Archives For Family Ministry

One of the workshops I attended at the KidMin Conference was Working with Parents: What They Do and Don’t Need from Us with Gina McClain. One of the things she shared has me thinking a lot about family time. She suggested that rather than giving parents something else to do during family time, we should be encouraging and helping them enhance what they are already doing with their families.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Tuck In Time –  Most parents with younger children are tucking them in at night as part of a bedtime routine. This is an opportunity to suggest a book to read at bedtime along with questions to go with that book. A worship song could also be added to the routine. It is also a time to encourage parents to pray with and for their children.
  • Dinner Time – Gina shared that statistically children who have family dinner three times a week do better educationally than those who don’t. She asked if then wouldn’t that be true spiritually as well. We could give parents suggestions on topics for discussions during this time by giving them a box with question/scripture cards that would prompt conversation.
  • Drive Time – Most parents spend a significant time in the car with their children driving to school, the store, practices, games, and recitals. This is an opportunity to provide conversation starters as well. Maybe in the form of a card that could hang on the rear view mirror or on the dashboard.
  • Movie Time – Rather than schedule a movie night at the church, we could provide everything needed to have movie nights for families in their homes. We could suggest a movie to watch along with discussion questions for parents.

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Love Begins at Home

Wendy Douglas —  August 12, 2011

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.

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Is This The End?

Wendy Douglas —  June 16, 2011

 Transitions can be challenging including when our fifth graders move out of children’s ministry into student ministry. We can plan and encourage our kids through this time, but there is something that I was reminded of recently.

This isn’t the end of our influence with these kids.

Yes it is the end of our time with them in children’s ministry. We won’t be having that time of connection with them, but we will still have opportunities to speak into their lives. This might take some thinking outside of the box and definitely will take extra effort, but I believe they are totally worth it.

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Back to School Already?

Wendy Douglas —  June 13, 2011

It might seem a bit early to start talking about our kids going back to school, but in order to plan activities in advance this is something that we are strategizing in our children’s ministry now. We have only a few months to brainstorm ideas, plan activities, and set these plans into motion. There are a few benefits to having an event ushering in the new school year.

Let’s Talk Transition

Wendy Douglas —  March 31, 2011

The past few weeks I have started thinking about the transition from children’s ministry to jr high ministry that my 5th grade girls will be making in just a few months. I want to make this move as smooth as possible for them, but I also want to be sure that I can prepare them as best as possible too.

Here are a few thoughts:

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Can You Hear Me Now?

Wendy Douglas —  March 14, 2011

Communication is key when it comes to volunteers and leadership in children’s ministry.  Typically, many of these conversations happen at church on a Sunday morning and more often than not are completely spontaneous.  However, trying to have a conversation before service, between services, or after service can be a challenge, and trying to effectively communicate your thoughts in those times can be darn near impossible.   From welcoming new families to passing out takehome papers, there are so many activities that can disrupt conversations during these times. Here are a few things you can do to help these spontaneous Sunday morning conversations be more effective:

  • Have a wing man – have someone available to take over what you are doing at the time to free you up for talks right away.
  • Carry a notepad – no matter how good your memory, you won’t remember everything someone tells you on a hectic Sunday morning.  Right it down for future reference.
  • Make a date – let the person know that you would like to continue talking at a later time either by phone or in person.
  • Keep it short – even those conversations you do have on Sunday morning should be kept short.  Tell the person that you only have three minutes, and stick to it.  If it’s going to take longer, see the prior suggestion.

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Orange Wednesdays

Barbara Graves —  October 2, 2010

EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the 5th day of Orange Week 2.0 here on Kidmin1124. This morning Barbara Graves looks at Orangefying an old program. For other Orange Week 2.0 posts, please check out

My very first step into Children’s Ministry was teaching a class in our Wednesday night girl’s program.  Our church ran complete programming for elementary-aged boys and girls during the mid-week adult Bible study.  I loved those classes. They were amazing small group times that developed relationships and were a great venue for discipling children. It was what every church did. It was all we knew at the time.

