(On THU of the LIving Room Summits you will experience the trainer of trainers for Full Circle relationships. )
With Lyle Griner
Gathering at one of the tables were the parents, godparents, an aunt and uncle, a couple of neighbors, and a family friend. Julia’s parents invited them as people who are already caring adults for Julia. For the next five hours, the group will discover the importance and impact they have on Julia’s faith and life. Together, they will have discussions, do activities and practice skills that will further guide them in being intentionally caring and affirming adults for Julia and other youth. For Julia, this group will be part of her cloud of witnesses. (Heb. 13:1) These people will learn practical ways to talk about faith, to affirm gifts, and to be conscious of the everyday milestones, as they are involved in Julia’s life. These are already good people, but they will come away being more intentional and having lots of tools to guide them.
“I always wanted to be a good uncle, but now I have ways I will be intentional about it,” says one participant.
Full Circle is a four session experience for adults, written by Tom Schwolert and Lyle Griner. The idea came after a discussion about all the research, theology and lectures that point to the importance of each youth being surrounded by a circle of caring adults. Still, there seems to be little out there that practically builds up and affirms the everyday importance of faith-nurturing adults.
Speaking about youth ministry, Tom says, “It is still about the numbers. Only the numbers game has changed. Instead of being so concerned about how many youth show up for events, now I am more concerned about how many faithful adults surround each of my kids.”
Author and leading expert in youth and family ministry, Mark DeVries, suggests that the big shift for congregational youth ministers is the understanding that the “primary work [is] ensuring that each student in the ministry has multiple godly adults pouring into his or her life.” Mark calls for youth ministers to intentionally be an “architect of a constellation of relationships.”
At the Living Room Summit, Lyle Griner will lead the group through Full Circle Training, giving them practical ways to lead it in their own congregations. They may choose to lead it with:
- congregational leaders, who desire to make faith formation a priority,
- circles of parents and the people they invite,
- mentors or other adults who work with youth,
- or, most recently, as Tom is discovering, going into a family’s home, along with some of their friends, neighbors and relatives for an evening, working through the Full Circle experience.
If I seriously believed that…
faith is formed by the power of the Holy Spirit through personal trusted relationships
Then I would…
ensure that every kid is encircled by an abundance of faith-nurturing people.
I would want…
lots of Triple-A Adults, people who are affirming, available, and authentic.
I would do this by…
training and empowering adults with specific skills and practices for connecting faith with daily life.
I would witness these adults…
sharing a vibrant faith through caring conversations, devotions, rituals and traditions, and service.
Adults would become intentional about…
seeking out ways and times to support and nurture the faith formation of youth and families.
Want to learn more?
1. Come to the Living Room Summit!
3. Begin by ordering the four session downloadable manual. $24.95 (CLICK HERE will take you to the Vibrant Faith store.)