Christian After-School Programs: Getting Results

By Wanda Parker

It is possible to get long lasting results when working with at-risk kids.  Is there anything more rewarding than to see a child’s life, not just the child’s but the entire family’s life, turned around.  To see a family move out of the at-risk category – wow!

It won’t happen with the snap of your fingers.  It won’t happen with a drop-in after-school program.  It won’t happen by running a Bible Club.

Long lasting transformation for at-risk families takes time, consistency, intentionality, persistence, godly love, high expectations, prayer.

TIME: it takes an adult willing to be available to the family 24/7.  A single mom awakens in the middle of the night to a tragedy in her home – can she call you for help?

CONSISTENCY: Yes you need boundaries for your own life but do the families with whom you are working know that the times you commit to be available you will always be there?  Do they know that when you set limits or for the kids, discipline lines, that you will hold to them.

INTENTIONALITY: just as you plan and dream for your own family you get involved with the primary nurturers to plan and dream.  Most of them are barely making it from day to day; they don’t have the energy to dream, to plan.  You bring them that energy.  You don’t do anything without thinking it through critically to make sure the result will be what is best for the family – not you.

PERSISTENCE: there will be many a day when you just want to give up.  YOU WON’T!

GODLY LOVE: godly love is different from human love in that He is willing to take us through painful, difficult times to get us to the best place.  Human love all too often tries to protect and in the end causes more pain. (For further insight on this read White Papers on Secondary Nurturers and Competiton – A Tool For Emotional Development)

HIGH EXPECTATIONS: expect there to be change, expect that those with whom you serve are just as capable as you but haven’t had the opportunities.  Don’t settle for mediocrity. Expect to be challenged every step of the way – but don’t give up those high expectations.

PRAYER: turn your self-talk into talking to Jesus.  Keep a running dialogue with him throughout the day.  Have prayer warriors to whom you can send regular e-mail updates.  Find prayer warriors for each family.

Oh there is so much more! Read back through this blog and you will find more detailed things that lead to long lasting results when working with at-risk kids.

If you are a worn out servant working with at-risk kids don’t hesitate to contact us – You Can Do It!  We want to encourage you.

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