The best days in elementary school were when my teacher rolled in the giant metal cart with the VCR and giant TV strapped on top. The lights would be turned off in the classroom and we would learn by watching Wishbone or the Magic School Bus. Inevitably, the joy of watching a video in class would always abruptly come to the end in the same dreaded way: the lights would suddenly come on and blind us all!
In many cases, families in our churches can feel like someone suddenly changed a lighting situation as their kids move throughout different age group ministries. In many cases, we expect a family transitioning from kids ministry to student ministry to make abrupt transitions. Many churches suddenly expect kids and students to quickly adapt to different expectations, different strategies, different leaders, different structures, different times, and even different curriculum. There’s a better way of doing ministry.
Kids, students, and families desire consistency as they transition throughout a child’s life at your church. We believe kids ministry leaders, student ministry leaders, and family ministry leaders should work together to create a cohesive, unified approach to ministry for the families in their church. Your ministries work better when your ministry strategy is unified.
Here are three tips to help begin to unify your ministry strategies:
- Communicate Often. It’s important that the kids ministry leader and the student ministry leader communicate often. You don’t have to know every detail of the other ministry, but it’s vital that you know what is going on in that ministry and that you develop a healthy working relationship with the other ministry areas. Trust and open communication are a huge first step in unifying ministry strategies.
- Pray and Dream Together. I’ve heard of several churches doing a family worship night, or fun block party event focused on bringing together the kids and students ministries. These all started out with the family ministry leaders joining together and dreaming and asking God for guidance. Lift your fellow ministry leaders up in prayer, and dream openly and honestly about where you feel that God is leading your family ministries.
- Attend a Family Ministry Conference Together. Make a point to attend a family ministry-focused conference with the key ministry leaders of your church. A conference could be just the right type of retreat that your family ministry leaders need to make memories, build relationships, and all get on the same page.
We believe that a unified ministry strategy is so important that it is the focus of our ETCH Family Ministry Conference held in downtown Nashville each fall. ETCH stand for “Equipping the Church and Home,” and we believe this is done best when everyone in a church’s ministry is on the same page. We hope you’ll join us at ETCH October 17-19, 2018 and we’ll dive deep into what it means to have a unified family ministry approach. Right now, you can even get a special early-bird rate for just a few more days! www.etchconference.com
Micheal Walley serves as the Lifeway Kids Event Producer. He is a graduate of Mississippi College and now lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Micheal has been serving in Kids Ministry from the moment he was “promoted” out of kids ministry himself. He loves coffee, leadership, all things creative, and his wife, Anne Marie.