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Developing a Family Ministry in Church

Tim Smith

Design a Partnership Meeting that includes all of these people. Serve refreshments, explain your vision, and brainstorm ideas. Some people may be so excited about the ideas that they may offer to work on them some more. Your goal is to explain the vision and generate enthusiasm for it. Be willing to give it time to develop. Have three or four Partnership Meetings before you commit to an event or program.

Family ministry is more than a trendy buzz word. It's meeting real needs of real people to demonstrate Christ's love. It's gratifying and effective to impact two generations for Christ at the same time. If you pioneer a family ministry in your church, you're setting out on a great adventure. There will be plenty of risk, but it'll never be boring.

Tim Smith is a pastor to family life and the author of The Relaxed Parent: Helping Your Child Do More as You Do Less.

The church's approach to family ministry fits three basic styles. Take a look at these styles to determine which fits your church.

Delegation Model
Parents delegate responsibility to the church for discipling their children and hold the church accountable for the results. Church leaders are the experts.
Primary family ministry vehicles:
*Church-based ministries to children, such as Sunday school, midweek clubs, and vacation Bible school.
*Send-home parent newsletters.
*Families at church at the same time but in separate rooms (not really intergenerational).

Partnership Model
Church leaders and parents work together to spiritually train their children. Church leaders are co-laborers.
Primary family ministry vehicles:
*Parents recruited as teachers and chaperones.
*Vision-sharing meetings to bring parents on board philosophically.
*Parent resource library.
*Father/son or mother/daughter events.
*Truly intergenerational events where people of all ages interact.
*Family Fun Nights at the church.
*Divorce recovery groups for kids.

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