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When I came to my church 6 years ago I had the chance to be the first full time family ministry hire. I came into this role as the family pastor even though I was hands on launching our student ministry at the same time. I had the title but honestly did not know what to do next. That first summer I had the chance to hear Reggie Joiner unpack what family ministry was and was not and things began to come together. Whether your title is next generation pastor or family pastor, many leaders are being pushed into leadership over the entire family ministry team and many times are not sure where to start. The title is great but now what? Here are a few things an effective family pastor / next gen pastor will strive to do on a weekly basis…

  • Listen > your team needs your time. They need you to block off time to listen so you can know what is going on in every area of your family ministry (birth-college in our setting). They need a place to come and process and you can give then that needed ear. Leading your team means you have to know and understand your team. Slow down and listen.
  • Unite > you are the key to helping each area of ministry understand how they can support each other. You have to push for synchronization and team work in your ministry setting. You work to make sure everyone is moving in the same direction together.
  • Problem Solve > your team needs you to help them work through problems in a way that is healthy for the entire church. Step in and help your team leaders by guiding them through problems. Sometimes even take problems on yourself so that your team can do more ministry!
  • Push for Parent Connection > you have to continually ask how we are connecting with parents. In our drive to reach kids, teens, and college students we often push parents to the side. Be the voice asking the hard questions about family in your church.
  • Encourage Innovation > make sure you are pushing your team to innovate and be willing to have their back as they experiment.
  • Dream > take time every week to think big picture. Where is this adventure heading in the years to come? Someone has to be looking ahead!
  • Cast Vision > at every team meeting you have to be the chief vision caster. Cast vision the repeat and never stop repeating!

If you are a family pastor / next generation leader out there, what is some advice you would give leaders coming into this role as family pastor?