The following article is from the Index Journal on the Facts of Life event last night at North Side. It said our praise band got the crowd “pumped.” Thanks for the shout out Kenny. We actually got them soulful by starting out with Sister Sledge’s “We are Family.” We had all those people swaying and singing. Beforehand, I told Cory concerning our soul song attempt “this is either going to be one of the most beautiful things we have ever done or pure misery.”
It rocked. I love when people have a good time. For all that were there – thanks for a wonderful night. Here’s the article:
Facts of Life’s Lisa Whelchel talks at North Side about Raising Kids
By KENNY MAPLE/Index-Journal staff writer
She was Blair Warner for nine years on NBC’s “The Facts of Life,” but Thursday night at North Side Baptist Church, Lisa Whelchel was just another mother, offering her advice to a packed house at the church.
Whelchel, on a speaking tour across the nation, offered the mostly female crowd tips from her book “Creative Correction.” North Side brought her in for a few different purposes, but they all revolved around parenting in a Christian home.
“It’s designed to give overworked, stressed-out moms a break and to give them practical, biblical information they can take back and apply to their personal families,” community pastor Jamie Parlor said.
Elisse Sorrow, women’s ministry coordinator, also said it’s an outreach to the whole community.
“It’s for the women of our church, but it’s also aimed at outreach for our community as well,” Sorrow said. “It’s about raising kids, and not just parenting, its for anybody that is involved with children.”
Sorrow hoped parents would take Whelchel’s advice and use it in their homes.
“I hope that they’ll obviously have some practical tips to take home and put into use immediately,” the women’s ministry coordinator said. “But I hope ultimately that there’s changed hearts and changed lives because that’s why she’s here.
“She’s here to let them know what God can do in their lives as they raise children.”
But before Whelchel could begin, North Side’s praise band got the crowd pumped and ready for the speaker.
“We’re going to do about 20 minutes of praise and worship music just to get everyone in the spirit of worship,” Parlor said. “She’s going to hopefully challenge and encourage and share some practical advice. We hope it’s a good time.”
Parler also hoped the night would bring people back.
“If you don’t have a church home, we’d love to have you come here. We’ll be here every Sunday until Jesus comes back.”
After a couple songs put audience members on their feet, Whelchel took the stage, explaining she is far from an expert on parenting.
“There’s no way that I’m going to stand up here and try to pass myself off as some parenting expert,” she said. “If I have any credentials for standing up here to talk to you tonight, it’s because I am a parenting failure.”
Whelchel said she and her husband Steve have been through their struggles raising their three kids: Tucker, Haven and Clancy.
And so the speaker started at the beginning, going through her history from her growing up on the “New Mickey Mouse Club” to her years on the “The Facts of Life.”
But that wasn’t her primary purpose. She wanted to share her experiences as a parent, telling the crowd what she learned from writing “Creative Correction” (one of her many books). Whelchel simply wanted to give what she could offer to the Greenwood crowd.
“It was painful,” she said of writing the book, “but I learned one really important lesson � and it is that God is really not that interested in what we have to offer. He is much more interested that we offer whatever it is we have. And He can take that and He can do something wonderful with it.”
The speaker wanted the crowd to know the book won’t fix every problem. She knows. She’s tried all the tips.
“I have done everything in that book, and that doesn’t even all work,” Whelchel said.
And as she offered tips, she reminded parents the act of raising a child was meant to be a difficult task.
“Parenting is just hard,” she explained. “And there really isn’t any easy answer. Because I think parenting is so much more about God parenting us in the process. If it was just easy like that, then we could just miss out in what He wants to do in us and what He wants to work in us.”
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.