Evaluating it’s effectiveness was fairly easy.  You just looked at the wall chart and saw who had stickers all across their line, and who didn’t.  Typically, 20% of the class had earned every badge and corresponding sticker for the year.  Another 40% had earned about half the stickers, and the remaining 40% only had 1 or 2 of the 12 from the year.  40% were not being served by this system.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the 4th installment of Orange Week 2.0 here on Kidmin1124. Today, Lindsey Whitney shares a side of Yellow what many people might not even consider – Staff Meetings. For other Orange Week 2.0 posts, please check out

For more information on meetings in general, and how to make yours more effective, we recommend the Build a Better Meeting series from Lemon Lime Kids.

Becoming Orange is a tall order.  Reading through Reggie’s  book inspires so many great ideas, many of which you want to implement immediately! Just like Barbara talked about in “The Despair of Too Many Ideas”, it’s hard to know what to do with all this Orange thinking.

After I read Think Orange, scribbling furiously in the margins, I also picked up Collaborate and devoured it.  I had so many ideas floating through my head, I made a giant poster, divided it into months and starting filling in all the great family ministry ideas.  By the time I was done, I had four potential events in every month – clearly a recipe for disaster.   And this was all just in the Children’s Ministry department.  I had not even stopped to think what the other directors might have planned for the music department, outreach, or youth group.

Just as Reggie explained in chapter six of Think Orange,

“…one of the problems in church is over-programming.  We are competing not only with each other but with the family unit itself” (124).

He continues,

“Nothing can cause havoc like… independent leaders pointing people in different directions.  Frequent communication between all those in charge is essential to avoid potential collisions” (112).

So what has been our brilliant yellow initiative?  Staff meetings.  I know, it doesn’t sound like much of a revolutionary move, but it has made a big difference in my ministry.  How?

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the 3rd installment of Orange Week 2.o here on Kidmin1124.  Today, Jared Massey shares some insights from a family Easter service his church did this past Spring.  For more information on the plan for Orange Week 2.0, check out our first post titled Welcome to Orange Week on .  Also, make sure you don’t miss Barbara Graves post from Day 2 called Orange Week – Red Initiatives Day #2

From the very first moment after being hired to work at the church I am currently serving, we have forced ourselves to do things differently.  The process has been constantly changing and evolving, but the goal has always remained the same.  From day one, our church has attempted to reactivate and engage the family – the entire family.  We have done a number of things that have worked, and we have done many things that have flopped miserably.

One of our greatest “Orange” moments so far was this past Easter.  In brainstorming for our Easter service, we came to the conclusion that we really wanted to do a service that spanned multiple generations.  My pastor thought it was impossible, or at least a lot more work than either of us had time to dedicate to it.  Nonetheless, he was willing to give it a shot.

We designed a service around a costumed character that the people in our church are familiar with.  The idea of the service was that this character had built a time machine, and he was going to go back in time to meet Jesus.  Each time he left in the time machine he returned with someone who was not Jesus, but is a central figure to the Easter narrative.  These included Mary Magdalene, Thomas, and the two men who met Jesus on the road to Emmaus.  (Think Biblical Bill and Ted if you will).

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the 2nd installment of Orange Week 2.o here on Kidmin1124.  Today, Barbara Graves explores red, family based, initiatives.  For more information on the plan for Orange Week 2.0, check out our first post titled Welcome to Orange Week on .

There is no doubt about it.  Parents have influence over their children.  Whether you want to admit it not, for good and for bad, planned and unplanned, a parent’s influence will be felt and lived out in their children’s lives.  This is especially true when it comes to a child’s spiritual development.  There is an old saying that postulates that “Faith is not taught.  It is caught.”  Though it may not be entirely true, I think there is some truth in that statement.  No matter how much you teach kids about Jesus and the Bible on Sunday morning, in the end their faith is much more likely to mirror the faith of their parents that they see lived out in front of them day in and day out.  For parents who resolve to be intentional in helping their children grow in their spiritual development, this influence can be directed for more effectiveness.

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