Thursday, August 16, 2007


Time was when family, church and school worked together to nurture children and provide stability for family life. Now the family is fragmented with its members rushing off in different directions. Churches have become clubs for the shrinking faithful.

Money is a good indicator of social power. Big government, big business and big health services command huge money flows. In the meantime, families are working overtime to stay ahead of the debt load. Churches are losing membership and funding and are frantically trying to learn to do with less.

The family problem is fragmentation. The church problem mission creep - trying different things that aren’t working. If the family is losing touch with itself, its’ solution is a return to togetherness - eating, talking and playing together. If the churches are looking for a clear mission, they should find a focus on the family since the family is the primary source of faith.

The powers of both families and churches are waning because they are both spinning in their own squirrel cage that goes nowhere. Maybe they could get it right if they rediscovered that they need each other. Families, together, need to discover the spiritual dimension that is essential to family well-being. Churches need to serve the young families and individuals to bring today’s world into the church world.

This is not a casual challenge:

Where is family life without togetherness?

Where are we and our society without a spiritual dimension?

Can churches avoid a lingering death without young families and individuals?

Where is our society without family stability and lasting values?

We want to hear your point of view on THE FAMILY CHALLENGE, add your comments by clicking on the “comment” button found below.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


In the rush of to-day’s living, parents are concerned about quality time with the children and youth. It is a fact that infants need continuous parental attention. As children get older, even into adult life, they need attention. With older children, too much attention can be as harmful to their mental heath as too little.

There is another dimension to parenting that is not getting the attention it requires. We’ll call it “Care Management”. Professionals use the phrase “Case Management” meaning ongoing oversight of the right combination of experiences a person needs. In our human services, “Case Management” is the big scarcity. In families, “Care Management” is often the big scarcity.

The well-being of the child comes from the total combination of his experiences - at home, school, the community, the church, the club and on his own. What he learns comes from whomever he spends “quality time” - and how much time.

This “care management”’ job of parents matches the importance of the family togetherness time. Only the parents have the responsibility of being an advocate for their children. If the child or youth is spending too much or too little time with friends, with himself, with his studies - all are the business of parents.

The “Care Management” task can now be much better done in our new world of e-mails, cell phones and e-records. Parents can forget; kids can make excuses but an e-trail is quick and sure. Some kids need little scrutiny; with other kids, it can make the whole difference to their personal and academic progress.

Parenting is the world’s toughest job to some degree because we all have to learn the hard way. Some humorist said “Have three kids and throw away the first two”. More attention to “Care Management” can make the job easier.

Let’s hear from you on “Care Management” as part of THE FAMILY CHALLENGE by clicking on the comment button found below.