First Thousand Days friendly churches
For children to thrive, they must be in a caring family. And for families to responsively care for their children, they need a supportive community.
The Church is well-positioned, more so than any other institution, to be that community. Churches can use what they are already doing to become FTD-friendly, creating the environment in which loving connections are formed.
First Thousand Day-Friendly churches are local church communities that are actively caring for families that are expecting children, or have children in their first two years of life. They are seeking out these families to see that they get more of the kind of care they need in that season. These churches are not perfect and don’t ‘have it all together’, but are putting things in place to see families woven into their church community.
FTD-friendly churches are not child-centred churches. Instead, they have committed themselves to reach out to families, to draw them in and include them in their church practices. Rather than drifting out of church community during this period and finding themselves being isolated, families find themselves in communities of support. They are churches who are doing what they can with what they have to give children a strong start to life.
Sikunye has identified six different areas of church life that can be used to support, strengthen and encourage families. These six elements are not stages, or steps. In Sikunye’s How to be FTD-friendly workshops we facilitate a journey with leaders to discern their best next step.