Pastor Mark Fuller Strengthens Families Through Parent Coaching
The Senior Pastor at the largest Nazarene church in America offers mentorships to young, at-risk parents
Pastor Mark Fuller is the Senior Pastor at Grove City Nazarene Church, the largest Nazarene Church in the country. Pastor Fuller says we have a moral obligation to prepare America’s youngest citizens—and it starts by helping their parents.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” Fuller says. “Unfortunately, we have to wait till things get really bad, but there are millions of young moms and dads who simply are not prepared for the challenges of parenting.”
Pastor Fuller goes on to say that many of at-risk mothers and fathers are young, without any guidance or parental role models in their family. Fortunately, there are programs that provide parent coaching and mentorship that not only provide helpful resources for parents, but are proven to reduce child abuse and neglect by 50 percent.
Grove City Nazarene Church, just outside of Columbus, OH, offers such mentorships to their congregants. Federal programs, such as the Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) provide mentors to 150,000 families with children up to age two. MIECHV is up for reauthorization in 2017, and the pastor strongly supports its renewal to serve America’s families.
“As citizens we have a moral obligation to offer guidance to these young parents, so they can raise their children in safe homes to help prepare them to deal with the many stressful situations that come with raising kids,” he says. “Connecting mentors of all backgrounds, of all ways of life, with at-risk parents is the right thing to do for our families.”
Pastor Fuller knows these problems aren’t going to be fixed overnight. "We live in a microwave society and this is a crock pot proposition we’re dealing with. If you could plant on one day, and harvest the next day, everybody’d sign up to be farmers. It doesn’t work that way.” However, voluntary home visiting programs make a difference in the lives of kids, their families—and generations to come.
Don’t become weary in doing good, because in the proper season you will reap a harvest if you do not give up