Project Minion

Project/presentation title: Saving private minion?
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Presentation Language: Afrikaans or English

The title: A private is a soldier of the lowest military rank. Children are playfully cast as minions (the animated film) and the image of ‘minion’ is explored in both negative and positive terms. The question mark emphasizes that children should not fight grown up battles; And that ultimately if done right in marriage and divorce a battle is not necessary. It promotes co-parenting in marriage and divorce.


What is the message: Set against the backdrop of nasty societal challenges for marriage that quite often lead to divorce the message emphasises the role of parents in the holistic well being and development of children. It adds family friendly emphasis on manhood, fatherhood and promoting the father-child relationship in contemporary societies. It references the particular challenges of woman and girls in some contexts and cultures and men and boys in others.

Consequently it also touches on biblical family metaphors and the portrayal of the various parental characteristics and qualities ascribed to God. It promotes the case for mindfulness and intentionality in marriage and in our relationship with our children. It aims to steer well clear of dogmatic theological bias about the roles of husband and wife as such.

Ultimately it creates awareness and aims to strengthen marriage relationships in view of the child’s bond with both parents. It also calls for a good deal of sanity in divorce and hopes to inspire parents in this context to co-parent in the interest of children.

Backstory: The matter of families and organisations are two long standing passions. The first of which finds expression in having a PhD in Pastoral Family Therapy (and the latter in developing Organisational Practical Theology as an extraordinary researcher linked to North West University). Limited parts of my own story from divorce and speaking from the father-child bond are responsibly presented to offer context amid good research that is shared and which takes the lead. A general personal bio can be found on my website at

minion-890831Cost: R [zero], except a good will donation and covering basic expenses in case of traveling. The donation will go towards Scriptorium, a non-profit, public benefit company through which the work of Scriptorium, SWAT parenting (find on Facebook), and this particular concern of the parent-child bond is further addressed.

What is the ambience of the presentation: The message itself can be quite serious at times as it addresses some of the social ills of our time concerning families and children. Generally it is kept light, positive and motivational.

Duration: If presented as part of a Sunday service it follows the standard duration and protocol of the host congregation. At men’s, women’s groups or other events it is discussed beforehand.

Other audiences: The message can be presented in organisations but takes a different approach in speaking about the family-organization-society link. In this context it shares useful ideas on mentoring in organisations as compared to the relationship between parent and different stages of children’s development that calls for different mentoring relationships.

It can also be set up as a training event for counselors, psychologists, social workers, legal practitioners during which some of the most recent research on parental bonds in context of marriage or divorce is shared. In such a set up I can call on other practitioners in the legal industry, mediators and so on who can join the conversation on agreed terms.

For bookings please email projectminion[AT]elmopienaar[DOT]com or phone me on +27 82 410 7645