Family of cyclists

5 Reasons Every Senior Leader Should Get Passionate About Families

Family / Leadership //

I’m a senior pastor. And like most senior pastors I delegate much of the ministry that goes on to staff and volunteers so I can focus on leadership, communication and raising up teams and resources around our mission.

It’s tempting to delegate the cause of family and kids to our family ministry team and leave it at that. And that’s the mistake most senior leaders make. Again and again. Every time you do that, you risk jeopardizing your mission and your future.

Here’s why.

Over the years, I’ve become convinced that the better we engage families, the strong our mission becomes. Lose families (in all of their forms), and you lose the future. So here are 5 reasons why every senior leaders should be passionate about families:

1. Most of the people we preach to are in families.

I preach to adults, like most senior leaders do. But most of those adults will try to apply whatever I’m teaching in a family setting. When I ignore family, I ignore the biggest part of the world most people who attend our church live in.

Imagine what can happen if a senior leader and family ministry team think together about how best to impact families through every interaction in a church, including Sunday mornings.

This doesn’t mean you have to do a ‘family series’ every month. What it does mean is that you have to think through the implications of how people will apply what they’re learning in a family setting.

2. The great tension most people face happens in family.

If you ignore or simply delegate family, you will miss the place where most people you care about meet their greatest tension: at home.

When you engage families, both in your teaching and in terms of designing a strategy to reach and help them, you can offer help and hope where many families need it most: at home.

3. Unchurched people lie awake at night worrying about their kids.

As much as us senior pastors would love to believe people lie awake at night wondering what we’re teaching about next, nothing could be further from the truth.

Unchurched people do lie awake at night, though, wondering whether their kids are going to be okay.

When senior leaders realize that we might get further in a conversation with unchurched people talking about family than almost any other topic, I think more senior leaders will start taking family more seriously. Starting the conversation over a felt need can lead to a much deeper conversation about other needs, including a person’s need for Christ.

4. Parents are looking for partners.

Most churches are at a loss to figure out why parents aren’t flocking back to church.

And yet the reality is most young parents are looking for partners: a good daycare, swim class, play group, soccer team and much more. They just don’t see the church as a possible partner. Frankly, the church didn’t even cross their mind.

When a church has a great strategy (like the Orange strategy) that aligns all team members from the senior leader on down, parents can begin to see the church as a real partner in the development of their child.

5. Everyone is impact by family

The biggest objection I hear by senior leaders over taking the cause of family more seriously relates to people who are not married, can’t have kids, have lost kids or whose kids have grown up. I get that. We have to be sensitive to that.

But the reality is we’re all impacted by family. Everyone one of us started out as part of a family and most of us are impacted daily by our own wider families and the families of people we love. Moreover, each of us can play a role in shaping the next generation.

Quite simply, to ignore family is to ignore one of the forces that most shapes culture and that most shapes us as humans. Why would we do that?

I believe when leaders get passionate and strategic about family, culture will change.

Why do you think family should matter to every senior leader? Tell us in the comments below!

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About the Author

Carey Nieuwhof is lead pastor of Connexus Community Church and author of the best selling books, Leading Change Without Losing It and Parenting Beyond Your Capacity. Carey speaks to North American and global church leaders about change, leadership, and parenting. Follow Carey on Twitter: http://twitter.com/cnieuwhof