Creating a new and expectant parent ministry is an effective way to reach new families in the community and build relationships with parents. In an earlier article, I shared ways to begin building relationships with families prior to the birth of a baby or adoption. Use the steps listed below to continue building relationships with families after the baby arrives.
- Visit the Family When Baby Arrives. Schedule a time to visit the family. Depending on their schedule and situation, you may visit the hospital or at their home. Take small gifts for the parents such as BabyLife or ParentLife. Possible gifts for the baby include baby care items, a blanket, or small remembrance. Don’t forget to include the siblings. Bubbles or play-doh make show you care about the brothers and sisters, too
- Celebrate the Baby’s Arrival. Consider ordering reusable yard signs to place in the family’s yard for a couple of weeks after the baby’s birth. Make sure to get permission from the family before placing the sign in the yard.
- Other Aspects of the Expectant Parent Ministry. Be prepared to minister to families in all situations. Include an encourager on your ministry team to serve families who have babies with special needs. Also, add an encourager who can minister to families who experience a miscarriage or stillbirth.
- Follow-up with Parents. A few weeks after the birth of the baby, the assigned encourager visits the new parents. She uses this opportunity to check with the parents to learn of any new ways the church can minister to them, pray for them, and answer any questions the parents may have about the preschool ministry.
Other Steps to Remember:
- Prepare a Calendar for the Year. During the year, plan events such as mom’s brunch, parents’ dinner, or an ice cream sundae party for expectant and new parents (mom and dad) to attend. At these events, include a time of fellowship, relevant information for parents, and information about the church and preschool ministry. Ask teachers from the babies’ classes to share their testimony with the families. Explain what the babies experience in their classes on Sunday morning and how they are taught biblical truths in age appropriate ways.
- Prepare a budget. When preparing a budget, remember to include gifts for parents, babies, and siblings. In addition, estimate the costs of events and socials.
Creating a new and expectant ministry in your church helps build trust with new and expectant parents. What steps do you need to take to begin this meaningful ministry?
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.