Ministering to families ALWAYS seems like an overwhelming task. This is life we are talking about… regular, average, normal, everyday life. Messing with “their life” seems invasive and most passively (with smiles) resist. Have you ever tried to tell a family what to do?
Most families are content with giving up an average of two Sundays per month to attend the church service (children to their area and adults to theirs). And that’s about it for a child’s discipleship in the ways of Jesus. Around the end of middle school and the beginning of high school, teenagers with this “light” version of discipleship begin to come unraveled, and parents begin to wonder what went wrong. Why doesn’t my teen want to come to church? Why does my formerly innocent child not want anything to do with God anymore?
Short answer? They never really had anything to do with Him to begin with.
As a “family” pastor, I’m trying to think and pray through how to both encourage families as well as scare the snot [expletive removed] out of them when it comes to looking down the line toward the teenage years.
Below is a picture I took of the whiteboard in my office that begins to categorize some of the basic first steps we need to take as a church not only organizationally, but also personally. We can’t “sell” this way of life if we are not doing it ourselves.
Although this task seems overwhelming, I hope and pray that we can both encourage and challenge families to engage with their children and their spiritual discipleship in the coming and ensuing years. And not only their kids, but also their own hearts.