The exact structure you use for family ministry is not what really matters. You might have a well-organized, obvious family ministry or one that’s there but more behind-the-scenes. The right plan is what is tailored to your setting and resources, born out of prayer.
Whatever your strategy, though, you will be most effective when you implement these three keys:
Key #1: Consistency in Family Ministry
Training, support, and encouragement given to families must be more than an occasional shot in the arm to be most effective. People need repeated exposure to truths that apply to family life. We’re talking about on-going, practical help. What that looks like could vary based on your setting. Perhaps a combination of approaches could best facilitate consistency, possibly increasing the potential for reaching more families than one way alone wouldhdo. Here are some ideas:
- mentoring relationships
Check out resources under the mentoring tab at: Resources for Discipleship & Shepherding Ministry
A resource that could be used in the mentoring relationship: Parenting is Heart Work Book and Training Manual with 8 Audio Sessions
- newsletter or e-mail providing short tips on a regular basis
If you don’t have the time to pull this together yourself, use a service like: Free Email Parenting Tips from the National Center for Biblical Parenting
- parent support groups
For help check out: Effective Parenting Support Group Leader’s Guide
- pass on links to helpful online articles or resources
- resource center or library stocked with books and DVDs parents and families can borrow
You can find some resources listed at these pages:
- seminars (hosted in-house or attended elsewhere)
- studies in Sunday School or small groups
You can find some curriculum and studies ideas under the training tab at: Biblical Parenting Resources
Key #2: Communication in Family Ministry
When Bible teachers and children and youth ministry leaders make an intentional effort to communicate with parents, the children benefit. Here’s why:
1) Teachers learn about what’s happening in their students’ lives. This increases their understanding of behavior and needs.
Teacher Training Tool: Without a Good Parent-Teacher Relationship Worksheet Download
2) Parents learn about what’s happening in the classroom and what their children are learning. This gives parents something to build upon throughout the week.
Key #3: Coordination in Family Ministry
Imagine what would happen if Bible teachers not only made an effort to increase communication with parents but if both the parents and the church used the same approach in training and disciplining children. That begins by focusing on the same goal and follows through in using similar means to get there. And, it will involve training parents, Bible teachers, and children’s and youth ministry workers accordingly.
(Please note: Some of the above listed resources will take you to our affiliate store.)