I knew that I had the only shot in that kids’ week to tell them about Jesus! My one hour in our children’s church had to be a jam-packed, not-one-word-wasted, hour of God’s Word. And we did our best to make it so.
And at one level, for some families, I was kinda right. There were many families that did not mention God all week long and only brought their kids to church on Sunday because (fill in the blank) they had to/we live in the South/their mom was there/free coffee.
Now that I’m older, of course, I know that there were many families there (and at churches all around the world) that are using every ounce of their life to pour God’s Word into their kids’ lives. And I wish (as a young mom and young pastor) that I could have somehow connected with those people, harnessed that passion and started a real FAMILY MINISTRY at our church.
Not a church that ministered to all aspects of a family in the same way we have pediatrics, general care and geriatrics. But a church who’s goal was to minister to and strengthen an entire family! To interweave ministry between all the generations.
As a parent, I want to be in that kind of church. I want the church to help me with my disobedient kids, my misconceptions about being a mom and how I live out a godly lifestyle in front of my kids. I want older godly adults leading me and mentoring me through the different seasons of my life.
I’m good at following directions. I love hanging out with my kids and my husband. If someone at my church would show me how to make the most of my time with them, I’d do it! If my church came along side me to help me lead my kids to Jesus, I’d do whatever they suggested!
I think a church that has a true, thriving Family Ministry is one that takes a page from Deuteronomy 6 (and this blog’s namesake) and immediately after teaching God’s Word to the general public gives specific instructions for impressing it on children’s hearts…
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.“
Here are some good family ministry examples I’ve seen or heard about:
Baby Dedication (Yes, this is Asa’s dedication. I know I’ve linked to it about 20 times but it was so great.)
Small Group Leader/Parent Luncheons (Imagine sitting at a table with your kids’ small group leader or Sunday School teacher along with all the other parents. Talk about partnering together and getting the inside scoop on your kid!)
Parent Cue iPhone App (Yup. There’s an app for that.)
Preschool Grandmothers/Grandfathers (Making sure every preschool class has a godly elderly grandparent serving–and what a witness to the other volunteers, too!)
Family Small Groups (Instead of the kids sitting upstairs while the parents pour over the Word, kids and parents do a family-devotion together. Basically teaching them how to do it on their own at home!)
The Great Family Experiment (Coolest idea ever–a pre-planned date/family devotion/adventure with your family. You pick up the instructions at church and just follow them where they lead!)
How does your church do family ministry?
This post is part of a HUGE blog hop hosted by my Children’s Pastor friend, Matt Norman. He’s asked the question, “What is Family Ministry?” to Youth Pastors, Senior Pastors, Children’s Pastors and more! Read all the fabulous FamMin Blog Tour posts!