I got to experience two amazing things simultaneously; church planting and family planting. Shortly after my first son was born, I helped Bull Street Baptist Church, a large church in my hometown of Savannah, Georgia, plant a church in an outlying community. We met in a hotel meeting room. My wife and I were new parents and had another one on the way. Shortly thereafter, I moved to Atlanta with my two boys (and another one on the way) to go on staff at a church plant of a North Atlanta Church, Johnson Ferry Baptist Church. We met in a community center and quickly moved into our own building. We were running 2,500 in just our fifth year. It was amazing.
Two church plants in vibrant, growing communities. My vibrant, growing family.
Both churches were led by great pastors. Here’s what I learned about ministry in both of these environments. Good churches need families. Nope…scratch that. Strong churches need strong families. Nope…still sounds good, but here’s one more try. Strong churches build strong families and vice-versa. That’s it!
I was part of dynamic ministry, and yet I was encouraged and led to be a better dad. Could I have been a help to the church if I weren’t a help to my wife and kids?
Do you want your church to have a great impact on it’s community? Strong churches build strong families. Hold events that draw families together and help them grow together. Give them tools that will allow them to walk together. Help them initiate conversations about God. Show them how to use apps that will allow them to interact with each other on a deep spiritual level. And so there is no vagueness here, this is about Jesus. Give families what they need to allow Him to become the center of their lives. That might even mean giving them more time at home to do this. Families are busy enough, so be intentional in every action that you take. Allow them to use the day-to-day flow of their lives to be strengthened.
God gives us a daily plan for this. Deuteronomy 11:13-25 is mandate for God’s people. Conversations about God should not be limited to the same question asked by million of parents after church on the weekend. You know what that question is. We should talk about Him at every turn… in the car, at the dinner table, at the bedside.
When the church strengthens families, conversations about God will become a regular part of their lives. Furthermore, strong families are very good for the church. Families that walk together with God will have a deep impact on your church. They will help to strengthen other families in the process. Strong families build strong churches.
Encourage them in daily conversations. Point them to individual and family devotionals. Show them were they can download family apps. Parents want this. Your families will be stronger. Your church will be stronger.