New Life Church is on a mission. The Hardin church is reaching beyond its congregation to help the community identify and address its greatest needs. According to Assistant Pastor Ryan Schoppe, “We don’t just look at problems, we look at the root causes. One of the things we identified in our community is a need to support our parents.”
Schoppe facilitated a new Raising Highly Capable Kids class, with 12 students graduating in a formal cap and gown ceremony in January.
“The diversity of the group is amazing, but by week 12, it’s like one huge family,” Schoppe says. The graduates range in age from their 20s to 60s, and include Native American, Hispanic, and Caucasian parents and grandparents, both married and single.
The 13-week parenting class, offered through Rezilient Kidz and supported by the Gianforte Family Foundation, is part of an 18-month pilot program and the first in Montana. The church also offers classes in healthy marriages and addiction recovery.
Schoppe explains, “We’re trying to provide a suite of services at the church. Beyond the class itself, the church surrounds class participants with a community. We connect people to people, who are then able to rely on each other when difficulties arise.”