How to Be a Children's Ministry That Influences Families

It's a given our children's ministries influence kids.  But are we influencing families?  When our influence is expanded to the entire family, we can see exponential impact.  Here are ten ways to expand your influence to the entire family. 

Be prepared to minister to families when they are going through difficult times.  God wants to work through you to influence families when they are at the hospital...when they are seeking counseling...when they are mourning at the funeral home...when they are in financial crisis.
Give parents easy-to-use discipleship resources and tools.  Many parents feel like they can't effectively disciple their children unless they are a Bible scholar.  Encourage parents by providing them simple, user-friendly resources. 

Don't add too much to their already crazy, busy schedules and guilt them for not being there.
Families make choices with their time.  If you are constantly expecting them to be at the church for extra programs or events, they can become disheartened and overwhelmed.

Strategically look at their family calenders when planning your church calendar.  Take into consideration holidays, days school is out, 3 day weekends, spring breaks, graduation dates, etc. when planning.  Make sure you place key events, classes, etc. at times when it won't be competing with other family events. 

Partner with other ministries.  Become best friends with student ministry, adult ministry, women's ministry, and men's ministry.  Work closely with them and together create a strategy to influence families.  Here's an example.  We sat down with adult ministries and shared with them the child dedication class dates for next year.  They purposely created parenting and marriage classes that will roll out of the child dedication class dates. 

Set up key, family milestones you celebrate with them.  There are key times in a family's life when they swing the doors wide open and invite you to bring influence into their home.  Set up classes and celebrations for milestones like child dedication, baptism, pre-teen passage, high school graduation, etc. 

Be just as intentional about building relationships with parents as you are with kids.  Spend intentional time talking with parents, going to adult ministry activities, attending adult worship, etc.  When you build relationships with parents, you open their hearts to receive your influence.

Find out their needs as a family.  What are they struggling with?  What challenges are they dealing with as parents?  What is their home life like?  How can you best minister to them?  This is done through the step above as you build relationships with families and spend time listening to them.  You can also host a parent focus group a few times a year and intentionally ask these type questions.

Provide opportunities for families to serve together.  At the community...families are looking for opportunities to serve together.  Create family service opportunities and projects. 

Provide events for families to enjoy together.  Family activity worship concerts...all great ways to get families together so you can speak into their lives.

Influence a kid and you will change a life...influence parents and you will change a home.

Posted by Dale Hudson