This was the first pre-conference breakout I attended. It was led by Dave Fox, the Family Ministries director at “The Bridge Church” in Decatur, IN and Darren Kizer, the Family Ministry Director at Parker Hill Community Church in Scranton, PA.

The heading for this breakout were guided by these statements:

“We will be focusing on an integrated strategy for family ministry. In this strategy, leaders and parents are leading with the same end in mind.”

Darren started things off by bringing out a bottle of Diet Coke and a Mento. Yeah, we know what that does. He explained that the the Mento represents the influence of the church in 10 years. the Diet Coke represents the influence of the family in 1 year. This is very Orange-ish! What happens when you strategically and intentionally combine the influences of the church and family? Yeah, great point!

They spoke about several key ingredients for integrating strategy:

  • Know you vision
  • Direction: who is part of your team?
  • Developing a “Espirit de Corps.” All for one and one for all… a pride of belonging to something.
  • Defining “wins” for each area and ensuring that each area knows and understands the wins of each area.
  • Plan collectively so we can impact specifically.

They also spoke about questions that invite teamwork and intentionality (great questions for a family ministry staff meeting)

  • Are we connecting with parents?
  • Are hand-offs crisp and tight? (The relay race is won or lost in the hand-off)
  • Are small groups a big deal?
  • Are we making volunteerism attractive?
  • Are students serving strategically?
  • Are we synchronizing the calendar

By asking these questions we:

  • Fuel productive tension
  • Reveal unstated expectations