Youth Ministry Round Table w/ Parents

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Video Transcript:

Scooter Kellum

Hey Alabama Baptists, Scooter Kellum here with YM link and we are doing round three of virtual Roundtable. What we did two weeks ago was we had a group of youth pastors come on and talk about the ways they’re doing youth ministry, different resources, things like that. And then this past week, what we did was we got a group of students together and we talked to them, letting them be a voice and kinda telling what’s going on with youth ministry and with their lives and things like that. Well, today, I’m really excited because we get a perspective that oftentimes we don’t hear on a platform like this. And so we’re really excited about that today. Today we have parents, and so we’re really excited to have them and so I’m gonna let them start off by answering, by kind of tell us a little bit about themselves where they’re from and then the age of their students and so Amy why don’t you start us off.

Amy Wooden

My name is Amy Wooden, and I have two children. The senior her name is Elizabeth, she’s 17. She’ll be 18 in July. And then we have a younger daughter Rebecca. And she is 14 and she’s in ninth grade. So she’s finishing ninth grade this year. And we live in Ozark, Alabama and we attend Chalkhead Baptist Church.

Ruth Gibbons

All right, and my name is Ruth Gibbons. I have three children. I have a 15 year old son, a 12 year old daughter and a 10 year old son. We live in Montgomery, Alabama, and we attend Taylor Road Baptist Church.

Danielle Herrod

Hi, I’m Danielle Herrod, and my oldest is a 14 year old girl, her name is Celeste. And I have a 12 year old son and I have an eight year old daughter and we attend church at Eastmont Baptist Church Montgomery, Alabama.

Laura Holly

Hey, I am Laura Holly. We are from Demopolis, Alabama. We attend First Baptist Church of Demopolis. I have four children. I have one that is 18 a freshman in college, I have a son, I have another son that’s 17, he is a junior. And then my third son is in the ninth grade and then my daughter is in the 6th grade.

Scooter Kellum

Okay, and so as you can see, we have a wide variety of ages of genders and so a good mixture and balance and so we’re so glad to have all of you here. Thanks for sharing with us today. We also have Josh Meadows, who’s the family pastor at Spring Valley Baptist Church in Springville, Alabama and we’re so thankful that he has decided to join us today as well. And so we’re gonna start off and we’re just gonna kinda launch right in the first question that I have for you, What has been the biggest challenge during the COVID-19 period of quarantine and change and all the things that have been going on in our worlds? What have you seen as the biggest challenge spiritually in your child as a parent and what are your thoughts? You could yeah.

Amy Wooden

For my daughter, well, for both of them just in general, being out of school to start with, especially for my youngest, she was excited, “Oh, I don’t have to go back to school.” But it was totally different emotion from our oldest because she is a senior in high school. So she was looking at all the things that she’s not gonna get to do, and not going to get finished up with, so I would say talking from a spiritual side, they have had more time at home, more opportunity to get into their Bible. Our youth pastor has done a great job keeping them engaged with different things and they’re going through a steady and they’re finishing that up over Facebook and some different things like that but I don’t know, I’ve just seen it on the oldest weigh heavy on her and I don’t know that it’s… She’s got a resentment about not being able to finish out some things because she was drum major in the band, she didn’t get to attend her prom. So I think it has has affected her some… I don’t know that its really drawing her closer to God. I would like to say that it has, my youngest I think, sort of had the opposite effect on because she’s not experiencing the same things that my senior is.

Ruth Gibbons

Well, I guess for all of us, not just the kids just finding a new normal and kind of letting go of the old normal. We’re a family of homebodies. We love our routines and just emotionally, mentally getting into that new normal was really difficult for us. But we’ve done it together so that it kinda turned a challenge into a positive. Also, another big challenge for us has been just a lot of screen time. We’re not a family that allows a lot of screen time and we’ve had to because of schooling online. I’m very thankful for that opportunity, but it’s been really interesting to figure out how to balance the need of that screen time with not overhauling everything we’ve worked for, for years and years, this mentality. So that’s been really difficult for us.

Danielle Herrod

I would say one of the challenges that we’ve faced has just been the amount of extra time that we are spending face to face has brought to light just like interpersonal, or any long standing issues that my kids have had together just in that sibling to sibling way, those have risen to the surface and we’ve had time to kind of process through how we’re communicating with each other during this time to maybe work through some deeper issues that you don’t generally have time to sit down and deal with in the day in and day out of a busy schedule. So just the way that we are having to give more grace time to each other has been… It’s challenging. It’s challenging. We all need more, more grace given to us.

