Creating a Welcoming Environment for Family Ministry

Creating a Welcoming Environment for Family Ministry

welcomeCreating a welcoming environment in your family ministry is critical to making a great first impression on guests. It’s also, perhaps, the most important factor in their decision to return – or not!

Here are 5 steps you can take to Create a Welcoming Environment for Family Ministry: ?

Communicate your family ministry culture

Share through multiple mediums if you have Children?s Church or encourage Kids in Worship. Do you offer childcare? If so, for what ages? Where is it located?

Keep different personality types in mind when you plan your communication strategies. Not everyone wants to have to ask where the children?s wing is. For more introverted guests, they may prefer to seek information out on their own before engaging in conversation. Make this information available for them so they don?t have to ask questions until they have gotten their bearings. No one wants to feel like they have broken the rules or crashed a family gathering so help everyone to know what the general culture of your church is so they can engage at their own pace.

Seek out visitors

Take a few minutes pre-service to scan the attendance. ?Look for faces you haven?t seen recently or have never seen before. I have learned the hard way not to ask ?is this your first time here???? I have found since that a good starting place is ?Hi, I?m __. Have we met before?? This allows a great opportunity for self-deprecation if you just met last weekend and prevents embarrassment if they are a long time member that was out town for a few weeks.

Talk to the kids

I have found that as I bend down and put a child first, we move from introductions into relationship building. We go directly to the heart of the family.? Parents are often the first to speak up for their child offering gentle excuses. ?She?s shy? ?He takes a while to warm up to people.? ?His name is ?? ?She is ___ years old?. I like to share with parents that this may be helpful but it?s not necessary. We?re beginning our relationship together and starting with trust building ? I don?t really need these answers yet and there?s no reason for excuses here. ?We have time and I accept you where you?re at.

That?s what I like to think kids & family ministry is ? growing together. We are all in this together. I can wait until your child is ready to share and he/she wants to tell me all about his/her good day at school or his/her bad day when a friend moved away. We have nothing but time for that.

And if you do nothing else? remember the child?s name and welcome them next week with a smile a fist bump and a personal hello! That makes both a huge impression on kids? and parents ? and shows that kids are important at your church.

Create ambassadors

Do you have two or three other families that generally care about the growth of your church or are great at conversation? If not, work to find some because they are vital to the growth of your family ministry community. If the opportunity allows, introduce the new guest/family to one of these ambassadors. Share one thing about each person with each other. (ie ? I?d love you to meet the Smith family, they also have a 1st grader that goes to ___). This is a great next step to building connections and community. So many guests attend church over and over without connecting with anyone. If they have no personal connections, it is really easy to stop attending. Make sure guests are not only connecting with the staff of the church, but with the church community.

Follow up

Drop a note, email, text, Facebook message to the new family letting them know that you?re glad to have met them and are available if they have questions. Parents in our community are hungry for resources in parenting and connecting as a family. They are appreciative of knowing there are communities of people who care about their child?s spiritual journey, personal growth and well-being. Providing resources in this area is integral to family ministry and a great way to grow together!

What have you learned about welcoming new families?

(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.

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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 🎉
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Fun is not a 4-letter word. 🙂

#kidmin #youthmin #stumin #fammin #childrensministry #childrensministryleader #kidsministry #pastors #church #ministry
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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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