What is Family Ministry?

     Over the last couple of months you may have heard the words “family ministry” bandied about. You may be wondering… what is family ministry? Is it different from what we’ve always been doing? Several years ago our executive leadership team, led by Pastor Mike, Karen Cooprider, and Vickie Hampton, began dreaming about family ministry at Faith Community Church. The idea behind family ministry is that instead of two separate ministries to kids and students it’s an umbrella that provides one cohesive discipleship pathway for kids in our church from birth through seniors in high school. Most importantly, family ministry emphasizes not just the discipleship of kids and teens on Sunday morning, but supporting and partnering with parents as they disciple their kids throughout the rest of the week. Fast forward a couple of years and we have a new and awesome family ministry team.
     In the last five to ten years the family ministry model has become a rather popular church trend, but we didn’t move in this direction just because it was popular. One reason for the rise of this model is new research about how to best foster the lifelong faith of kids growing up in our churches. Programming specific to children and teens like youth group and small groups plays an important role in the faith development of young people. It introduces them to Christian friendships that can last a lifetime and adult mentors who provide additional guidance. But we’ve realized that the time young people spend at church pales in comparison to the time they are with their parents–to the tune of, at best, 52 hours a year at church versus three thousand hours on average with parents. So it only makes sense that while we strive to make our one hour as fun, meaningful, and strategic as possible, our real goal is to make parents the stars.
     In the parlance of the Orange strategy (which is also the company that produces the curriculum we use for toddlers through high school), these two influences of church and the home can accomplish so much more when we work together than when we fly solo. That’s why it’s called Orange: red is the heart of the home and yellow is the light of the church–and when you combine these two influences you get Orange! We all know, whether it’s at home or church, our time with the children under our roof is precious and we must make the most of it, and the best way we can do that is by working together.
     We don’t want you to just plug in to what we’re doing, but we want to learn more about how we can support you as you lead your children to love God, to know the love of God, and to share that love with others. My job as the Director of Family Ministry is to be connecting with the families of our church to learn about you and your families. I also work alongside the Associate Directors* to create safe and fun ministry environments that are appropriate for the spiritual needs of each developmental stage. Our FAITHKIDS and Student Ministry teams are continually seeking to share what we’re talking about at church and in our small groups with parents and guardians through the Parent Cue. We send home practical conversation starters for you to use during the week so that you can get more than a one word answer when you ask how church was on your way home… more on that in a future post!
     I’ve taken to hanging out in my “spot” in the lobby–you can find me next to the Family Resource Wall on the first Sunday of the month to chat, pray, or have a cup of coffee together. I’d love to get to know you better and learn about your family!
Director of Family Ministry
*Our Associate Directors include: Olivia Morales (High School), Zac Vestigo (Middle School), and Katherine Morrison (FAITHKIDS). Mattie Pennington is our FAITHKIDS Coordinator.
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