I am currently reading a book by the Heath Brothers called Switch. In this book they talk about helping people with change. Finding the switch in a change situation. One of the things they said that has gotten me thinking in regards to family ministry is something they call shrink the change. The basic idea behind shrink the change is when people are given a headstart they are more likely to finish than if they are forced to start from scratch. The example they give is 100 people are given a stamp book in which you need 8 stamps for a free wash another 100 people are given a stamp book with 10 stamps needed but with 2 stamps already recorded. So both groups needed 8 stamps total. The first group only 16 people completed the 8 stamps and in the second group 36 people completed the stamps and they did so before the first group.
Here is how it translates to kidmin. I have been thinking about what milestones would look like in our church. In my opinion on of the hardest parts for parents is starting something like this from scratch. Most parents don’t know where to start and feel overwhelmed by the volume of information, and if their kids are older they may feel like they missed some major opportunities. Another reason that parents won’t get involved is they feel inadequate.
So here’s my thought about the whole milestone thing. What if we had a milestone or a couple of milestones that were something parents are already doing? So we can celebrate with them and they would think “maybe I am not such a bad parent after all”. Every parent wants to do what’s best for their kids I think they they just need a gentile nudge in the right direction.
So let me ask you, what would you say is something we can use to “prestamp” if you will a parents participation in their child’s spiritual development?
3 comments On Jump starting parent/kid connections.
Sam I agree that parents don't always know where to start or feel adequate, whether it be specific to milestones or their kids' spiritual formation in general. A couple ideas I've used:
* Similar to what you suggested, offer church facilitated "milestone"events. Birthday/spiritual birthday parties (we did this monthly & it was a huge success), parent/child dedications (open for any age child), or "Rite of Passage" event for young men. By facilitating it through the church, the pressure is off the parents. Give them steps to take to engage in the process, then have them attend & participate.
* Provide step by step instructions for a milestone event at home. Perhaps offer different instructions for the same event dependent on the kids' age.
* Create a two or 3 part milestone event. Start at the church…complete at home or vice-versa. Or church/home/church. Full instructions, vision casting, etc.
Wow, there's so much not said in any of these ideas (the whole vision, equipping & partnering angle in depth), but you get the idea – probably things you've already thought of.
Look forward to other thoughts on this. Thanks, Sam!
Hey thanks for being first.
Love your ideas on this. I want to start with one event and build momentum toward a process. I think some parents don't start the process or are intimidated because their kid has received Christ and was dedicated or baptized as a baby. Where can we help them jumpstart the process? Or what about a new family with a 5 7 and 9 year old how can we get them involved in the process.
LOVE this idea —— what a great idea bro!!!!! i AGree with you 100% … i think this would be a HUGE key for many parents! What are your ideas for milestones parents are already doing?????