Greetings! It’s an honor to be guest posting here at trevorlee.me. One of the things I love about the kidmin/fammin world is the sheer amount of great blogs and web resources available to us all. The exchange of ideas is one of the greatest opportunities that we in children’s ministry have to grow our churches and God’s kingdom.
So, if you’ve been involved in children’s ministry for longer than, say, 10 minutes, you’ve heard and been a part of the “family ministry” conversation. It seems like every children’s minister out there is intentionally chasing the goal of equipping parents to take on the primary role in their kids’ spiritual growth. This is a good thing! This goes back to God’s heart for parents to pass on His law and stories to the next generation (Deuteronomy 6). Most of us have thought long and hard about this topic, tried new events or classes, and have used every opportunity in front of us to share our passion for family ministry to our congregation.
It’s incredibly cool when we get to see parents’ eyes light up when they “get it”. But, more often than not the reaction we get is much more muted than we’d hoped. Sometimes I feel like I get the same reaction from parents that I have when a carpenter tells me about his preference for a new type of hammer. It all sounds cool, but I don’t get the significance. As frustrating as this reaction from parents can be for us, it is understandable. After all, many of our families are at church, because they correctly realize that they need others to come alongside them to help them instill faith in their kids’ hearts. They trust you to create the best ministry possible, so they tend to leave the direction to you.
While this makes sense, it is incredible frustrating! The whole point of a family approach is to engage the parents, and get them excited about leading their kids’ faith! That’s why switching your focus should never start with the “how”, but instead start entirely focused upon the “why”.
Believe me, you can put together a great program with its heart in the right place, but if you haven’t repeatedly broadcast your “why”, nobody will come. In fact, they’ll more likely stay away because it seems unfamiliar. So, if you are aiming to switch to a family ministry approach, start by asking yourself these questions:
- What’s my vision in 10 words or less? Am I creating a vision that people can understand, remember, and pass on?
- What are the roadblocks for parents? How are we overcoming them?
- How can your lead pastor tie your push for family ministry into the overall vision of the church?
- How are you describing the importance of family ministry to your parents?
Here’s the deal. Family ministry isn’t effective because of great classes, events, or teaching. It’s effective because your families grasp its importance. It all starts with a clear, concise and motivating “why”. Before you do anything else, nail that down, and you’ll have given yourself a great foundation to equip your parents to lead. God bless you as you inspire the next generation of families!
What are your ideas? What’s your “why”, and how do you share it?
About Today’s Author: Collie Coburn
Collie Coburn is the children’s pastor at First Christian Church in Santa Maria, CA. He’s married and has a rambunctious dog. He loved kidmin, playing the drums, and eating cereal. He blogs regularly at innovatekids.com