hosted by Grace Church, August 18
by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (July 23, 2018) – “It’s not a ‘If-you’re-a-Christian-come-to-this-conference’ thing,” explains Pastor Leroy Childress. “This is a ‘If you’re married, if you’re single, if you’re trying to figure out dating, come get some practical things.”
Childress is pastor of Grace Church in Lansing, and he’s describing the Family Matters Conference that Grace will host on August 18. The day’s 15 workshop sessions include advice about marriage, blended families, finances, self harm, dating, technology, loss and grief, parenting teens, parenting as a grandparent, and more. While there will definitely be “Christian undertones” to the conference, Childress wants it to be a community resource, for anyone who wants practical help with real-life issues.
He gives an example: “How do you argue when you’re married? You can’t ‘win’ an argument when you’re married, because if you win, your spouse loses, and then you lose too! So how do you argue?”
Life skills for today
It’s those kinds of practical life skills that Childress has populated the Family Matters Conference with. He recognizes the dearth of training that people receive for important life matters. He also recognizes a shift in values that has contributed to confusion. In finances, for example, “We were taught about budgeting and house buying when we were comin’ up: ‘Don’t spend more than a percentage of your income on your house; you won’t be able to afford it.’ Now [the mentality is], ‘If you can get approved, for any amount, go ahead.’ There’s backwards thinking out there right now that is setting people up for failure.”
In addition, today’s families face new types of issues, issues that previous generations and sources of wisdom aren’t familiar with. Technology is more accessible than ever, and kids are introduced to it earlier. Navigating the effects of screen time on relationships, education, and social interactions is a life skill that is still being developed—so that’s a topic that will be included in the Family Matters Conference.
All this for $10
The Family Matters Conference will consist of an opening session by Childress that all registrants attend, and then three sessions of workshop sectionals that people can choose from. The conference will end with a closing session by Dave Prince for all attendees.
Most of the presenters are from Lansing, with two or three from the broader community. Bios of the presenters are still being finalized and will be posted to Grace Church’s website.
Descriptions of all 15 workshop sessions are available on the Events page of the Grace Church website. Online registration is open now through August 17. Childress says pre-registration is not required, but it does help church staff determine which sessions will need bigger rooms and more chairs.
Grace Church is located at 2740 Indiana Avenue in Lansing. For more information about the Family Matters Conference—or to register—click the link below: