Stage 1: Develop Engaging Youth and Children’s programs
Don’t think of Family ministry as an either/or: either we have age specific groups or we don’t, but rather a both/and: we can both engage the family as whole and teach the individual at the appropriate level. It is very important for us to have groups that will reach every age level and provide age appropriate discussions and activities. While these age specific groups will involve having lots of fun together, the goal is to help students and families treasure and worship Jesus above all else because of a greater knowledge of God’s glory and grace.
Current or Future Programs:
- Young Life
- Wyld Life
- Thursday Morning Bible Study for 7th-12th Grade
- Mid-week Children’s Group
- Weekly Sunday School for Pre-K – 5th Grade
- Monthly or Bi-Monthly Youth Church for 6th-12th Grade
- Individual Outreach Focused Events for Families, Jr. Highers, and High Schoolers
Stage 2: Offer Parent Seminars and Family Partner Groups
It is important for the church to help parents learn the nuts and bolts of raising their kids in the modern world. In the near future we will offer some ongoing parenting classes. These seminars will be help at our church, with small groups meeting in homes to help the parents feel supported. This area is still under construction but the content could be targeted to life stages, such as Baby Steps for expectant and new parents, and classes for parents of kids ages 3 to 8, ages 8 to 12, preteens, and teenagers.
What could happen:
- MOPS – Mothers of Pre-Schoolers
- Practical Training Seminars
- Internet Safety
- How to deal with College Financial Aid
- And many more.
- We could also help younger parents by teaming them with mentor families
Stage 3: Empower Multiple Generations to Learn, Worship, and Serve together
While the first stage was about building programs for age specific groups we must understand that the Church is more than age specific events or groups. We need to embrace and engage in intergenerational activities allowing all of to learn from each other. These could be life groups that include the kids, service projects that the entire church can get involved in or even church-wide fellowships. The important thing is that the church comes together.
Stage 4: Equipping Parents to be Primary Spiritual Disciple makers
Parents are the God-given and primary instrument of discipleship in a child’s life. Therefore Children’s and Youth Ministry should never replace parents, but rather come alongside them in the work they are doing.
When done well, parents receive enough communication and information about what their children are learning and doing in their programs at church that they can develop the same ideas in family times at home. When done really well, parents actually lead in the discipleship process and the church programs reflect the parents’ work. This can feel overwhleming to many parents, but we will support home-based discipleship by providing resources for parents to use.
We will also teach regularly on the responsibility and the joy of teaching children in their daily and weekly family routines. Whether planned or spontaneous, parents will pass their faith along to their children. Parents who take a passive role in spiritual matters pass along a faith that is passive and disconnected from the rest of life. Parents who take an active role will pass along a faith that is active and alive and truly connected to everyday life.