I’m in the middle of writing an article about family ministry and it made me think of a specific frustration that I and my team experience so many times when it comes to family ministry. I thought I’d post my thoughts here as it isn’t likely this aspect will be covered in the article.

I and my staff team have all sipped the family ministry kool-aid. We’re all believers and have great vision for what family ministry could look like at our church. However, there’s one massive barrier. We’re all so busy doing what it takes to make the weekend experiences successful that there’s not really any time to do some of the things we’ve dreamed of doing. I kind of relate this to the task list versus the wish list. Sunday is huge and Sunday is super important. It’s critical and worth our time. However, we all recognize that impacting families, something we’re not doing nearly at the capacity we’d like to is also critical and could prove to be far more effective than just what we do on Sundays. Preparing for Sundays and leading teams to pull off weekend experiences is really what we were hired for. It’s on our job descriptions and could be equated to our task lists. If we didn’t do what was on our task list, it would be very noticeable and it would affect everyone immediately.

However, the wish list is different. We believe that if we do what is on our wish list combined with what we do on the weekends, we’ll see even greater returns on time and resources invested. However, if we don’t do what is on our wish list, most people won’t even notice. For the immediate future, no one will be affected. To some degree, this would just be ministry as normal for the past 20 years.

This is a quandary, isn’t it? We often really want to do what is on our family ministry wish list, but we don’t have time and often times our supervisors don’t understand or see the benefit for extra staff or resources. More often than not, we end up working a lot of extra hours to “make it happen” and end up creating additional programs that are unsustainable for the long-term… but we keep it going because it’s what we’re passionate about. It’s on ou wish list.

Have you ever found yourself here? Have any thoughts? I’ll probably continue this discussion tomorrow to explore some of the practical “next steps” for those in similar situations… but please speak up and share what you are thinking… or doing!