Safe Families for Children

Milwaukee

Course-Altering Quotes from the National Conference

By: Laura Leigh

10/1/2019

This year for our Greater Milwaukee team, there were some quotes from the National conference that could change or alter the direction of our chapter. Expect to hear these statements re-quoted again and again by the 16 attendees from our chapter.

On Radical Hospitality:

  • Safe Families is not safe, but it’s good.” –Monte Pries, talking about how volunteering gets you out of your comfort zone.
  • “Our small slice of the compassion pie is: we train volunteers to practice opening up their homes to children.” –Monte Pries. There are so many ways to show compassion in this world. We can’t be all things to all people. If we stay in our lane, the Church can make a huge difference in society by training volunteers to practice opening up their homes to children.
  • “Our one measure of success is Biblical Hospitality.” –Monte Pries. You can count up your hostings and your number of intake calls, but, in the end, only if our volunteers are practicing the Love of Strangers are we truly succeeding.
  • “Biblical hospitality is not only radical, it can be dangerous – because it will require you to love and go beyond what you think you are capable of.”–Dave Anderson.

On Churches:

  • “We are not foster care, which is authoritative to bio parents. We are the church, which is humble, loving, and radical toward bio parents.” –Monte Pries
  • “We are a pro-church movement!” -Ryan Mobley. We are not an agency. Our volunteers and staff mobilize and equip their churches to meet a need in society.

On Friendship:

  • “We must be on guard and remember our tendency to make the relationship the end rather than the means. We must expect weariness.” –Alana Dennis, talking about friendship.
  • “Nurture the friendship along the way with constancy, candor, carefulness, and counsel.” –Alana Dennis, quoting “The Company We Keep” by Jonathan Holmes. Sidenote: our Chapter Director, Jen, likes to refer to “constancy” in friendship as “supergluing yourself to a parent!”
  • “Grace opens the door to truth over time.” -Danny Sells. Parents in crisis won’t immediately divulge every single layer of their troubles. The truth will be shared and healing tears will be shed only with the friend who commits to graceful interactions for the long haul.

And Finally… A Very Important Rule for our Host Families:

  • “If someone offers to help you, you’re not allowed to say no. You have to find something for them to do.” –Danny Sells, talking to host families. This is a good rule for our Ministry Leads to enforce. Strongly enforce. After all, if our host families aren’t gaining community while serving, then they’re missing the point.