Family ministry is an emerging term in modern Churches, but what is it exactly and how do you use it effectively to minister to parents, youth, and children. Before we dive into the how’s and why’s, I will lay out the three most commonly used models.
- Integrated Family Ministry Model – This model removes all age based segregation of children, teens, and adults and places them in an environment in which they are encouraged to worship, study, and grow together. Parents are called to disciple their families and children participate in all forms of
- Family Based Ministry Model – This model minister’s to each age group separately in a way that is relevant to the participants. Each age group’s minister is supplemented with adult volunteers and works independently of the rest, though many churches working with this model do offer occasional intergenerational events for families to engage with one another. This is the most dominant Family Ministry Model.
- Family Equipping Ministry Model – This model is similar to the previous in that it keeps each age range divided, however the key component to this model lies in encouraging parents to take on leadership roles within their children’s ministry program. The primary minister is there to guide, encourage, train, and equip these parents as they take on the role of primary spiritual leader.
I prefer the Family Equipping Model for the following reasons. It works to put parents into the role of the primary spiritual leaders of their children, and thus of their family as a whole. It also enables the church to build strong Christian households, which in turn helps to increase the retention rate of graduating teens.
As a Children’s Minister you have roughly 100 hours each year to disciple your children. Parents have over 3000. Which is more effective?