How to Effectively Train Parents for Ministry

Discover a 4-step model for training parents in this Family Ministry Conversation video.
4 min read

Hello everyone, I’m Michelle Anthony. Welcome to family ministry conversations. Today’s topic is about training parents. I love to train parents because it’s our role as family ministry leaders to equip them and support them in their roles.

So often when we’re training parents, I look back and I think that I just spoke a lot of dos to them. “Go home and pray with your children, bless your children, read Scripture with your children.”

We want parents to go home and be empowered to put these things into practice in their daily lives.

And a lot of parents want to do those things, but they don’t necessarily know how to do those things.

So I’ve adapted a 4-step method to come alongside parents and help them actually be successful in their roles and the things that we want them to do—the things that we’re encouraging them to do.

This 4-step method includes:

  • instruct
  • model
  • practice
  • empower

Let me walk through each one of those.

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Image Credit: Jude Beck/Unsplash

Explanation of the Steps

  • The instruction model is primarily what I did before. It’s just instructing. It’s telling people what needs to be done and giving any background information that helps them understand what it is that you’re instructing them to do.
  • But then the next step, the step that I didn’t always do but is so critical, is to model it for them so that they see what you mean by what you just said.
  • Then the third step, which is also equally important, is practice. We have to give parents a safe place to practice the things that we’re asking them to do.
  • And then empower. It’s not something that we want them just to do while they’re there with us in a closed, convenient model. But we want them to go home and be empowered to put these things into practice in their daily lives.

An Example of What Training Looks Like

So let me give you an example.

  • If I was telling you to go home and read Scripture with your children I could talk about the value of Scripture and why it’s so important. I could take you through the Bible and show you that there’s an Old Testament and a New Testament and then show how to look up a chapter and a verse and I could teach you how to do that.
  • Then to model, I could get out the Bible and show you where the index is. I could take you through those things and give you an example.
  • Then, even greater, I could go on to the practice model. I could give each one of you a Bible. I could give some Scripture references on the board and then have you look them up yourself so you start feeling confident by working with the Bible.
  • And then to empower, I’d give you an assignment to go home and read these Scriptures with your children. Having walked through the steps already, you’d be prepared to do it on your own.

The Steps Are Important

These are the important steps that can be adapted to anything we’re trying to encourage our parents to do.

One of the things that we talked about was the blessing and how important it is to send parents home to bless their children. And that can be a scary thing. So bring them up and model that with someone from the audience or with a friend or somebody on your staff or a volunteer. And then allow them to practice blessing each other.

They may get it wrong or they can laugh and say things that may or may not be the things that they would want to say, but they get to practice and get their nerves out. And then we empower them to go home and bless their kids this week. Maybe just once that week before they go to school or before they go to bed, and they take a baby step in that endeavor. This gives them the confidence to use those muscles so that those muscles can be strengthened.

So, once again, the 4-step method is to first instruct, then to model, then to practice, and then to empower. I hope this was empowering for you to go and train your parents in family ministry today.

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
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  Updated on December 21, 2021

About the Author

Post Author
  • Dr. Michelle Anthony is the Pastor of Children and Parents at New Life Church. She is the author of Spiritual Parenting, The Big God Story, Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family, and 7 Family Ministry Essentials. Michelle has over 25 years of church ministry and leadership experience in children’s and family ministries and graduate degrees in Christian Education, Bible and Theology from Talbot School of Theology and Southern Seminary. In her free time, Michelle enjoys being with her family, reading a good book, and being at the beach while drinking a strong cup of coffee.

  • Your Ministry Spark Team is made of ministry volunteers, leaders, and experts who work with David C Cook. We’re passionate about helping others know, love, and follow Jesus. And, we have a big heart for those who serve the kingdom—that’s you. Together, we can do this!

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