Honoring faithful leaders for serving kids week in and week out isn’t limited to your ministry team. You know too well that disciple-making isn’t only an at-church exercise; it’s an at-home, in-family responsibility requiring constant attention from moms, dads, grandparents, and more. Be sure to celebrate the spiritual heroes at home, too. Here are three ways to cheer on these heroes.
3 Ideas to Celebrate Children’s Spiritual Heroes at Home
Proverbs 22:6 Awards
“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”
This verse is an affirming challenge and cautious reminder that the discipleship role families play today has a lifelong impact. Yet moms and dads need to be reminded regularly that being the primary spiritual influencer in their child’s life doesn’t mean they’re alone in this unscripted adventure.
Imagine how families in your church would feel if you gave them a framed certificate or inspiring picture from you. Sure, they might already have one from a child dedication service or baptism. But, a lot of time passes between birth and high school graduation. Find someone creative to design awards that incorporate Proverbs 22:6. Give them to every family that God sends your way between now and summer. Look moms and dads in the eyes and encourage them to press on as faithful, wonderful parents.
“No Perfect Parents” Party
Have you ever had a “let us help you be a better parent” class or sermon backfire? Instead of always trying to coach parents to perform better, try celebrating them for not having it all pulled together. Giving them space to be seen and known in the mess as they find their footing as a family can be a gracious way to honor their best efforts.
Pixar’s emotionally real movie Inside Out might be just what the doctor ordered for when you host your “No Perfect Parents” event. Let moms and dads know they can show up without dressing up or doing anyone’s hair or bringing a casserole. Check Pinterest for DIY “snack hack” ideas. Then grab some basic board games and gather families together for a no-frills, no-thrills, “we love you just as you are” gathering.
Got Fruit? Cards
One of the highlights of children’s and family ministry is seeing God at work in kids’ lives when Galatians 5:22-23 fruit starts to grow. Unfortunately, busy moms and dads may not get the opportunities to notice love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control flourishing in their home or themselves.
Invite leaders in your ministry to start paying attention to which fruit of the Spirit shows up in each child they serve. Then, ask them to build up moms and dads by writing personalized notes that finish this sentence: “God is growing _________ in your child’s life, and I know this fruit of the Spirit is in you and your home, too, because…”
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 and Facebook: @DanLovaglia.
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