The challenge of family ministry seems insurmountable when it feels like your families are always out of town. Here’s how to reach families no matter where they’re traveling.
High travel seasons and holiday weekends can be frustrating for even the most strategic children’s ministries. It feels like Christmas and NewYear’s just wrapped, and now spring break and Easter are on the horizon. Then there’s Mother’s Day, graduations, and Father’s Day. Before you know it, summer hits and it’s time for the annual back-to-school frenzy. This ongoing reality of “exceptional” programming raises a lot of questions—and tensions—for your family ministry efforts. Will attendance be up or down? Can we depend on our core families, or will they be on the road somewhere? How do we build a strong bridge between home and church when the calendar perpetually interrupts the rhythm we’re trying to establish?
Underlying frustrations with the ups and downs of the annual calendar don’t need to cause your family ministry mission to fall apart. Your church is a disciple-making epicenter. When the heart of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 works its way into homes, expect Jesus to send his family of followers here, there, and everywhere. Your ministry can be a hub for faith growth that sends families into the world like spokes. If you’re willing to capitalize on it, the calendar year creates a natural ebb and flow for effective family ministry.
Here are practical ways to encourage family ministry to happen here, there, and everywhere—regardless of the calendar.
Family Ministry: Reaching Families Who Are On-The-Go
Provide families with a Finding God Journal. This is a family notebook in which everyone can write discoveries from the Bible, life experiences, relational interactions, answers to prayer, and what walking with God day to day is like.
Host these quarterly or semiannual evening gatherings where families can hang out while also exploring together how your church can better encourage families in their faith. Express your heart for establishing a church/home partnership, outline ways you currently do that and decide together on what strategies serve both sides of this bridge as a united family of faith.
Family Chat Cards
Create an initial set of these cards for all your families, designed to help families talk about God’s Word together. Develop a deck of 30 simple but discussion-provoking questions that help families talk about God’s Word, current issues they’re dealing with, their connections to each other, and how they view their roles as Christians. Encourage families to keep daily faith conversations going by creating new cards at the beginning of each month.
Many families travel a lot during warmer seasons and holidays. You can keep them connected to faith by creating a simple Scripture road map they can read when they’re away. Include Bible verses and two or three discussion questions in a visual format that’s memorable and useful. Make sure it’s something they can keep in the glove box or access as a picture on their phone.
Families don’t need to be in your presence every week to stay closely connected to Jesus or your church—just check out Paul’s challenge in Philippians 2:12. Change your mind-set. Embrace high travel seasons and holiday weekends as a way to further your family ministry in another setting.
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