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Best Practices in Family Ministry


All-Inclusive Date Night
One of our ministry's most successful and impactful family ministry ideas is so simple: date nights. We do the typical father/daughter and mother/son date nights, but here's the twist: We invite all ages. The point is, we want younger kids and families to see examples of older generations who love God and love fun. I can't even begin to express what a blessing it is to see a 65-year-old woman bring her 85-year-old father to a date night. It sets an incredible example to the younger dads and their daughters. We provide simple appetizers and a brief devotion, and then send everyone out on their own dates while providing free childcare for parents with little ones left behind. The cost is very low for our ministry, but the outcome is amazing.
Annie Willems

Jeanne Madden is a children's minister in Baltimore, Maryland; Lisa Messer is a children's pastor in New Haven, Connecticut; Jay Hostetler is a children's ministry consultant in Holland, Michigan; and Annie Willems is the director for Calvin's Hats ( in Salem, Oregon.

Excerpted from the March/April 2012 issue of Children's Ministry Magazine. Don't miss out on another issue, subscribe today!

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