How to Reach Entire Families Through Your Children's Ministry

I was waiting in the baptistry area of our church this past weekend.  I was talking with a family who's son was about to be baptized.

I asked them how they came to our church.  They shared that their daughter, who was in 3rd grade, was invited to our church.  She came and had such a great experience that she went home and began asking them to come with her.

And you know what happens when a child gets something on their mind and begins to beg for it.  Normally, they get what they want.  And so mom and dad came to church with her and the rest is history.

I have seen this story repeated countless times.  God works through a child to reach the entire family.

How does this happen?  Here's how to reach entire families through your children's ministry.

Create irresistible environments for kids.
When kids have a great experience at church, they'll want to come back and will ask their parents to bring them.

Host family events.
This summer we'll have an event that kids and parents experience together.  No drop-offs.  Parents must attend with their child.  The building will be full of kids...and parents.  At this event, we'll share the Gospel. 

Include parents in their child's spiritual milestones.
Require parents to attend milestones in their kids' lives.  Here's a few examples...
  • 1st grade Bible Presentation - We host a class for kids who are entering 1st grade and their parents.  Kids and parents learn together about God's Word and how to apply it to their life in their elementary years.   
  • Faith Commitment / Baptism - Require parents to attend the baptism class with their child.  You'll see not only kids come to Christ, but parents as well.  Nearly every baptism class for kids, we have parents in the class who also step across the line of faith and then follow Christ in baptism with their child.
  • Pre-teen Passage -  We host a class to prepare kids and their parents for the transition into middle school years.  
Encourage kids to pray for their families and invite them to church.
Emphasize the need to pray for and invite unchurched family members.  You get what you emphasize.

When you take a child by the hand, you take a parent by the heart.