This is the final week of my academic career. I hope. On Sunday I give my oral presentation. Rather than following the path that most DMin students take, it will not be a typical dry doctoral lecture. Rather, it will be a live application in my ministry context, presenting content and interacting with parents as they process the content. The point will be to encourage and challenge them to assess their own family situations in terms of their relationships with God and specifically how they are going about nurturing their children in the faith. I will be offering them seasons of intentional partnership whereby the church community will come alongside them with support, resources and encouragement. Following the model set forth by Karl Bastian, I am using V.I.P., very intentional parenting. While I am adjusting the specifics, the basic idea involves mutually negotiated contracts between the church and those parents who choose to opt in. The contracts will last for ten weeks and they can re-opt in if they so choose. They will have off during the summer, although I am open to helping out those who wish to continue during the warmer months.
This session will be the culmination of eight years of doctoral study and thinking, plus the interaction I have enjoyed with my friends at Kidology, cmconnect, and in the blogging, twittering, and facebook world. It is the beginning of a new kind of conversation with the parents at my church. I will try to make sure they understand this is not simply another program to try out. It is the advent of a mutually intentional partnership between them and the church which is fundamentally an ongoing conversation. I am hopeful that the conversation will spawn greater interconnectedness through community as people relate to each other. I am not interested in being the one person to whom they must report at all times. I simply want to be an agent of change who inspires them to see new possibilities in their families. Most importantly I pray that this will lead to families who are all the more closely connected to God through Jesus Christ, and maturing in him together as the years go by.