One of my main responsibilities as a Next Gen Pastor is to champion the partnership of church and family. The main reason we do this is because we believe that Two influences paired together are GREATER than those influences working by themselves in the life of a kid. At Hopevale, we have adopted the Orange strategy that dictates our philosophy. Now… it’s really easy to say that we are all about partnering with the family to create greater influence, but how can you practically begin to do this? Let me give you a few things that we have done to begin this process:
1. Plan WAY Ahead.
If you are going to partner with families… you need to get ahead of their schedules. Last minute doesn’t work for families. How do I know? I have a family of Elementary aged kids… trust me, last minute is the kiss of death for anything with us. If it isn’t on the calendar early and often, it usually isn’t happening.
2. Communicate Often & Clearly
Partnering with families means you have to become an excellent communicator. Any time you work with someone else toward a common goal, communication is the KEY.
3. Find Ways to Get Them Involved
There are plenty of areas where you can involve parents and families in your ministries. The more you involve them, the more invested they become in the life of the ministry and in the life of their kid.
4. Plan Family-Oriented Events
We decided that we needed a few nights out of our year where we invited the whole family to come experience a ministry event together. This speaks VOLUMES to our families that we care about them as a whole… not just the kids.
5. Provide Materials for Family Growth
Our kids ministry directors are awesome at this. They retweet, post, copy, photocopy, handout, and any other way they can do it, material that is great for families to be reading both about how to do family better and how to follow Jesus better. It has been GOLD for our families.
6. Offer Training Opportunities for Families
This is one of the things that we have been talking about a lot in our Next Gen world at Hopevale. “How can we help get parents and families some specific training that would help them take the next step together?” Identify a few things that are “Hot Topics” for your families, and then figure out how you can address them.
Hope these can help your church become more Family oriented!