Family Ministry | Setting Milestones for Family Faith Development
This week we are convening the final meeting of our Family Ministry InnovationLab (Group 2) at Leadership Network in Dallas. Over the past year, six teams from across the country have been pouring into their strategies for helping parents become the primary spiritual developers of their children. The gathering started with “The Great Reveal” where each church shared some of their biggest learnings and developments over the past 12 months. Some of the big ideas and implementations included:
- Establishing ministry unity and integration around a cohesive family ministry plan. Several churches commented that they were having success in ‘silos’ (children, youth, or adult ministries) but had nothing to pull all their efforts together. Being a part of this InnovationLab helped them to develop an intentional structure that aligned their efforts and created a synergy that multiplied their efforts.
- “Family Map” development. Two churches (Parker Hill and Mt. Gilead) invested a significant amount of time developing “Family Maps” that helped families visualize where they should be headed and plan their family’s unique faith journey with significant spiritual and developmental milestones.
- Office space turnover. One church took the additional step of rearranging their physical space in order to promote greater integration of their family ministry efforts. Kentwood completely blew up their office space by creating a combined, open-office area to promote communication and collaboration across all family ministry areas.
- Fierce intentionality. Even when establishing effective strategies and structures, these churches are learning that having long-term, sustainable impact in families requires an unending intentionality. Daily check-ins and weekly meetings help teams stay on target and aligned in these important, interdepartmental efforts.
- Not everyone will go with you. A verbal commitment to a new direction does not ensure ongoing commitment. Some teams experienced turnover as staff members self-selected out of the change process. When you become a pioneer, you should expect some people to bail off the wagon regardless of how “in” they say they are at the start.
I will share more insights and learnings in the days ahead. I would love to hear what you are doing in your church to minister to families. Are you helping them visualize the journey from birth to adulthood? What significant spiritual and developmental milestones have you identified in the lives of your families? How are you aligning programs and resources around those significant events to promote faith development at home?
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