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November 2018 Family Ministry by Kathy E. Smith

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Questions for Self-Reflection:

What are the ways UCBR currently involves adults and the adult community in caring for and helping form the faith of children and teens (e.g., education programs, social-recreational programs)? What are some of the ways we might do this going forward?

Building Our Vision for Family Ministry

Part III – Twelve Reasons Why

As we wrap up this series of newsletter articles on Building Our Vision for Family Ministry, I’m sharing an article from a parent and minister on the idea of involving children in church.  While this article focuses on all-ages worship, I’d like you to read it through the lens of including families, children, and teens in activities throughout the church.  Age-cohort programming is important, no doubt about it – everyone from preschoolers to grandparents needs time with people who are at the same level of development!  But all-ages programming is important too.  Churches are one of the last places in American life that are (or can be) truly multi-generational.  This is a list of *why* we want to include families, children, and teens.  As you read it, think about how and where we could enter into family ministry more fully. 

  • Kids Are People Too: When we welcome kids in church, we acknowledge that they are important humans in the present, not just the future.

  • When we welcome kids, we are making their families feel welcome.

  • Kids Learn By Participating: When we welcome kids, we invite them to experience the sacred in community with us.

  • Kids Can Handle Sermon (and other deep thoughts): When we involve kids in church, we expose them to deep, important ideas.

  • It’s Good For Everyone: When we include kids in church, we all get to practice being generous to each other.

  • It Makes Services (and other activities) Better: When we plan for kids to be involved, we plan better, richer church activities.

  • Kids Have Lots To Offer: When you welcome kids, they are able to contribute their time and skills.

  • It Makes US Stronger: When we welcome kids in church, we strengthen relationships across generations.

  • It Can Improve Preaching: When we include children in church, our preachers are prompted to do a better job for everyone. 

  • Adults Don’t Miss Out: When kids are part of the church service, adults don’t have to miss out to lead or attend kids’ programs.

  • When we include people from very young, they don’t have a jolting transition in adolescence. 

  • When we welcome kids in church, we demonstrate how welcome everyone is.

For more detail, check out her blog post at