Don’t limit your family ministry efforts only to Sunday. Here’s how to make family ministry count all week long.
You’ve just experienced a wildly successful weekend. You saw wonderment, heard insightful questions, and believe kids experienced God. But you can’t help but wonder this: What’ll happen at home this week? Will their parents still point them to Jesus?
Here’s how to make your weekend efforts count— all week long.
5 Ways to Make Your Family Ministry Count
Make Family Ministry Count Idea #1: Reconsider your resource “spend.”
You already know you have just one, maybe two hours a week with children. (And that’s if their family attends every week; the average family attends twice per month.) Despite this, most of our effort and resources go toward this single-hour weekend experience. By contrast, parents have approximately 50 free hours per week with their children.
The question for us is this: How can we move from spending all our resources on the condensed weekend experience to providing crucial next steps for families to use during their precious together time each week?
Make Family Ministry Count Idea #2: Turn the weekend into a talking point.
The goal for the weekend is often to get through the content and complete the lesson before time’s up. But what if we instead allowed kids to walk away with a compelling question? What if we communicated that question (with answers and discussion points) to parents in advance? That means viewing the weekend experience as a catalyst rather than the end product.
How do you create next steps for families to engage with the things children experience on the weekend? How do you communicate with and prepare parents before and after the weekend experience?
Make Family Ministry Count Idea #3: Assign “heartwork.”
A ministry friend told me he has children assign “heartwork” for their parents each week. And it works! When children feel empowered to engage in a conversation or a family project with their parents, (and parents know they’ll have a heartwork assignment to do together over the week), faith conversations increase dramatically.
How do you empower children and resource parents for a week of growing faith?
Make Family Ministry Count Idea #4: Serve together.
Family faith conversations come naturally when we provide opportunities for families to serve together. Rather than programming every moment of a service effort, create space for parents to teach and explain why our faith compels us to serve others.
Our church had children raise money with their parents (through lemonade stands, garage sales, and baking cookies) with the goal of buying Bibles for kids in Haiti. This effort promoted quality time between parents and children, and it provided a natural and normal way to bring God into the conversation. How do you provide opportunities for parents and children to serve and learn together?
Make Family Ministry Count Idea #5: Pass on information.
Have you read a great article on parenting and thought: Every parent should read this? Do you know of family traditions that help faith grow at home? Have you heard about family activities in your community that promote fun and togetherness? Do you know of essential services and resources in your community for families? Pass on this information to the families you serve. When you provide helpful information, activities, or resources to parents, you serve them more effectively.
Phil Bell is a husband, father, writer, and the family life pastor at Hope Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is the author of Team Up! The Family Ministry Playbook for Partnering With Parents (Group Publishing).
Looking for more ideas for families? Check out these articles!