Meeting Families Where They Are
Family Ministry Connect Group Reflections
I had the privilege this last weekend to have spent some time in Chicago at Group’s Kidmin Conference. While there, I led something called a “Connect Group” – a multi-day conversation and gathering of ministry practitioners who spend time connecting over a common subject. The group I facilitated was focusing on Family Ministry – specifically answering the question, how does the church best partner with parents and families in order to pass the faith on to the next generation in relevant and lasting ways?
Making the things you’re already doing count
Most of us know the story and the power of the movement behind an organization called TOMS shoes. Their founder, Blake Mycoskie, decided to leverage an action people were already doing – buying shoes – and use that buying power to help children in need obtain a higher standard of living. It’s a great example of meeting people where they are and making it count. I tell high schoolers and young adults all the time – if you want to do the MOST good, your $60 can help out an organization like Compassion tremendously. However, if you’re already going to drop that kind of money (or more) on a pair of shoes, then why not buy a pair from an organization that will pass on a pair to a child who has never owned shoes?
I say that to say this – from the conversations around our circles, it sounds as though family ministry is most effective when churches find things that families are already celebrating or doing (Halloween Parties, Christmas activities, lunch after church, parenting conversations, celebrating milestones… among others) and lean into those times to equip and resource families and often give them a shared experience alongside other families who are committed to raising up their children well.
Family ministry, it seems, is more than just handing out take-home pages.
Who knew? 😉
I’m looking forward to continuing those conversations throughout this coming year… and we’d love to have your voice in the mix – what has your church done to meet families where they’re at? Are you connecting with parents on Facebook, spending time at school events and soccer fields to meet families in your community, or something else creative? Use the comments section to let us know!