Laura Holly

Yes, I would say that our biggest challenge, we really enjoy being out and with our friends and at church and that is probably been our biggest challenge, just missing the people that we like to worship with and spend time with. So that’s probably our biggest challenge my friends, really, my children really miss their friends and being at church. But I will say, one blessing that I think that I’ve my freshman in college, of course, he is home and I feel like that has been some extra time that God has given us with him in our home that we’re able to really invest in him. So to me, this is been a blessing that we’ve been home and I’ve had to have my children and spending more time in devotion with them every night and me and my husband just really trying to instill how to approach this change in our life, I think is been a blessing for us. So I’m trying to focus on the positives and not really hang on to all the negatives of it. So we’re looking at as a positive in our house.

Scooter Kellum

Well, and I think one of the joys of doing something like this is that you get to be a voice of maybe somebody who’s dealing with the same challenge as you are. And in that challenge, other people might be wishing that they had the words or maybe wishing that they could they could voice it to somebody. And so you get to be a part of being a part of that is as our desire. I’ve had a similar experience, I feel like a lot of people are trying to be as positive as they can just like all of you, all of us are because in some way we can we can really keep going. So I know that there are some challenges in trying to keep going and keeping a positive attitude going, is what helps us overcome our challenges. Also, I think in being positive, what are the opportunities that we can have? What are some opportunities that have presented themselves for spiritual growth, for relationships, things like that for you? And so Laura, why don’t we start with you this time and kinda go a different way.

Laura Holly

That sounds good. Actually today right now where I’m standing our community is doing a drop off food bag so all my kids are actually eating volunteering right now. Bagging up food for people who need it for a pickup tomorrow. So we’ve been trying to find things we wouldn’t have been doing that if we were in school so that has been a blessing. We have really made our nighttime devotion a priority. At eight o’clock at night, every night we’re sitting in the den we’re reading scripture and going through a devotion book, those things have been a mainstay. This kind of all those, schedule things that we are gonna do every every day. It’s actually been easy to set a schedule because we have free time. So we can set a schedule of when things are done when school work’s done, when flight time, when you can be on the PlayStation or whatever.

Exactly, I am very thankful. I’m the Assistant Principal and I know that a lot of parents are out there having to be a homeschool teacher right now. I’m very thankful my children can do their work and they’re able to… I’m not really having to be a teacher at home, which has been a blessing for me.

Scooter Kellum

So just so it’s stated teenagers are blessings.

Yes, they are. I love teenagers, I have four of them in my home.

Danielle Herrod

Hi, tagging on to that. Just the pace, the slower pace of life for us has brought a lot of positive changes. Just being able to slow down and take time to do our devotions together with no time limits or restrictions on when we need to start and stop things to be able to carry things through until there’s a resolution or a learning. That has been very positive for us as a family and having my husband home during this time has been a huge blessing to all of us. Because I’m not the only one now during the day, kind of giving lessons or talking about the Lord with them. He’s getting that opportunity during the daytime as well, as opposed to just being together in the evening. So I’ve seen a lot of benefits from that.

Ruth Gibbons

All right, so, I guess maybe the biggest opportunity is the time like you’ll were talking about. We’ve had to be creative in breaking up that screen time like I was talking about. So when we do take a break, we take it together or we take a walk together and just rambling around the neighborhood talking about whatever, we never had time for that. I felt like we made a lot of time, but we never made that much time. So just getting to hear what they think about different things all through the day is really nice. And it’s a good opportunity. And I think it’s a good opportunity it has been for them to see myself and my husband work through this as adults. I think it’s good anytime we can model ways to not do things or ways to do things. And I think they’ve seen both of those through this. And we’ve been very honest, if we’re having a rough day, we share that and it hopefully makes them feel a little more normal when they have a rough day. When we’re really doing well and making good choices. We share that too. So I’m really thankful that… I guess it’s just that togetherness, we’ve got all these opportunities with that.

Amy Wooden

I agree with the other ladies that have spoke the biggest thing, blessing is time. Just being able to spend time together, have time to do things like devotions, being able to sit down and pray together and talk about what’s going on. And I think one of the other things is they’re living in a time that none of us have ever seen. And so that spiritual growth, God’s always the same. And I think that… Especially my oldest is really seeing this. And some different things have worked out for her that just here in the past week or two, that we didn’t even know that were gonna happen or not because of graduation and some different things that she was trying to finish up. So I think it’s been something for them to see and just trust God and just let that relationship deepen even more.

