Last week marked promotion weekend at my church. Meaning the kids throughout our school age environments were promoted to the grades they will be going into in the fall.
As much is I love #kidmin, I have to say I love how our church handles promotion and family ministry in general.
Because it is just that.
Sadly though, many churches operate in a way where the #kidmin and #studentmin teams don’t operate as a team. So how does that change? Here are a few habits and ideas to help your kidmin and student ministries be family ministries.
1. Have conversations with “we” not “they”.
If you want to work as a team you have to talk like a team. If you’re church is losing kids or families at 9th grade or 6th grade, it’s not the student pastors fault. This is a problem you should approach as a team. Using the word “we” and not “they” makes it clear that the problems and victories you face, you face together.
2. Be intentional with transitions.
If your team is talking about promotion the week before you schedule it, you’ve missed an opportunity. Talk through transitions and be intentional. One thing we do is have our middle school student pastor visit our elementary environment to tell the story in the months leading up to promotion.
3. Meet together.
It’s easy to get sucked into the minutia of all the different aspects there are to ministry programming. As busy as every team is though, you still need to take time to meet as a family ministry. This might be just the leaders of those ministries or the entire teams (honestly a good mixture of both is ideal).
4. Celebrate together.
Meeting together and talking as a team are important. More importantly though is taking the time to celebrate as a team. When your student ministry celebrates the decisions that were made at camp; affirm the preschool team that they were a part of it with the countless seeds they planted in those kids and families. When the preschool team sees more families attend their FX, affirm the student ministry for all of the students that serve in that environment. Celebrate what God is doing in each ministry.
5. Serve together.
One exercise we did awhile back with our team was “service swapping”. We had staff from different teams serve in other environments beside their normal area. So as someone who spends most weekends with elementary kids; I helped to plan and implement a preschool environment and vice versa with their staff.
This exercise helped to usher in a habit of serving together. Whether it’s a Family Experience, a student baptism event, camps, or even a weekend; the question “How can I help?” Is constantly asked on our family ministry team.
The most important part about being family ministry is just simply operating intentionally. Living out the call to be the body of Christ by working together to serve the kids and families you serve at every phase of their spiritual journey.