- Within the Family: Building the bonds within families—between husband and wife; parents and their children. This builds family health and happiness.
- Peer to Peer: Encouraging community and togetherness between your staff and volunteers, different families in your ministry, between parents, and between children. This encourages community and accountability with church members.
- With Staff: Developing relationships individually for each parent, child and family to your staff members. This connects families with mature church leadership.
- With Christ: Of course, the ultimate goal is to foster a relationship with the Lord, pointing staff, parents, children, and families to Christ individually and collectively.
To help your church reach families for Christ Outreach offers many family orientied church campaigns and small group studies such as To Save a Family Parent’s Kit or the Church Kit, Fireproof Your Marriage and the Art of Marriage.
A Few Ways to Foster Relationships
Offering fun for kids, helping parents, and building family experiences will bring opportunities to witness and build relationships, laying a foundation for the gospel, and ultimately a relationship with Christ. Each kids program tends towards one of the following categories, but the best, most comprehensive Family Connection ministries will have elements from all three—building eventual relationships in every way…
Parent-Centric Evangelism meets a parental need or parent’s desire for their child. This can be relief such as childcare or counseling, resources like a special needs fair, or a skill taught to the child via tutoring, classes or coaching.
- Why it’s important: Parenting can be an exhausting (and sometimes isolating) experience. Your church can fill a unique role by blessing parents with your people and resources, like your building or special gifts—building a foundation of trust between unchurched parents and your church family.
- Get the word out: Go to where parents go for community resources. Inform local mother’s clubs, doctor’s offices, schools, preschools and daycares, community calendars, local family bloggers, dance and gymnastics studios. Or send a postcard invitation to families in your area. Leverage parents in your church to tell and invite their unchurched friends.
Kid-Centric Evangelism, a.k.a. F-U-N, speaks the language that all kids understand! VBS and summer camp are classic ways churches engage children in this way, but other programs involving games or dramatic play can provide further opportunities for fun learning—and engage kids on a whole different level.
- Why it’s important: This age group is most receptive to the gospel, and the kids become your most passionate family evangelists.
- Get the word out: Turn kids into mini-evangelists by hosting fun, kid-centric activities that they’ll talk about and invite their friends to. Equip kids with tools, like invitations, to help them pass the word along.
Family-Centric Evangelism provides activities the whole family can enjoy together, with opportunities to learn, serve, or just have fun. These ideas usually come in the form of seasonal events like a Harvest Festival, special Sunday services, or opening your recreational facilities, like your pool or gym, to families.
- Why it’s important: Family activities provide opportunities for families to build relationships, create family traditions and special memories. They give you a great ‘foot-in-the door’ to future evangelism opportunities.
- Get the word out: Leverage parent and child friendships via invitation, send a postcard mailer, or inform and flyer local resources and businesses that parents frequent.
How does your church reach out to families? Do you have a unique ministry that is changing kids, parents, families, your church or even your community? Please share your stories and insights in the comments section—you make this resource more valuable for others!