Scooter Kellum

That’s good. Why don’t you, Amy walk while you’re talking? Why don’t you tell us a little bit about, you’ve hinted at it a little bit. But when you think about having a daughter who’s a senior, and obviously that senior year like never before, year of 2020. Talk about that a little bit about the journey about the hurt as much as you’re willing to share, just so that we can… ‘Cause there’s other parents out there that are, lots of them that are dealing with the same things and so kind of, if you would talk about how you’ve kind of helped and been there to try and help along that journey for us just a little bit.

Amy Wooden

Sure, well, I think it was the week after they had had their prom is when all of this sort of really rolled around and they say, “Okay, we’re not coming back to school.” So she was able to have her senior prom. The young man that went with her to her senior prom. She was gonna go with him to his, he attended a nearby school in the county. And he didn’t actually get to have his prom so she did get to enjoy her senior prom, which was nice. I guess the biggest thing I can remember one day, probably about a week or two after we had been out. She just, I guess had a break down, you would say. And she’s just thought, “How am I gonna do this? “How am I gonna start school?” ‘Cause she, my daughter’s very… she’s got everything planned, just like she wants it to be. So she had already been accepted into a college and had her plan to do her academic since she was gonna enroll in a nursing program. And so she had all this planned out, she knew what classes she was gonna take. She says, “Mama, I can’t take online classes. “You know, I don’t do good with online classes.” So that was one of our biggest stresses right there. And am like, “Elizabeth I did my master’s degree online “is gonna be okay, if I can do it as old as I was, “you’re gonna be just fine taking online college classes.” So she’s stressed about that, and I think just all of a sudden she’s thinking all these things, “What am I gonna do? “What am I gonna do?” And so it sort of became overwhelming to her. Some of the things that she did miss out on, she’s drum major. She was drum major her junior year, she’s drum major her senior year in high school and the band had a big trip plan. They were going to Universal in Orlando to play in one of the parades down there. So of course that trip was canceled. She has been an Allstate honor band since middle school. She missed her senior Allstate unit performance that they would have done in Huntsville. And she was sad about that. And just some, lots of different little things that she was involved in, her last band banquet, her last concert, just a lot of different things that she missed like that. Some of the challenges has just… All that she has panicked and first she has, we’ve talked, we’ve prayed and so she’s finally on this track where she, “Okay, everything’s gonna be all right.” Everything’s gonna work out you just got trust the Lord and that’s all we’ve kept telling and praying and just everything will work out. Don’t stress about it. And I think personally in that, in us has helped sort of calm her down a little bit ’cause it’s important I think for them to see that we believe that everything is still gonna be all right too. Trying to finish up scholarships and different things like that have been a big thing. She had already done some of that. But it’s hard to do that stuff. When you can’t get to your guidance counselor. You can’t just some things like that. So that’s been a challenge, but we worked through all that stuff. She is enrolled. She’s registering for a couple classes this summer. She’s gonna take this online, so she’s going forward with that. She was enrolled in the Career Academies school and she was doing sort of the medical track and she was actually supposed to graduate with her CNA certification. And that entailed her having some clinical hours she had to do at a local nursing home and then she had to take a test Well, she’s been in this program now through the high school for a couple of years. She thought at first that she would not be able to finish that. But the Lord just worked it out. She was able to get a job. Local nursing home actually hired her as an uncertified Nursing Assistant, and she’s been able to put in her clinical hours through that. And she actually takes her test on Wednesday. So, and then she, so she has enjoyed it, if I can just say it speaks so good for her for that experience, because not only did it… I’m sorry for crying, but it’s taught her a lot . It’s helped her affirm some things. Enough to see her grow.

Scooter Kellum

Well, thank you for sharing and there’s a lot of things that you just said. And obviously, there’s some good things coming from it. And we’re thankful for that. But I’m thankful for you, because, although there’s a lot of good things and it’s a lot of work and we just do it. We also say that there’s a lot of pouring out that goes into that. And so thank you for being there for her that whole time along that journey. Parents are so important to your kids lives and so I’m thankful for y’all. Alright, so I’m the youth ministry strategist in the state. So I love your youth pastors. And so now it’s your time that I’m gonna give you to brag on your youth pastor. So in student ministry, what are some things that they’ve done well during this time. So Ruth, why don’t you start us off and brag on Clint, and talk a little bit about what he’s been doing well.

