In an era of Internet, social media, suicide, substance abuse, and violence, an evening advertised as Parenting 101 drew a crowd of adults and teenagers to Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Brighton, Ont.
Speaking from a sitting position in a comfortable chair “because I struggle with panic attacks when I stand in front of an audience,” speaker Brett Ullman used a compelling personal narrative to engage his audience. “I see so many lukewarm Christian parents, so much thoughtless media consumption. Families and Christian homes are the places where our children must learn discernment and develop healthy sexuality. The church has your child for 40 hours per year, and the family has 3,000 hours. Innocence is for a season, but maturity is for a lifetime. Our goal is not innocence but purity.”
Ullman, executive director of Worlds Apart, has devoted the past 10 years of his life to researching and speaking about Christian engagement in a postmodern culture. He draws extensively on his own experience as a public school teacher and as a parent of a son and daughter just entering their teen years.
Winnie Visser, the congregational care coordinator at Fellowship CRC, explained, “I first contacted Brett in my capacity as a Christian counselor because I was dealing with a young person who was cutting himself. I searched out a Christian with experience in that area. I discovered that Brent also had much to say about Christian parenting. Our congregational care group decided to bring him here to speak to our community.”
Sonja Hengeveld, youth director at Grace CRC in nearby Cobourg, commented, “I found this presentation very up-to-date and thought provoking—a great resource for parents and youth leaders.”