One of the most important elements of a healthy church is the choice to create, fund, and empower a healthy family ministry. As we work toward launching Greenville Community Church, creating a thriving, healthy family ministry is one of our top priorities because we fully understand the potential it has.
Creating a healthy family ministry does not happen by accident. Health doesn’t happen by just hiring a staff person to fill a position, building a new area for kids, painting the youth room black, or making a new logo. Healthy family ministry happens by being intentional and making it a church-wide priority.
Every pastor I know wants a thriving family ministry but very few are willing to be intentional about making the moves that lead to health. Lead Pastors often expect someone else to take care of students, kids, and parents so they can focus on adult ministry. We get trapped there because it’s where we get our affirmation from. When we are blinded by the adult platform we miss the spiritual potential that comes only from investing in the next generation.
God blesses churches that embrace their call to pour energy and resources into kids, teens and college students. In Scripture, Jesus made it clear that making room to care and invest in children was important. Jesus invites several teens to be his first followers. The Old Testament clearly reveals that the path of spiritual development flows through parents. It should be clear to all of us that family ministry matters. The question for us is, how do we get there?
There are common elements found in churches that have healthy family ministries. Check out these 10 elements that will help you lead your family ministry toward health…
- Family ministry potential is understood and embraced. // There is no area of the church that has more potential for leading people toward the Gospel. Family Ministry is not about childcare or entertainment. Family Ministry is an evangelistic anchor of the church.
- Senior leadership is the biggest supporter of family ministry. // Healthy family ministry is always championed by senior leadership because people easily forget why it matters. Senior leaders must cast the vision, be the cheerleader, and fund the process!
- The church must be comfortable with being uncomfortable. // Reaching the next generation can challenge older generations. We have to embrace the challenge and accept that it’s a messy process. It’s hard and it’s worth it!
- Creating engaging environments is a priority. // Make family ministry space as much a priority as the adult service. Environments can help kids go to the next level in discovering the love of Jesus because the right environment can break down spiritual barriers.
- Parents are our partners. // Healthy family ministries do strive to invite parents into the journey so they can be spiritually influential at home! Parents have time and a voice we will never have. We must encourage and empower that influence.
- Simplicity is the goal. // The best family ministries work hard to focus their effort! We can’t-do EVERYTHING if we want to be effective.
- Volunteers are developed and equipped for ministry. // There has to be a process to invite high impact leaders into family ministry and then empower them to do ministry! Volunteers make the difference between good and great.
- Community and connection are the foundation of discipleship. // Connecting kids and students with a small group and a few small group leaders is critical! Discipleship is relational.
- Teamwork is demanded. // Great family ministry is rooted in teamwork between age group leaders. Competition between age groups is just not allowed. One team with one goal always accomplishes more.
- Leadership is empowered. // If you want a healthy family ministry then be ready to hire leaders and allow them to innovate.