I was scrollin’ on Facebook when I noticed an advertisement for a FREE PARENT’S NIGHT OUT! I did a double take and re-read the post. Yep, a FREE Parent’s Night Out from 6p-9p. I quickly jumped on this opportunity and signed each child up. I texted Hubby to keep that night free and smiled. This is a parent’s dream. Someone providing entertainment for kids for free! Not the “Please fill out this survey” free. Not even the “Let us post stuff on your social media page” kind of free. This was the Free FREE. This amazing event was put on by an organization called Engage. (It was a friend who shared the post.)
When I explained to Hubby about the free FREE, he was elated! We didn’t know what we were going to with our FREE night, but we weren’t going to waste it indoors. When the night arose, we packed our 4 kids into the car and headed to corner of Kirby and Humphrey’s Blvd.
When we walked in, we were welcomed as if we were long lost relatives coming back home. Seriously, their welcome was invigorating and genuine. The young woman spoke to our kids as if she’s known them from birth. She explained all the fun activities they were going to do that night and the different types of pizza they were going to eat. All the while, Anthony and I filled out “safety” paperwork to ensure the right kids were released to us when we arrive for pickup.
Then we asked, “What type of organization is this that they can offer FREE Parent’s Night Out?” The other young woman who was taking our information simply stated, “We’re a church.” My mind was blown. A church. A CHURCH!!!!! I should have known. The exuberant greeting, the “I’m Home” feeling the place was radiating and the way my children just felt so comfortable. THE Spirit was telling our spirit that HE dwells here.
This small church gets it. They really, really, get it!!!! In today’s busy world, how do you rebuild, or strengthen, a family. You start with the parents of course! You give the parent’s an opportunity to breathe and remember themselves before they had kids. During this breath, they will remember that a church sought to help them where they needed it most. You minister to the children. You display every fruit of the spirit within a 3-hour window. You impact their life forever.
If this is what this small church do for complete strangers, I can only imagine what they do for their members. This shouldn’t be so mind-boggling to me, but it is. I have always had a church tell me what I need. I don’t think I’ve every encounter a church that met me where I needed them most. What if every church in Memphis served their community by offering Parent’s Night Out? What if every church in Memphis asked parents, “What do you need?”
Don’t we say it takes a village to raise a child? Well, Engage Church believes this to be true. I bet they offer family-nights too. I bet they offer financial growth classes! I bet they have some type of organization to assist with navigating through every stage of life for their members. You can never outgrow a church that grows with you.
This upcoming Sunday, we will be visiting Engage Church. And I have a feeling we will be welcomed with open arms…literally! If you haven’t checked out their website, please do so. It speaks VOLUMES.
BTW…the kids didn’t want to leave that night! They had a ball and made lots of friends.
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