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Developing a Family Ministry in Church

Tim Smith

After you've collected parents' feedback, design your parent education vehicle. Through teaching, training, retreats, newsletters, audio tapes, videotapes, small groups, events, and personal interaction, you can help parents. Don't try to do all these. Just choose one format to inform and inspire parents.

Many churches have introduced their family ministry emphasis with a parenting seminar. If you do the same, make it visitor-friendly and invite parents from the community. Receiving support and information is a felt-need for all parents.

Network with other children's ministers to find great resources for parent-training. Or, if you really like a parenting book, call the book's publisher. The company's publicist can connect you with the author. Authors are often willing to lead a parenting seminar.

2. Introduction

Information alone won't meet parents' needs. Most parents want to develop relationships with other parents. We offer a dinner for parents prior to our parenting seminars. This allows people to relax and get to know other parents. It also provides built-in discussion groups for the seminar. Several parents have started small groups with the people they've gotten to know at their tables.

At Hope Wirta's church in Milwaukee, small groups of families, such as "The Young and Restless" group, meet regularly. Some weeks, parents may meet with their children and play games, or other weeks, they may get a baby sitter and go to a play. Lifelong relationships are formed in accountability support groups such as these.

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