One of the things we have to do in family ministry is do a better job of defining to parents what we mean by being the spiritual leaders of your home. I have heard many messages and have had many conversations around the concept of parents being the primary spiritual leaders. I totally agree and think these conversations need to continue. The question I have asked myself and other family ministry leaders is what do the practical out working of partnership with parents look like. We really get the problem and the need but the solution isn’t one size fits all.
Our family ministry team had a conversation around the idea of what are the expectations we have of ourselves and what are the expectations we have of parents in order walk out the implications partnership demands. I’m so grateful for all the resources out there that help give steps and a frame-work they are very helpful. Our family ministry team came up with tool to help us visualize what we are trying to carry out.
The first thing we did was decide what the three things are that we are trying to carry out in each age environment. Because we use Orange’s curriculum and Reggie and his time are amazing at creating memorable bottom lines we used My First looks’ three things and 252 basics’ three things. The rest we worked out as a team.
Second involved us deciding to define what spiritual leadership by our parents in our context looks like. We talked and decided that far to often we set the standard of parental involvement around the “nuclear family” we asked ourselves what does spiritual leadership look like for those who are new to faith or perhaps for a single parent working full-time. We came up with three things we feel that every parent can do to start the journey of spiritually parenting their kids.
Spend 15 minutes a day listening and talking with, not at, your kids
At least twice a week spend some meaningful time praying together with you kids
Once a month create a family night where your family can spend quality time together
With our goals for partnership defined it allows us to think about what it will take for us to achieve both of those things. We are in the midst of an ongoing conversation about what “program” or what “resource” would be needed to accomplish the three things we are trying to do and the three things we are asking our parents to do. We are still working on what those things should be so much of that section is a work in progress.
Here is a PDF of our Family Ministry Strategy form as it stands Family Ministry Strategy
I would love to hear some of the practical things you do to partner with parents on purpose.