What do you know about the families in your ministries, and how are you working to build relationships with them? We get that, depending on your church size, it will shape what you can individually do. However, your team and your ministry should be focused on relationship building.

Here are 7 things you need to know (or should be learning) about the families at your church.

What to Know About Families in Your Ministry

1. Know Their Names

How many parents’ names do you know? It’s said that the most important word to any of us is our own name.

Knowing the names of your parents sets the stage for deeper relationship and discipleship. When you know their names, doors open that might not otherwise open.

Your team and your ministry should be focused on relationship building.

2. Know the Kids’ Names

Not only do families care if you know their names, but they really care if you know their children. Parents and guardians watch how others interact with their children, and they pay special attention to how adults interact with their children. And based on those interactions, they make judgments.

They judge how much you care and your ability to disciple their children.

Although no one expects you to remember every name on their first visit, they do expect you to care enough to get it sooner than later.

3. Know More About Them Than Their Check-In Number

Even if you have a very large church and can’t manage this all alone, make sure each family is known by a member of your team and do your best to know them too.

Beyond simply recognizing their name, what are some things you know about them? Because what happens in the walls of their homes greatly impacts what happens at church. It impacts behavior, their ability to learn, and more.

  • How old are they?
  • What are their favorite activities?
  • Who lives at home?
  • Where do they go to school?

These are just a few ideas to get you started.

4. Know How to Walk Alongside Them for Faith Formation at Home

According to George Barna, most parents want to take responsibility for the spiritual life of their children, but many don’t know how. Help them.

Give them simple ideas that fit into their everyday moments with their kids.

  • Give them language for talking about God and His Word.
  • Give them practical ideas for sharing with their kids (in play, on drives, before bed, etc.) through affirmations, declarations, blessings, and more.
  • Give them resources so they know what’s being taught at church!
7 Ways to Encourage Today's Parents as Spiritual Influencers at Home cover

Ready to help parents create an environment for spiritual growth?

Get ready to help families with their most important task, in our guide from Ministry Spark: 7 Ways to Encourage Today’s Parents as Spiritual Influencers at Home.
Free Guide
7 Ways to Encourage Today's Parents as Spiritual Influencers at Home cover

Ready to help parents create an environment for spiritual growth?

Get ready to help families with their most important task, in our guide from Ministry Spark: 7 Ways to Encourage Today’s Parents as Spiritual Influencers at Home.
Free Guide
7 Ways to Encourage Today's Parents as Spiritual Influencers at Home cover

Ready to help parents create an environment for spiritual growth?

Get ready to help families with their most important task, in our guide from Ministry Spark: 7 Ways to Encourage Today’s Parents as Spiritual Influencers at Home.
Free Guide

5. Know When and How to Challenge Them in Their Faith and That of Their Children

You’ll have different family situations with varying devotion to Christ with the families in your ministries. That’s why it’s important to know them, so that you can know how to help them.

Some parents may recognize their responsibility in the spiritual development of their children but are so caught up in life that it’s not a top priority. This is true, especially if the church is willing to accept responsibility in their place when they are just trying to figure it out for themselves.

Make sure each family is known by a member of your team and do your best to know them too.

Each family will have differing needs when it comes to practical and spiritual needs. Make sure you know them well enough to be able to offer encouragement and challenge when needed.

6. Know How to Engage Them in Serving

So many parents and guardians are busy, tired, and pulled in every direction.

But the fact is that we need them to serve, and it’s mutually beneficial when they serve. So know them enough to gauge what role would work for them. And as you ask them to fill the role, make sure they know and understand that this role is just for them and what they have to offer … it’s not simply another checked box on your list of needs.

When parents can see their talents being used, the benefits for their families, and their role in the body of Christ, they will be excited to serve.

Being seen matters.

7. Know How to Let Them Have A Break

Not every parent has capacity to serve. Many serve in other areas at church, and sometimes things simply happen.

If you have a volunteer (especially a parent) who says they need a break, please believe them. Don’t try to guilt them into staying longer or waiting it out. Let them know that you see them and hear them. When you do this, they will recognize it. And if they come back to serve, or even if they don’t, they will remember that you treated them with respect when they needed it.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a conversation and talk through their reasons for needing a break. It might expose an area of weakness in your leadership or in the ministry that can be fixed. But it also might just be time for them to have a season of rest in this area. ‘Yes’ isn’t the healthy answer for someone’s if God isn’t calling them to it.

Trust God to lead the families at your church and support them in the best ways that you can. Mainly by seeing them, knowing them, and loving them week to week.