As I look at the lay of the land in Children’s Ministry, there are a lot of churches in America today debating whether or not to start some type of Family Ministry program. Well, if I may be as so bold as to put this question to rest: YES YOU SHOULD! Parents are struggling in the face of a culture that tells many of them they have made wrong decisions having kids, going to church, or choosing at all to teach about God. They need to know they are doing some things right.
Parents also need to know that the church will help give them ideas, resources, and a place to connect with other parents. It is my belief that this should all be part of a family ministry program that crosses the silos we typically see in ministry. But if that is not an option, start somewhere. I personally recommend doing some Take-It-Home Events or Key Age events. Check out the Faith at Home books by Mark Holman.
Even more churches have started Family Worship events bringing kids and parents together in a kid friendly worship environment. That is also a good place to start, but should not stop there. Why? I think, and this may hurt a little bit, that it continues to perpetuate the idea that the families need to come to church to connect to God. What happens at home is far more important for faith building then what takes place in the church. The church cannot, and should never have, taken the primary responsibility for the discipleship of children. For more thoughts on this issue, read Family Driven Faith by Dr. Voddie Baucham.
If we want to have kids that do not leave the church after high school, let’s focus our efforts on having kids follow the Great Commandment: to Love God with everything they are!