We’ve asked experts on family ministry for their tips to help you connect with families. Here are five can’t-miss secrets from the experts.
We have some good news and some bad news.
First, the good news: 85 percent of parents with kids under age 13 believe they have the primary responsibility for teaching their kids about religious beliefs and spiritual matters, according to the Barna Research Group.
Now, the bad news: most parents do not spend any time during the week talking about religious matters or studying religious materials with their children.
So what can we take from this info? There’s a clear opportunity to help equip our parents to help them foster a faith environment at home. We’ve asked the experts on family ministry for their tips that can help your ministry connect with families. So here are five can’t-miss family ministry tips from the experts.
5 Secrets From Family Ministry Experts
1. Kid’s Ministry to Family Ministry
First, many churches are asking their kid’s ministry leaders to refocus and rebrand into a family ministry. There are basically three models of family ministry that many churches go with: the family-integration model, family-friendly departmental model, and the family-equipping model. Check out Larry Shallenberger’s guide to each to find out what works best with your ministry.
2. Strengthen Family Ties
In an interview with Bill Carmichael, co-founder of Good Family magazines, Stephanie Martin asked how busy kid’s ministers can keep their families healthy. Bill’s answer? “The most effective thing parents can do is to be prayer warriors on behalf of their kids.” By putting a focus on prayer, we can help parents strengthen families.
3. Make Connections Between Home and Church
Sometimes taking simple steps to help communication is all you need to give your parents a boost. Suzanne Perdew has come up with some great simple tips that you can use today. My favorite is setting up a family-enrichment committee, like a church in Nashville, Tennessee did. The committee plans programs and activities that’ll promote the mental and spiritual development of families.
4. Help Parents Succeed
In an article about partnering with parents, Mike Sciarra and Carmen Kamrath provide some great practical tips that are sure to help. I really enjoyed the breakdown of the main ways you can help parents succeed in their role as their kids’ faith developers. First, give parents simple faith-building activities they can do at home. Next, take steps to bridge the gap between church and home. Finally, equip parents with resources.
5. Hold a Parent Meeting
We know that parents want to take the lead when it comes to talking about faith with their kids. So hold a simple meeting to equip and encourage parents to begin naturally passing on their faith to their kids. It’s not as hard as it seems because it’s really about conversation and relationships. When parents are aware that their kids are watching, absorbing, and cataloging their every interaction, it’s easy for parents to begin to intentionally model the faith they want to pass on.
Develop Parents as Faith Influences
There are two primary ways you can help parents in their role as kids’ faith developers.
1. Encourage parents to do these simple faith-building activities with their kids.
- Pray daily with and for your kids.
- Learn one verse together as a family each week.
- Review Sunday school take-home papers. Do the activities together. Talk through the discussion questions.
- Be with your kids daily — talking, listening, and applying Bible truths to your lives and theirs.
- Read the Bible together. It doesn’t have to be much. But it has to be clear that God’s Word is an important tool.
2. Provide faith-building connections between homes and your church.
- Give a copy of your scope and sequence to each family. This way, parents know what Bible personalities and stories kids are studying in Sunday school.
- Create a prayer room at your church where entire families can go and pray together.
- Organize family outings such as day trips, outreach events, and service projects.
- Send a monthly newsletter with information about your ministry and practical, spiritual helps for parents.