Are you and your ministry family smart? Here are three questions you should ask yourself to increase your family ministry IQ.
What’s your family ministry IQ?
There’s no official assessment for this (maybe there should be) and technically no right answer (even if you already feel “family smart”).
The truth is, fresh insights about today’s families crop up daily—and what families are facing and what they need is complicated. Add to that a growing list of best practices to encourage faith to thrive at home. It’s difficult to keep up with what’s trending—and to decipher what really matters. Even when you get a handle on all this, discerning reality for the families within your sphere of influence can still be tough to nail down. Families’ day-to-day challenges may be similar, but how you serve them will be distinct from any other community or congregation.
Proverbs 4:7 says, “Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.”This isn’t just sound advice for you; it’s what your entire team and ministry needs to serve in a way that’s family smart. Stay sharp so you can invest in the primary spiritual influencers in children’s lives.To serve family smart, you need head smarts and people smarts—and a solid plan to stay sharp. Put all this into action, and your family ministry IQ will soar.
To serve family smart this season, build a plan with your team using these questions as your starting point.
What conferences and training will increase our family ministry IQ?
Participating in learning events where you can hear from ministry experts at main sessions and specialized breakouts is a key element to staying sharp. But plans for attending these events are often an afterthought. They get scheduled if there are time and budget. Instead, gather your team to talk about upcoming events (both live and livestream) that’ll expose you to new family ministry insights and ideas. You could even take an online course together through a school or organization.
Who’s writing and teaching on family ministry that we can connect with?
You don’t always need to attend a big event to hear from wise people. Send your team on a hunt to find books, podcasts, magazines, blog posts, and web articles about family ministry that speak to them. Then contact the authors, professors, and church leaders to see who’s available for a video call. If they’re local (or a couple hours’ drive away), they’ll probably make time to meet. It may cost only what it takes to fuel your car, pay the speaker, and feed your team. The time together will be worth the investment.
Where’s God working nearby that we could observe?
There are probably churches, ministries, and other family-focused organizations down the street, across the tracks, or in a neighboring city that serve family smart. Go visit and learn all you can. You might find wisdom at local parks, family-focused stores at the mall, after-school programs, sports leagues, food pantries, and shelters, and more. Have your team note anything head smart and people smart they discover wherever families gather. Compare notes and incorporate what’s useful. It’ll raise your family ministry IQ.
Dan Lovaglia is the author of Relational Children’s Ministry (Zondervan) and a staffing/coaching associate at Slingshot Group. He equips church leaders nationwide through writing, speaking, and training. Connect on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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