As our church explores the real life applications of family ministry I have begun to notice a fundamental element of success for family ministry: passion. That might sound cheesy but it’s true. If you want your church to have an effective family ministry you must have a church, leadership and pastors who are passionate to see family ministry succeed in your church.
I continually experiment and try new approaches to unifying the adults, students, kids and families of our church. I’m realizing that simply offering tools and opportunities do not equate to a great family ministry. You need to create a movement. Here’s how that is done:
Step 1- Lead Pastor
In my opinion, the lead pastor is called to that position for a reason and the truth is they are responsible for the vision/mission of the church. Many lead pastors are in the position to guide the church in the direction it needs to go. With the help of others, the church moves in that general direction. Therefore, family ministry needs to be part of the vision and mission of the church. The lead pastor must embrace family ministry as a priority or it will go nowhere.
Step 2- Key Leadership
Key leadership includes the movers and shakers that become the drumbeat and the de facto voice of the church. They are the elders, deacons, directors, board members, committee chairs, and the non-titled influences of the church congregation. Family ministry is not a singular program or a one-time event, it’s a passion that needs to surround and resonate throughout the church. Meet with these people of influence and get to know them. Get them connected and encouraged to be a component of this passion for family ministry. Without these key leaders nothing, I mean nothing, will ever move forward in the church.
Step 3- The Church
The church needs to embrace family ministry. Until the church body recognizes that family ministry is intergenerational it will be just another bullet point on your church’s “About Us” pamphlet. This means that single adults serve children, families embrace unrelated teenagers, and the elderly love the single-parent families. The point is that the church embraces each other as a family, not as a congregation. This can be done in small groups or large groups, it doesn’t matter. However, it must not be another program but rather a grass roots desire born out of a passion of family ministry.