in a new place. Belonging is therefore more difficult.
ARTICLE: Series: Help children belong #03

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part of the work of a welcoming pastoral team in large churches and the whole church in small churches is to be able to listen to the story of new comers. Part of the privilege of this is to hear stories of joy and encouragement, of faith and blessing. Many of the reasons for being in a new place are often positive, offering the possibilities of a fresh start. Excitement and potential are great to celebrate. Sometimes the reasons for transitions are the basis of deep grief. It is entirely possible that even a single family member senses a loss that no one else feels. This can be true of children. It is rare for to people transition from one place to another for whatever reason without baggage.'Baggage' can mean many things. The idea of grief and loss has relevance here. It could include hurt or abuse of one sort or another including religious abuse. It may be that huge change came about quickly without the possibilities of a healthy and helpful process of 'goodbye'. The words, the feelings, the expressions of grief, anger, depression or blame being expressed in a household will all naturally influence how a child views their new context be that in a school, a neighbourhood or a faith community. A child may very well have his own issues with the new situation. Nevertheless, he will very quickly picks up an opinion, attitude or vibe from his parent or siblings regarding a new place or activity. He may be influenced by this as one of the overall factors as to whether or not he senses he belongs or not. As well as those situations mentioned above parents may be grieving the loss of a deep sense of belonging experienced in another time and place. In this grief and perhaps where unresolved issues are part of it, parents will not sense they belong to a place or group. Again, their grief-related comments will not help their child to sense they belong. Likewise, the values of the faith community generally may not suit the adult at a particular time even though the group would be beneficial for the child. The little remarks or comments may not be dealt with in an even handed manner to help the child appropriately address the issues in order for him to make informed decisions for himself. Of course parents have the final say to protect their child but are sometimes unaware of the counterproductive attitudes they may be expressing either verbally or nonverbally that will spoil an otherwise productive experience for the child. As churches are aware of this, working in a partnership with parents will help deal with many or all of these pastoral care issues to negotiate how communities and households find alignment in their respective values and practices and in ways that will benefit each child. It will take pastoral time, effort and prayer. Even then, a sense of belonging may not easily be fostered in a new context for some time, if ever. The least harm may be caused by partnering with the parent to realise this and at least be neutral, if not positive, in any approach to the new context for the sake of the child. The hope would be that even a neutral stance would not detract from any sense of belonging that is possible for anyone. It may even help. Everyone would love to sense that a process of listening, love and prayer has brought some sense of healing to the parents. The resulting positive attitudes would certainly influence a child's sense of belonging. In the case of a child being brought to a new context not of his choosing, then there will more than likely be the sense of grief and loss present in the child. A surly face, a belligerent attitude towards those in the new context may be signs of this. The careful listening, care and prayer on behalf of a children's or youth worker will be needed to pastorally help a child. Commitment to prayer and the journey of overcoming these negatives will increase possibility of the sense of belonging.

[phildup55/Phillip Day © midst.com.au This article is FreeShare. Part or all of the text may be used provided it is not for profit and provided it carries this complete, square-bracketed tag.]

[hr toptext="Last updated: 04/09/2014 … pd" size="tiny" custom_size="" hide_mobile_hr="true"] [image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/think11.png" title="Reflection" alt="http://midst.com.au/" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" width="36" height="36"]

For reflection

What have you seen or heard of or experienced that relates to this?
• What are those times when we have 'come with baggage' to a new situation? • What has helped us to belong again in a new place? • What principles can be extracted from this that may bring insight to the situation for children? •  Does this article help you to consider a child's sense of belonging? What is a practical next step for you in this regard? [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/reference11.png" title="Reference" alt="http://midst.com.au/" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="18" width="36" height="36"]

Reference

We gratefully acknowledge the following sources.
[spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/notes11.png" title="Notes" alt="Midst" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" width="36" height="36"]

Notes

• Author: phildup55 • Date: 04/09/2014
• Personal pronouns used as required in this article: he/him
Copyright/freeshare
[phildup55/Phillip Day © midst.com.au This article is FreeShare. Part or all of the text may be used provided it is not for profit and provided it carries this complete, square-bracketed tag.] [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/ideas11.png" title="Related: ARTICLE" alt="Midst" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" link="http://midst.com.au/5keys/belong/article/" target="_blank" icon="link" width="36" height="36"]

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5keys belong ARTICLE Help children belong #04 Valued participation in a wide range of activities

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Valued participation helps a lot!

