CPR: Reviving Family

Matt Norman —  September 13, 2010

One of the things we hope Kidmin1124 will be about is sharing ideas.  Today, I would like to share an idea I’ve been kicking around called “CPR: Reviving Families.”  I am going to say right out front that “CPR: Reviving Families” is a pretty raw idea at this point which I have not fully developed, but Wayne thought it would make a good article so here goes. It is my hope that this article will spawn some additional discussion that will help me to develop these thoughts a bit further. So, please feel free to comment and let me know what your thoughts are.

Let me back up for just a moment.  For those that don’t know, in my “day job” I am an ER nurse. I’ve worked in the ER for the last 14 years. So, obviously, CPR is something that’s very familiar to me. When we do CPR in the ER the goal is to pump life into a body that has lost or is losing it.

“CPR: Reviving Families” has the same goal.  It is all about pumping life into families that are dead or dying. Many of our families are not dead, but neither are they alive and vibrant.  I believe that one of our goals in children’s ministry should be to help breathe life back into such families.  And, in order to that, we need a plan.

One mistake I made early on in ministry was trying to take on and do everything all at once.  Such an approach can be frustrating as a full time children’s pastor and was even more so to me as a part timer. I have found that having a systematic approach (a plan if you will) to building your ministry is key. This allows you to focus on one thing at a time and do it as well as possible. It entails building that one thing to a point where it becomes self sustaining, then moving on to the next thing.  CPR: Reviving Families is that type of plan.  As a bi-vocational children’s pastor, I find that it gives me a framework to succeed.

C stands for Children: This one is a no-brainer. This is all about how we minister to children. So, step one in CPR: Reviving Families is to minister to children. Ask yourself, how well am I meeting the needs of the children in my ministry? Do these children have unmet needs that I can help them with – spiritually, physically, or emotionally? For me, the first step in building a children’s ministry is the children. If you are not ministering to the children, then you will probably never have the opportunity to go to the next level.

P stands for parents: This is one that has become more popular lately. There is a lot of talk about family ministry these days. So, the next step is ministry to the parents. If you are doing a good job with the C, then it will open the door to minister to some of the P’s. So, ask yourself how well am I ministering to the parents of the children in my ministry? Do they have unmet needs that I can help with – spiritually, physically, or emotionally? The goal is not to meet all the needs of the parents. There are others in the church to help with that, but there may needs that you are uniquely positioned to help with.

R stands for resources: If you are like me, then this may be the place you want to jump to first. I know that I have read articles and thought, “man I should share this with the parents in my church”. This is not a bad thought. However, if you are not doing the first two, then it may be a premature thought. Think about it, here you are sending parenting articles to parents that you don’t even know; parents that you have never reached out to; parents that you have no real relationship with. Think how much better received these resources will be coming from a person that the parents know; someone that they know cares for their children and for them. Resources are never a bad thing, but if you are doing C and P well, then the R will have a much greater impact.

Certainly there are a lot of details missing. This is intended to be a framework. How you flesh out the details of this plan will depend on your personal style, the people in your ministry, your church, your community and a long list of other factors that influence the way you do ministry at your church. If you decide to give this framework some serious thought and try to put it into practice, I would love to hear about it. Drop me an email and let me know how it works out. Also, please use the comment box below to share your more immediate thoughts.

Matt Norman

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Matt is married to his high school sweetheart Kim and together they have two wonderful kids. Matt is a part time children’s pastor at The Rock of Winter Haven, in the appropriately named town of Winter Haven, Florida. In his spare time Matt is an avid automotive enthusiast and a self confessed computer nerd and tech junkie.

2 responses to CPR: Reviving Family

  1. Matt,

    Great article! I hope people will drop by and share their thoughts on your framework. Like you, I think it is important to have a plan and see how the little things fit into that grander plan. I know that you said this was still in the rough stages, but it’s clear to me that you have given it a lot of thought! Thanks for sharing it.

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