So we’re talking about rethinking family ministry. Perhaps family ministry isn’t what we thought it is or maybe we’re not seeing families for who they really are. Family Ministry is new on the block and there are some great new resources and ideas that seem like the answer… but what if they aren’t – or at least not completely.
Here’s the deal. For decades (or longer), the answer for children’s evangelism/discipleship was to let the church handle it. There are aspects of the family ministry model that has swung the pendulum all the way back the other way. This view is that parents are the best suited for the spiritual development of their kids, so we need to equip parents to do the best job possible. It makes perfect sense.
So we offer classes.
We give out books.
We provide training.
We cast vision.
Then we get frustrated because our parents haven’t stepped up to the bar. We become resentful.
Maybe it’s not that simple. Here’s a crazy idea – but please don’t take this the wrong way.
What if we lowered the bar for parents?
Think about it this way. What would you prefer? 10% of your families taking huge steps toward spiritually leading their kids or 80% of your families taking one small step?
When you really think about it, the 10% of families who are going to use your parenting resources, curriculum and classes will probably be just fine on their own even without your help. They’ll seek out the books and resources on their own if needed. But maybe there’s a way you can help most of your parents take little steps.
Challenge every family to share one more meal together this week than they did the week before.
Challenge every family to ask one simple question during a mealtime.
Challenge every dad to tuck his kids in with a night time prayer.
Challenge every parent to write an encouraging note/scripture to put in their child’s lunch one time a week.
Remember my last post about understanding who our families actually are? Our parents are tired. They feel ill equipped. They’re barely holding it together. Why don’t we help them experience some wins by giving them some things to do that are incredibly doable.
It may not be our vision for parent-driven spiritual formation, but imagine the impact when almost every family is doing something. Parents want to be better parents, maybe we can best help them by giving them something every parent can do!
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