When The Church Should Lose…

Family //

So I thought I would write a post with a catchy title to grab your attention… haha!  It must have worked!  This is Orange Week and I am participating.  The entire concept of Orange is to take the light of the Church (yellow) and the love of the home (red) and bring them together.  Amazing things can happen when the Church and parents partner together to truly invest in a childs spiritual life.  I have seen it first hand.

The problem comes in when we try and reverse the roles that God has established for us.  You see, it is PARENTS responsibility (whether they accept it or not) to be the primary spiritual influencer in their childs life.  It is the CHURCHES responsibility to help equip and support the parent.  I have been from coast to coast consulting and visiting with church leaders and one reoccurring theme that I see is that many churches still have NO plan for the family…zero…zip…

Others churches I have seen claim to reach out to parents through classes and curriculum take homes…really?  Is that the best we can do?  If that is truly all we can do then yes…the church SHOULD lose…and we most likely will.

So how can the Church win?  Here are some thoughts

  • The Church wins when we help parents win.  Instead of talking to kids about purity, coach parents to talk about it with their kids, instead of the Church giving kids their first Bible, organize an event where parents can do this…etc
  •  Have a strategy.  Show parents milestones early on.  Have a milestone moment where parents are coached through investing spiritual nuggets into their children.
  • Don’t talk about what you don’t know about…  just don’t… it ruins your buy in
  • Have a great youth and children’s ministry FIRST.  Show parents your church is invested in their family through dynamic age appropriate ministries…THEN roll out family ministry.  There are too many children’s pastors out there trying to be a family pastor instead. (note, if you don’t have a youth pastor and children’s pastor…DON’T get a family pastor.  Those are three separate positions.

Thoughts?  post them below!!!






About the Author

Joe McAlpine is the Pastor of Share at Northbrook Church. Northbrook is a growing church just outside of Milwaukee WI. He has been in ministry for over a decade, serving in staff leadership at churches ranging in attendance from 500 to 7,000. Prior to his current ministry, Joe had the privilege of leading the children’s ministry at Northview Church, the 5th fastest growing and 85th largest church in America in 2013. In 2009 he created, a website dedicated to helping leaders in next generation ministry grow spiritually, relationally and organizationally. Joe has a passion to help young leaders of next generation, family based ministries grow into seasoned ministry professionals oftomorrow. Joe lives out his passion for next generation leaders by tapping into his experience as a husband of one, father of four, pastor and life long lover of of learning. Joe has been happily married to his wife Christy for longer than he can remember and has four children, Elijah, Selah, David, and Elisabeth. The McAlpines are originally from the Chicago area. In his spare time you can find him hanging with the family and connecting with as many kidmin people as he can!