Family Fridge Frame
One great idea we've used with families is really simple
but effective: Fridge Frames.
Kids decorate a simple 5x7 cardboard picture frame (available at
craft stores) for their families and then attach a magnet to the
We let kids and parents know they can stick the Fridge Frame where
the entire family can see it on the refrigerator. Each week we send
home a new 5x7 card with the week's verse or Bible point we're
studying printed on it. We encourage families to simply read the
verse together at breakfast or dinner. This simple practice has
been really effective at sparking faith discussions in families and
helping kids and their parents see how God's Word applies to life
Creative Coffee Chatter
Several years ago our church created a space for
people to buy coffee and bagels. A great side effect of this mini
Starbucks-like atmosphere has been that the small coffee nook
creates significant opportunity for connections.
You don't have to build a mock-Starbucks to pull this off.
Consider sprucing up your current coffee nook or repurposing your
current coffee cart with intentionality. It's as easy as creating
opportunities for you to sit with parents over coffee and have
conversation around the start or end of a service time. Parents
know that I'll be around for coffee before and after our children's
programming. Here's the short list of topics I rely on, sometimes
planned, sometimes off-the-cuff.
- Get Acquainted
We serve many parents who we really don't know. Engage in simple
conversation to get to know them better, with no agenda except
finding out more about who they are as individuals. When you know
more about parents, you'll be able to serve them and their kids
- Get "Fresh Eyes"
Parents can give you valuable insight, observations, and opinions
about what they see and feel in your ministry-and will be more
willing to do so over a cup of coffee. Ask for their views and
really listen, and you'll find they're empowered to share ideas
often. It's guaranteed you'll get ideas to fine tune your
- Give Support
Use these coffee moments to offer ideas and resources for parents.
For example, introduce a program such as
Kid Unique (Group) that's designed to help parents learn
about being spiritual leaders or ways to parent from a Christian
- Give Ministry Updates
Inform parents of upcoming events and dates in your ministry. Let
them know how your summer camp fundraising is going. Talk about
what kids are doing now. This casual update is a great way to keep
parents in the loop and invite their thoughts on what your ministry
is doing and where it's headed.
- Give Recruiting a Chance
I saved this for last. Rather than going in with a list
of positions you need filled, continually keep the mindset that in
the course of these coffee conversations, you may uncover an
interest in serving or a hidden talent. I've found that this is
often an unexpected bonus of investing a few minutes of friendly
conversation with parents.