What is family ministry? Great question! After five years of leading our family ministry team at Grace Community Church I have been asked that questions often by people who see my title or hear our staff talk about serving families. Today I am going to join a ton of other family ministry leaders across the country doing an online Family Ministry Blog Tour. You can check out how they answer the question over the next few weeks by just checking out the tour site linked above! Some of these men and women are close ministry friends and you will love hearing their ideas. I guess I better get to answering the question…how do I define family ministry? What is it? I define family ministry as the effort of the church to partner with families in order to lead a generation of children, teens, and college students to follow Jesus with all their life. How we carry this out looks different at every church much the same as how the staff structure and leadership differs at every church. The one unifying element to true family ministry is the concept of partnership. The base for every family ministry plan is founded on the influence of the family (whatever that messy modern family looks like today!). God dreamed up family long before He chose a people, gave the law, created the Nation of Israel, sent a prophet, or revealed Jesus to our world. We simply trust God is honored when we partner with what He created. God wants to work through the influence of every family to lead this generation to Himself and we want to be a part of that process. Family Ministry at our church has led to a few anchors that guide our effort to serve families…
- Family Ministry is the anchor for teamwork with our staff // if you serve the next generation in our church then you serve with one unified team who are all striving to partner with parents. Preschool, children’s, student, and college ministry work on a team together and support each other as we serve parents and their children. We are friends and we are a team. Sure we serve different ages but we work together.
- Family Ministry has helped our team focus // we realize that we can’t do everything if we want to serve families with excellence. We constantly say NO so we ca better focus on doing a few things really well for families. Doing next generation ministry well requires focused effort and the concept of family ministry acts a filter who what we do and do not do. The questions becomes, is what are doing really helping parents have the best shot at modeling Jesus for their kids? That is a powerful filter!
- Family Ministry has expanded our influence in the life of every child // When parents and ministry leaders are saying the same things, modeling the same effort to follow Christ, setting the same goals then Jesus gains more influence in the life of every child. When we help parents have resources, trusted mentors for their kids, and a safe place to ask questions then the church is having influence with the people who most impact the choices of kids. When we work together with mom and dad both the home and church multiply their effort to lead the next generation to Jesus.