If you are wondering why we’re talking about Christmas before the bell ringers and decorations are up, before Thanksgiving is being planned, and before there is barely a chill in the air it’s because we want to help you help your families this year.

In the day to day life of a children’s minister it is easy to get caught up in the little things and have “big ideas” too  close to when they need to happen. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about Advent after it’s already started or had the perfect Easter idea on Good Friday. But you know we need time to pull off great things. In fact, October might be a little late to be thinking Christmas – but you still have time.

As you read through the articles this month, consider one thing that you can do this year to help your families become healthier: healthier emotionally, healthier spiritually, or healthier mentally.

Yes, it’s okay to focus on emotional and mental health.

In the church world, we often focus on only the spiritual. But it’s important that we help our families enjoy one another (emotional health) because if they don’t like each other, it’ll be hard for the parents to be disciple makers. It’s important that he help them have better habits and thought patterns about things like time and money (mental health) because we have to have margin in our lives to be able minister to each other.

And the truth is, it’s all spiritual because we are a whole being. There’s a good chance that some of your parents are so stressed about relationships or the lack of margin that they can’t hear your idea about how to improve “spiritually.”

As you consider the one thing to ask of them this advent season, don’t dismiss an idea because it isn’t churchy enough.