How To Do Family Ministry Without Having A “Family Ministry”

How To Do Family Ministry Without Having A “Family Ministry”

Are you a “Children’s” Pastor or Director leading a “Children’s” Ministry, but with a heart for reaching families? Do you understand that parents are the primary spiritual influencers in their children’s lives, but are in a church which has (and wants to keep) a more traditional “Children’s Ministry”?

I talk with leaders all the time who feel somewhat trapped in this type of scenario. While the world of Children’s Ministry is having many conversations about “Family Ministry”, they feel stuck. What I tell them is that it’s ok! Why? Because of something I’ve been saying for nearly 20 years:

Children’s Ministry IS Family Ministry and Family Ministry IS Children’s Ministry.

Then I try and share with them that, within a more “traditional” Children’s Ministry, there are tons of things we can do to serve our families and do?Family Ministry?without calling it “Family Ministry”.

Here are just a few ideas:

How To Do Family Ministry Without Having A “Family Ministry”

1. Educate yourself.

In order to truly understand what parents and families need from church we’ve got to understand a few other things first, like:

  • The Biblical role of parents and the church in a child’s life
  • The vision/position of the church leadership toward parents/families (so we can keep our ministry aligned)
  • What is happening now in your ministry that you can build on toward investing in parents & families

2. Cast vision for investing in parents & families.

Don’t expect anything to happen with parents/families if there really isn’t a vision for it. Even if it’s a vision currently only held within Children’s Ministry, you’ve got to cast it to:

  • Core leaders
  • Other staff
  • Senior leadership

3. Build relationships.

We say it over and over here on this blog:?Ministry always happens best within the context of relationship.?This is true with ministry to parents/families, as well, so build those relationships by:

  • Modeling what relational ministry looks like
  • Equipping your team to build relationships with parents and whole families (not just kids!)
  • Creating opportunities beyond service times for relationships to be initiating and nurtured

4. Connect what’s happening in the church with what’s happening in the home.

Children’s Ministries as a whole need to get more creative in communicating and connecting what’s happening at church with conversations at home. To some extent, it’s up to parents to want to have these conversations, but we need to be more proactive in trying to encourage them.

  • Be creative in finding ways to make sure those take home materials really matter and get looked at
  • When parents have these materials and actually look at them, make sure they’re easy to follow so the conversations are easy to have
  • Find creative and fun ways for families to “report back” and share stories about the conversations they’re having at home

5. Equip parents.

You don’t have to have a “Family Ministry” department to equip parents. If Children’s Ministry is Family Ministry and Family Ministry is Children’s Ministry, then it should be happening no matter what your ministry is called.

  • Speak the language of vision (see point #2) based on a real, defined vision for reaching and equipping parents/families
  • Create parent mentoring or small group opportunities – maybe connect parents of older kids with parents of younger kids…get creative!
  • Be sure to offer varied and regular equipping opportunities. Parenting enews letters, tips on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterst (yes, your young parents are on there!), quarterly classes, special speakers, seminars, etc.

Is it possible to do Family Ministry without having a “Family Ministry”? Absolutely!

How have you served families in your Children’s Ministry?

(please share in comments below)

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Greg Baird
Founder of Children's Ministry Leader at Children's Ministry Leader
My passion is seeing the lives of children transformed. I believe the best way to do that is to equip leaders in the local church to serve children, volunteers and parents to invest in the lives of children at church and in the home. That?s what we do here at Children?s Ministry Leader ? equip leaders to create healthy Children?s & Family Ministry.
I serve as the Vice President of Global Resources in the Global Mission department at David C. Cook.

I love what I do as it is the outflow of 25 years of ministry experience as Children?s, Family & Administrative Pastor, consultant, trainer, speaker and short-term missions leader.

Please share your thoughts ~

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Here’s a great resource to offer your families, created by our friends Sweet Sleep. And it’s free!

Check it out!

#VBS #SweetSleepWelcome to the Sweet Sleep Family Experience!
Join us this summer as we explore what life is like for children and families in Uganda. The program is designed to help families have fun experiences together, while learning some important truths about how God provides True Rest, and how we can learn to love and serve others as He calls us to do.

Check out our website for access to all of these FREE activities 🎉
sweetsleep.org/programs/familyexperience/
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Fun is not a 4-letter word. 🙂


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Stop begging trying to fill the needs in your ministry! IF people respond, it will likely be only short term. Obligatory service doesn’t inspire people to stick around.

Instead, understand the grand vision we are pursuing by investing in children’s lives for eternity!

Practice articulating that vision and start sharing it in every conversation. It’s a privilege and honor to be part of such important service, so INVITE people into that opportunity.

And, of course, never forget the foundation for building our team, found in Luke 10:2: “These were his [Jesus’] instructions to them: ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.’”


#KidMin #YouthMin #StuMin #FamMin #ChildrensMinistry #ChildrensMinistryLeader #KidsMinistry #Pastors #Church #Ministry
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As the kids run to their waiting parents after church on Sunday morning, is that where the impact ends?

Or does the conversation continue at home throughout the week?

Hopefully the answer is the latter. If it’s not, it’s probably because we aren’t engaging and equipping parents to continue the conversation.

And that’s a problem.

Parents are the primary spiritual investors in a child’s life. Good or bad, this is almost always true.

As Children’s Ministry Leaders, our primary role ought to be to “equip God’s people” (Ephesians 4:12). In our case, I believe that means equip our team to invest in the children of our ministry, and to equip the parents of those children to continue the conversations at home.

If you aren’t engaging & equipping parents to continue the conversations that begin at church, then your ministry is incomplete.

If you are engaging and equipping parents, share an example in the comments of how you do that so the rest of us can learn from you.





#KidMin #YouthMin #StuMin #FamMin #ChildrensMinistry #Pastors #Church #Ministry
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We always hear that children and youth are the church of tomorrow.

Yes, they are.

But they are also part of the church of today.

They are the group most receptive to the Gospel. They are the group most responsive to discipleship.

They also typically represent the largest group in the church, and the one with the most peripheral impact (volunteers, parents, etc).

They are the most vulnerable, physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally.

Why on earth would we ever think we could “babysit” this group while “real ministry” happens with adults?

The truth is, many (most?) churches are not as healthy or strong as they could be because they lack a thriving focus on perhaps the very group that should receive the greatest focus.

You cannot have a healthy church without a healthy ministry to children and families.

Agree?






#KidMin #YouthMin #StuMin #ChildrensMinistry #FamMin #Pastors #Church #Ministry
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