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Developing a Family Ministry in Church

Tim Smith

3. Integration

There are three great ways to integrate your family ministry.

*Fit it in. Design your family ministry to fit into what you're already doing in children's ministry. Children's minister Sharyn Spradlin in Washington state brings parents and kids together for teaching, worship, and communion on Sundays. Then parents and children go to classrooms together for Bible lessons.

If you're restricted by space, time, or finances, be courageous enough to ask, "Is there an ineffective program that we can cut?" Pruning promotes new growth. When it comes to planning children's ministry, sometimes your best tool may be your eraser.

*Pass it on. Encourage parents to integrate their spiritual training and instruction into their normal activities. Notice in the passage from Deuteronomy that the parents are using natural teachable moments to pass on spiritual truths. Give parents resources to help them talk about God's truths at home. They could take a walk and relate God's Word to what they see. Encourage parents to read the Bible or pray with their children every day. Have them place reminders around their homes so they can remember God and his promises. This is family ministry at its most effective and basic level.

*Add it on. Design events that involve children with their parents. Invite parents to participate in a parent-child game night after your weekly club meeting. If space is limited, divide the group by grade levels and offer it on two different nights.

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