A few years ago when I began to process the concept of “family ministry” and the idea of “partnering with parents,” I felt overwhelmed. How could I add this to my list of ministry responsibilities as student pastor? After I explored the idea more, I moved to asking, how can I not add the idea of partnering with families to my list of goals for the ministry I lead? Even after I was convinced our team had to make steps toward mom and dad, I still struggled to maintain forward momentum. Recently I heard Jim Burns process why next-gen leaders avoid family ministry and I had to share here on the blog. I’m adding a few I have seen …
- It means more work for leadership // Staff and volunteers often only see that connecting with parents is more work. Many just are not willing to consider they might be wasting their time if they avoid the needed work of family ministry!
- Many leaders are insecure when connecting with parents // Many times when we are intimidated by people we avoid them. Sometimes next-generation leaders are just intimidated by parents so they just avoid the idea of partnering.
- Parental resistance // Some parents push back on the idea of partnering because they don’t want people speaking into their family.
- No influence in church leadership // Partnering with families starts when the church makes it a priority. Some next-gen leaders have not been given a voice at the table to shape the direction of their church.
- Next-generation staff won’t work together // Many staff and volunteer leaders like to stay in their age group silos and avoid working together. Family ministry only happens when people work together to accomplish a united vision.
- We are intimidated by the challenge // Connecting with parents just seems overwhelming and we become afraid of failing. What if we don’t succeed? The better question is, what if we don’t try?
Would love to hear what you have seen keep leaders from embracing the goal of family ministry. Why do next-gen leaders avoid family ministry?