We’ve been making some minor changes in our Ministry philosophy at Trinity Church. Yesterday I laid out the first step I took to help shift the thinking of those all around me. There is a great desire to move from creating programs for kids, into creating programs for parents and kids. We are early in the process, and have taken some very small steps to make this happen. These next three steps have been tiny, but huge all at the same time. What did we do?
- The big programming change we made started this Summer, and in reality it wasn’t a huge change. We simply changed the “drop-off your kids” events into “Family Time” events. It was simple really. That event that in the past would cost $20 a kid to go to the amusement park with the Children’s Ministry leaders, is now only $5 a person and the entire family in encouraged to attend. We budgeted this year to eat some of the expense so the entire family could attend (I could totally make a comment about how eliminating VBS changed our budget for the better, but I won’t.) We saw double attendance from year’s past, and have seen the families in our church soften towards our leaders. This isn’t rocket science people. We’re trying to open the door to our families to be together, and not just create events that compete against everything else happening inside and outside the church. If this is all we do, I know it won’t be enough; but we’re taking baby steps here.
- We’ve also changed our cattle call of a Child Dedication service to more of a parent training event. What happens on stage on a Sunday Morning will be about the same as it’s always been, but what parents have to do to get to that stage has changed. I know that to some this might sound so simple, but we just asked that all parents desiring their child be dedicated attend a parenting class. The class will be about 75 minutes in length, and include a few minutes of table discussion. No dinner is served, no public speaking by those in attendance is needed, just their presence and a desire for them to be spiritual leaders in their home. Simple really. There is lots of room for improvement, and it will be tweaked to further benefit our parents as it grows.
- We taken away the drop your kid off Baptism training, and instead put tools in the hands of our parents. We’re distributing information (online only) that will help parents discuss whether their child is ready to accept Jesus as their Lord, and help them introduce baptism to their children. We’ll still do occasional large group altar calls, and I will always be available to help families that want their hand held during this journey; but we’re really surrendering the main responsibility to the parents on this one. I should probably say that after mom/dad/grandparent/guardian use the tools to talk with their kid, I will be meeting individually with each family before an actual baptism takes place.
These are some of the simple steps that we’ve taken to reintroduce our families to spiritually leading their own families. Simple, right?