Ruth Gibbons

Okay, yeah, so one of my favorite things that Clint has done, Clint and Jenna his wife. On Easter they came by, I guess it was the week before Easter. Yeah, they came by, I guess they were, I think they were making contact with every household, in the youth ministry, came by left some little goodies. And again this week they came by and left some more goodies. And that sounds so simple but a month ago, I would have thought, “Yeah, whatever.” But it’s such a big deal right now . Even if they’re just standing out waving from their car. It’s so nice to just see that people care about my kids just for me, much less, not to mention how much my kids appreciate it. And then I’m excited. This week, Clint has scheduled an appearance Zoom, which I’m excited about that. I think they’ve been doing a great job, helping the kids stay upbeat and doing Zoom Sunday school and all that. But I think I’m excited now to see what they’re gonna be able to help us with, the parents come alongside of us and support us and I’m really excited to see what we can get out of that.

Danielle Herrod

Okay, we have been very happy with all of the communication, all of the technology. I can’t say that that’s something that generally… I love technology, but it’s something that I’m normally monitoring as far as usage time in our house. But with Corona, that’s changed and that’s become the predominant way that we’re all communicating and Cleve has really been great at getting Zoom going up, posting, even Wednesday night, the regular time you hear the message and I like that the schedule format has kind of been followed in that way it’s easy to remember, “Okay, it’s Wednesday night, “just like always, we’re gonna go to youth group “on Zoom or on Facebook Live” And just working to make the students feel connected as possible, keeping their Sunday school classes going, this week in my daughter’s Sunday school class the teacher charged them with like a personal mission to reach out to each other as an encouragement just to get them involved. And of course just silly stuff to keep people connected. The cereal bracket that Cleve did, was really fun. It engaged a lot of people and had us all talking and communicating and just staying connected in a light-hearted and fun way. So I think he’s doing a great job and I know there’s more to come.

Laura Holly

Well, we have definitely been doing the Zoom. I do appreciate it’s not my job, but one of our students works on Wednesday night so the flexibility of time. They do it on Tuesday night instead. So their Wednesday services now’s Tuesday night. So that’s very convenient for that child that works on Wednesday night and I do like, he’s personally called them, talked on the phone with them just chatted individually with them without schools going, what they’re occupying their time with. And we’ve seen him today and it’s been nice to see face to face. I can’t wait till that happens again. But we’ve really enjoyed and he’s stepped out and made a lot of communication, which is good.

Amy Wooden

She has, I was just thinking one of the things that they loved really, really loved was a scavenger hunt that they did on Zoom and they had little points and bonus points. They did this before one of their Bible studies, and she even brought little prizes around and left at the houses of those that won. So I thought that was really neat. She’s called them, personally, she’s asked what they needed pray about, she’s tried to check, especially on those she’s knows that don’t have parents that attend church to check on them see how their spiritual walk is going. Because my daughter has a few friends that I know she’s done that we had, so just encouraging parents reminding us to take advantage of this time with our kids while we do have them at home. So not only has she sort of encouraged, she’s been encouraging the kids, she’s been encouraging us parents too, she’ll send little messages and different things. They’ve been doing the Zoom, they’ve been I know she scheduled and my daughter was very disappointed. We had some storms come through and we were without electricity. A lot of us and some people are still maybe waiting for electricity today, we had a Zoom meeting where they could just hang out with each other, the youth group and talk and just see how everybody’s doing because they’re missing that time so much, just being able to hang out with each other and see their friends. It’s been very hard for me to keep mine at home, but I’m like, “No you can’t go hang out with your friends. “You gotta stay at home.” This is part of this, but they’ve really missed that, and just making opportunities like that. She’s done a great job.

Scooter Kellum

Awesome, well, we’re kind of gonna wrap it up in this way. And I’m gonna start off and Josh is here and Josh, Josh is with us and he is a youth and family pastor again at Spring Valley. And so, Josh, I want you to kinda give a final word to these parents and to whoever’s watching the parents out there. And I’m gonna kind of give kind of a wrap up final word and then we’re gonna let you give a final word as well. So, Josh, why don’t you start us off from this .

