Love begins at home… – Mother Teresa
There is a lot of talk about Family Ministry as it applies to Children’s Ministry. What does it mean? What does it look like? While I believe that this is an important conversation to have, I believe that we also need to be talking about what Family Ministry looks like in our own homes.
We can get so caught up in doing Children’s Ministry that we neglect our first ministry which is our family. We have become more intentional about reaching outside of our homes and churches and less in reaching those inside our own homes. We are teaching the families in our churches how to spend time together and teaching parents to be the spiritual leaders of their home – yet we leave very little time to do that ourselves.
This is an issue that we have addressed in our own family. My husband and I sat down and had a discussion about how to make time with our family a priority over my service in Children’s Ministry. Here are just a few of the things that we are doing:
This is more than praying at meal times. In our family, we begin our days in prayer together and also pray at various times throughout the day. We believe that this is giving our children an opportunity to learn about prayer from us by seeing it in action. This also gives them an opportunity to voice their prayer requests which helps in refocusing from themselves to others around them. I keep track of our prayers in a journal and have been sharing with them when and how God answers those prayers.
This is a fantastic time for conversations to happen. It is a time for us to share about our day and talk about other issues as well. This can be a challenge at times due to competing schedules, but we have intentionally decided that this needs to happen several days a week to keep connected. This doesn’t have to happen over a 5 course meal. It isn’t about the food, but about the time spent together.
This is a wonderful time to get together and get into God’s Word several times a week. This isn’t something that we do every night, and it certainly isn’t something formal. We will read scripture together and then talk about it. What does it mean? How do we apply it to our lives? This is also a time for us to challenge the boys in their own quiet times.
This is a time that we schedule for fun together. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we go somewhere and spend money. We sometimes do family game nights and movie nights in our home. This also includes date day/night with my husband and dates with our boys individually. Dating my husband is something I do on a regular basis which gives us a chance to connect outside of parenting as a couple. Dating the boys is something that we both do and the boys love this time just for them.
Making our family a priority is an important part of being able to do Children’s Ministry. It is practicing what we preach.
Love begins at home. That’s Family Ministry.