Describing the value of a child and their contribution goes along way towards belonging.
Participation is one thing. Valuing participation is that extra dimension that helps foster belonging. For children, it is more likely the lack of opportunity to participate which provides a negative influence in this factor.
ARTICLE: Series: Help children belong #04

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If a person thinks or feels that, "All I'm good for is turning up, doing a job or putting my money in!" then something is wrong. That person's participation is important but all the indications are that it is either undervalued, not building towards a sense or belonging to the team or both. Communicating value in a person needs to be both expressed and heard for it to be considered effective communication. A sender might say just how much a person is appreciated but fail to check if the message was effectively received. This is an important aspect of helpful, healthy communication. It’s particularly important when delivering descriptive recognition that values a child for who she is or for the part she has played. Normally there are many opportunities for participation in a functional group. While participation is certainly helpful in forming connections and friendships, a sense of belonging is the added dimension. In many cases, participation is an important vehicle for fostering belonging. [blockQuote position="center"]A group’s normal rostered roles and responsibilities provide a wide range of opportunities for participation, probably for children too![/blockQuote] Add to this an emphasis on discerning interest, skill and gifting of people for particular roles and everyone can be involved in even more meaningful ways. If children are considered for roles they can be mentored in so they too can participate then children are also encouraged to experience the benefits of growing relationships with others and fostering a sense of belonging. Learning how to involve more people, including children, in aspects of the role of leadership and governance is the area that adds to the experience of merely participating on a roster. After a period of time spent on a roster, expressing value in a child is expressed when she is: [ul style="1"] [li]descriptively recognised and thanked for the role they are playing,[/li] [li]helped to review their role as part of a mentoring process[/li] [li]invited to play an appropriate part in decision making, providing discernment, sharing insights as to how the role can be developed according to the values and directions of the group[/li] [li]invited to contribute to a review on the function or purpose of the roster.[/li] [/ul] [spacer height="10" mobile_hide="true"] Such activities changes participation in a group into belonging to a team.

[phildup55/Phillip Day © midst.com.au This article is FreeShare. Part or all of the text may be used provided it is not for profit and provided it carries this complete, square-bracketed tag.]

[hr toptext="Last updated: 04/09/2014 … pd" size="tiny" custom_size="" hide_mobile_hr="true"] [image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/think09.png" title="Reflection" alt="http://midst.com.au/" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" width="36" height="36"]

For reflection

What have you seen or heard of or experienced that relates to this?
•  Think about the times you have made a valued contribution and have been recognised for it. Embarrassing? Good feeling? •  Does this article help you to consider a child's sense of belonging? What is a practical next step for you in this regard? [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/reference09.png" title="Reference" alt="http://midst.com.au/" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="18" width="36" height="36"]

Reference

The following area of midst deals extensively with this topic.
[button text="5 Keys: Participate" type="link" size="tiny" rounded="false" link="http://midst.com.au/5keys/participate/" target="_blank" color="white" ] [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/notes09.png" title="Notes" alt="Midst" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" width="36" height="36"]

Notes

• Author: phildup55 • Date: 04/09/2014
• Personal pronouns used as required in this article: she/her
Copyright/freeshare
[phildup55/Phillip Day © midst.com.au This article is FreeShare. Part or all of the text may be used provided it is not for profit and provided it carries this complete, square-bracketed tag.] [spacer height="20" mobile_hide="true"][image url="http://midst.com.au/wp-content/uploads/ideas09.png" title="Related: ARTICLE" alt="Midst" raw="true" alignment="left" margin_left="0" margin_right="10" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="-4" link="http://midst.com.au/5keys/belong/article/" target="_blank" icon="link" width="36" height="36"]

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