3 Simple things we ask parents to do.

talk pray do

One of the things we have to do in family ministry is do a better job of defining to parents what we mean by being the spiritual leaders of your home.  I have heard many messages and have had many conversations around the concept of parents being the primary spiritual leaders. I totally agree and think these conversations need to continue. The question I have asked myself and other family ministry leaders is what do the practical out working of partnership with parents look like. We really get the problem and the need but the solution isn’t one size fits all.

Our family ministry team had a conversation around the idea of what are the expectations we have of ourselves and what are the expectations we have of parents in order walk out the implications partnership demands. I’m so grateful for all the resources out there that help give steps and a frame-work they are very helpful. Our family ministry team came up with tool to help us visualize what we are trying to carry out.

The first thing we did was decide what the three things are that we are trying to carry out in each age environment. Because we use Orange’s curriculum and Reggie and his time are amazing at creating memorable bottom lines we used My First looks’ three things and 252 basics’ three things. The rest we worked out as a team.

Second involved us deciding to define what spiritual leadership by our parents in our context looks like. We talked and decided that far to often we set the standard of parental involvement around the “nuclear family” we asked ourselves what does spiritual leadership look like for those who are new to faith or perhaps for a single parent working full-time. We came up with three things we feel that every parent can do to start the journey of spiritually parenting their kids.

Spend 15 minutes a day listening and talking with, not at, your kids

At least twice a week spend some meaningful time praying together with you kids

Once a month create a family night where your family can spend quality time together

With our goals for partnership defined it allows us to think about what it will take for us to achieve both of those things. We are in the midst of an ongoing conversation about what “program” or what “resource” would be needed to accomplish the three things we are trying to do and the three things we are asking our parents to do. We are still working on what those things should be so much of that section is a work in progress.

Here is a PDF of our Family Ministry Strategy form as it stands  Family Ministry strategy

I would love to hear some of the practical things you do to partner with parents on purpose.



12 comments On 3 Simple things we ask parents to do.

  • I like the simplicity of these things, plus the step-wise process (each day, each week, each month). Perhaps there should be a long-term step as well, such as each year, as well as what parents need to do to grow (besides the obvious read bible, pray).

    What if you added something like, “Read a parenting book or attend a parenting class/conference once per year.” ??

  • Our church has championed what we call “Family Fundamentals.” While we haven’t put a time requirement on them we believe that a fully functioning family should:
    Read Together – spend time in God’s word
    Pray Together – spend time talking to God
    Serve Together – spend time helping others
    Play Together – have fun

  • Great idea, Sam. I love the simplicity and accessibility of this. Probably going to implement this in our ministry. How did you go about introducing and promoting the talk, pray, and do so parents know about and don’t forget about it.

    Here’s some of the things we do to help partner with parents:
    1. Parent Weekly – Short newsletter with details on what they’re kids learned, simple tips to reinforce it at home, and details on upcoming events. Also has our contact info, a short welcome note to new families from me, and our purpose statement.

    2. Parenting Conference – Yearly event with workshops and speakers and resources to help equip our parents to be their child’s primary faith trainers.

    3. Baptism Class – Parents attend with their kids to learn about salvation and baptism. It’s followed up with a 1 on 1 interview with one of our staffers to make sure kids are ready for baptism.

    4. Dedication Class & Ceremony.

    5. Website, Blog, Facebook, & Twitter to encourage, equip, and inform parents.

    6. 8 week parenting class offered a couple of times a year during weekend services.

  • Thanks for sharing this! We are thinking about how to give our parents next steps with their kids in the simplest ways possible. This is a great start.

  • Hey Sam. Since your family ministry team has started using this with parents, have you seen success or buy in from them? How has the team kept this in front of them and have there been any adjustments made since you started? Thanks!

    • It’s a process. We have seen more success with parents of younger kids as they are more dialed in at that age. Their kids get busy as they get older and the things change but we have seen more involvement intentionally as a result.

  • Is your church still using this resource with families? If so, has it changed at all over time? If not, why did you stop using it? Thanks!

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