The New Year is here, which means fresh starts, new beginnings, and the ability to set some new goals and dare I say—resolutions! Here’s a resolution that is truly worth pursuing: get to know the families in your ministry! It sounds obvious, but it’s worth asking yourself—do I know the parents, grandparents or caregivers of the children who attend my church? In a time where Family Ministry is on the hearts and minds of so many ministry leaders, isn’t this a good place to begin? Here are five ways to help you get started:
- Become a professional greeter. Do everything it takes not to be in the resource room, preparing snacks, or called to the nursery. Consider yourself the host or hostess of the party at your house. Welcome people, call them by name, and make them feel at home.
- Express interest in their daily lives. Ask questions about their families. Begin to know tidbits about who they are. Did their child have a basketball game the day before? Who won? How was their recent vacation? How is grandma doing?
- Communicate often! Families need multiple points of contact to feel like they know you. Communication can be through newsletters, emails, social media, texts, or phone calls. Use these outlets to communicate general information about upcoming events, weekly Bible content and memory verses, and family activities to do at home. When appropriate, use email, texts, and phone calls to check on individual families. Ask how you can pray for them, invite them to coffee, or even invite yourself to attend their child’s game, recital, or play!
- Pray for your families. Keep a journal to document things you know about them. This will not only help you remember names and various bits of information, but also help you have a record of items on your daily prayer list. The more you pray for them, the more you will desire to know them better. Ask God to give you opportunities to deepen relationships.
- Ask them to serve! Parents and grandparents are more likely to serve in your ministry if they know—YOU! If you have a relationship with them, then they will feel better about serving alongside you.
Make it a 2016 priority to get to know the families in your kids ministry!
Jana Magruder serves as the Director of Lifeway Kids. Jana brings a wealth of experience and passion for kids ministry, education, and curriculum writing. She and her husband, Michael, along with their three children attend Forest Hills Baptist Church where she teaches The Gospel Project to preteen girls.