The name of my ministry, “children’s ministry” misleads me sometimes. I get so immersed in the spiritual lives of my kids that I do forget that it’s the whole family that God wants. I spend a lot of time on outreach and thankfully, I’ve had a good harvest for my efforts.
I’ve found that reaching kids is easy, generally. It’s the adults that require some work. Here’s where relationship-building comes in. Parents want to know that you love them, accept them, support them. They have no idea how valuable having a children’s minister in their lives is, until you make them aware of it. How do you do that? Well, not just by telling them, by being a friend!
That’s why I recommend purposefully engaging in relationship-building with parents and grandparents. I use these four ideas but there’s so many! Perhaps adding a few of my favorites to your spiritual arsenal will help you build stronger ties with the families of your children.
1. Invitations to worship: I’ve had parents ask me, “Just what do you guys do in there? He seems so excited to go?” Invite parents to visit your children’s church. Have a regular service so they can see how you worship, give, praise and learn. They’ll learn to trust you.
2. Kids’ ministry open house: Schools do it, why shouldn’t we? I like holding our open house just a few weeks after the schools start. We swing open the doors of our Sunday Schools and all ministries to children. Parents get to meet the teachers and find out what we’re working on.
3. Family goodie bags: Once a year, I give kids a form that asks them about what their favorite snacks and drinks are. I show up on weekends to drop off a family goodie bag full of treats. I don’t invite myself in, but I’m often asked to stay for a few minutes. I spend that time talking to parents, keeping the conversation casual but I always invite them to church. I love this relationship builder.
4. Ministry on Facebook: Facebook isn’t just for gossips. There’s a whole lot of good things happening on FB, most of it is ministry! I keep our children’s church page update and regularly invite new families to join us. I do limit who shows up in the News Feed but it’s still a great way to interact with parents in an encouraging way.
Take the time to get to know your children and their parents. Grow your church one whole family at a time!