Parents are waiting longer and longer to bring their babies to classes in preschool ministry. They keep their babies with them for a variety of reasons. Leaders can gain parents’ trust by building relationships with them even before the baby is born or adopted. Creating a new and expectant ministry is a way to build relationships with parents.
A new and expectant parent ministry is a connection point. It’s an opportunity for churches to impact new parents in the church and in the community. Follow the steps listed below to begin this impactful ministry in your church.
- Communicate the need for the ministry to the Pastor and other church leadership. Pray and share the vision of why this ministry is important. Communicate stories of families who are expecting in your church. Give the ministry a name such as Blessed Expectations, First Contact, or Cradle Connection.
- Enlist a coordinator and ministry team. The coordinator leads the ministry team working hand-in-hand with the preschool/children’s minister. She performs the day-to-day details of the ministry such as making the initial contact with expectant parents and planning events. The coordinator enlists encouragers to serve on the ministry team. These ladies are assigned to an expecting couple ministering to them.
- Discover names of prospective couples. Create avenues for members to share names of expectant parents in the church (including themselves) and families in the community who may not be connected to a church.
- Initial contact by coordinator. The coordinator makes an introductory call to gather information such as due date, and learn of ways to pray for the expectant parents. Then, the coordinator assigns an encourager to each set of expectant parents.
- Encourager contacts during the pregnancy or adoption process. During the months leading up to the baby’s arrival, the encourager builds a relationship with the couple through visits, calls, writing cards, and praying for them.
These steps help build a foundational relationship with the expectant parents before the baby is born. Which do you feel are the most important steps? Are there any others you would include? In part 2, I’ll share how to continue building the relationship with families when the baby arrives.
Delanee Williams serves as a Ministry Specialist with Lifeway Kids. She is a graduate of Baylor University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Delanee has served in kids ministry for over twenty years and is passionate about developing, equipping and encouraging leaders.