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Bringing Families Together

Membership Level Guest

Author/Source: Mark Harper

Topic: Families, Programming

There's a reason why some families would choose to skip church for sports or other activities. The church needs to learn how to bring families together.

It used to really bug me that many families in my church seemed more committed to organized sports than to church. Then I asked myself this question: Is it a possibility that little league does a better job at bringing families together than my church does? There is a payback to families when they go to watch Johnny play baseball. They have a shared family experience.

Ask yourself this question: How often do families come together at my church? In our culture, when a new family walks into church, their first thought usually is “where do my kids go?”

Here is a list of observations I have made about families and churches today:

  • Families are busier than ever before
  • Because life is so busy parents value family time
  • People do not see church time as family time

My personal opinion is that life is not going to slow down.

The successful church of the future will find ways to create shared family experiences.

Here are some things that I have done to bring families together at church.

  • Family Service – A couple times a year do a family service on Sunday morning. Ask the youth band to lead worship, do some drama skits, short films and object lessons. Make sure that the stuff you do is not too kiddy. It needs to appeal to all generations. If your senior pastor agrees to let you do this, make sure it’s really good and make sure you practice, practice, practice!
  • Family VBA – We moved our summer VBA from the morning to the evening and we made it a requirement that parents attend with their kids. VBA is rated F for family—not a drop off event. Our numbers stayed the same, around 1,000 people. Yes, we lost some kids, but we gained the parents.
  • We created a Friday night show for families – called Eddie’s Shake ShopEddie’s Shake Shop was a thirty-minute theatrical production followed by a 10-minute sermon and an altar call. Families loved it! It also brought in a lot of visitors to our church. Some nights we would have 60–70 visitors.

I do not plan any extra events at church for kids except those that reach the whole family.

If we want to bear lasting fruit in the lives of the children that we minister to, we must increase our influence with parents.

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