Josh Meadows

So I think one of the things that all this stuff has created is that for me in leadership and some of my friends in leadership is just the the challenge to make sure that we’re investing not only in the whole family and so I’ve been encouraged by hearing each of you talk about the different things and different ways that you’re investing, instilling your kids spiritually and ultimately, I mean, that’s we as parents are the primary disciples of our kids and so it’s encouraging to hear what each of you are doing to hear how your husbands are involved with that. We’ve tried really hard to make sure that as far as things for our kids are the same spiritually and with their daily quiet times with their scripture memorization. And so I would encourage you. Also, in the same time, I hear you, you’re saying you’re doing that, but also make sure that you’re pulling away and having your time with the Lord. Because you are giving in and we’re all giving more than we probably ever have had to give. And so I just, I would encourage parents everywhere to make sure that you’re leading yourself well, and leading your family Well, when it comes to your personal walk with Jesus, ’cause there’s nothing better, nothing greater that you could do in this time. Then pull back, spend that time with Jesus and then lead your family from the overflow of what Jesus is doing in your own heart and mind and lives. And so that’s my encouragement. We’re all in this together. We’re all learning together. It’s crazy. It’s crazy times and then you throw bad weather in, and on top of all this that’s not anybody needed, my family we’re having to put a new roof on our house right now. And we can’t go anywhere. All that’s a little challenging. But we just laugh about it, laugh about what God’s doing and try to just keep telling our kids this is the Lord, the Lord’s at work in this and finding ways to teach them that, so I encourage you, Sounds like you’re doing a phenomenal job. Keep up the good work.

Scooter Kellum

Well, I wanna say to you, thank you for coming on, as a state missionary. I want to encourage you to continue to give to your local church. But because I want you to understand… I know that y’all may have heard it before, but a cooperative program is a phenomenal thing. When you give your tithe to your church, not only do you get to help the people in your surrounding areas, but you also get to help way beyond that. And just like on this meeting, you’re getting to speak just, there’s six of us on this call, but you’re getting to be a voice for so many and you’re getting to, there are so many people that are gonna get to hear this and maybe relate to something you’re talking about just the same. When you give to corporate, you get to help people all over the world, even by giving to your local church. And so thank you for giving. I wanna continue to do that, and I want you to continue to do that. And then it allows us to do things like this. And so thank you for that. Thank you for investing in your students, in your kids lives. Statistics show that the way that we can keep them in church even after graduation is you, there are some statistics that obviously the church helps, ministers in their lives are important, but not nearly as important as you are. And so thank you for what you’re doing. Thank you for investing, keep going, keep taking advantage of the time you’ve got. And so I will say thank you for your time today. Thank you for your time in investing in your students. Now I’m gonna give you kind of a final word, is what I’ve called it. So, kinda take your final word and then and then we’ll say goodbye. Whoever wants to go.

Danielle Herrod

I’ll take my word, I’ll go. Thank you for hosting us, Scooter. I think for me, what I would send out as an encouragement is that we all need to take this time and think about what do we wanna take from this moving forward, because eventually this is gonna come to an end. This extra time that we have where, keep a positive attitude, find things to be grateful for every day. And in the long run, what changes can we implement? What positive changes can we implement from this experience in our day to day lives moving forward? The slowing down that we’ve experienced and that family togetherness, let’s protect that as we move back into normalcy.

Amy Wooden

I’ll go ahead. And I was just thinking, I would just tell parents, even through this crisis, God’s given us this time. And we can either use it in a good way, or use in a bad way. And I just think we need to take every opportunity we have right now to pour into our kids and just grow closer together, as family grow closer to God. And that’s what I would just say, just take advantage of this time that God has given us.

Ruth Gibbons

I guess I’ll go next. I read this quote, I don’t know, this will probably sound cliche, but it’s kind of what I’ve held on to on the hard days is that your kids are… What they’re mainly gonna remember about this time is how it felt in your home. And that just really helps me. Even if I feel like I’m failing at online school, I’m failing at this and that, during the day, what kind of environment am I creating? Where it’s really meaningful, what emotions are they gonna remember? Are they gonna remember that they were comfortable, that they were safe, that they were loved, that they felt God’s love that they learned about his love more during this time, and again, it may be cliche, but it’s kind of what I’ve been holding on to is what I hope they’ll remember 20 years from now is how they felt during this time and that it’s a good feeling.

Laura Holly

Okay, I agree with all of these ladies, I’m cherishing these times. I’m sorry, there’s a lot going on around me. Stepping out and trying something new, we have all this time. Even if it’s just growing a garden, or if it’s spending time one on one with one of my children, while the other three are doing other things. We have a lot, like we’ve talked about, we have a lot of time to invest in our children. And I’m seeing that as a blessing and thanking God that I have all this time with them and because not too long, they’ll be gone and so just really being grateful, being intentional about what you talk about, about how you treat the situation is very important. And I think it’s a blessing. That’s my last word.

Scooter Kellum

Thank you very much. Hey, I wanna say thank you for for being here and for speaking and being a voice and a resource. I wanna thank you for watching. Thanks, Josh for joining us. And thanks Alabama Baptists for watching and being a part of this and we’re just grateful that we’ve got such great parents that would would speak truth and share about the truth of what’s going on in their homes. So thank you very much and y’all have a great day.

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