(picture originally uploaded to Flickr by RottyM)
Today we are looking at chapter eight of Think Orange entitled “Essential #3: Reactivate the Family.” The contributor for this review is April Smith. April is the preschool minister at Church of the Way in Lawrenceville, GA.
When You Combine 2 Influences You Build An Everyday Faith
I love Halloween! It’s probably my favorite holiday. I love the laughter! The candy! The costumes! The excitement and imagination in the air! All the orange! The way kids and parents hang out together. In chapter 8 Reggie proposes what if church were more like Halloween? Holidays are built around the idea of family. What if churches were? What if everything we did focused on equipping parents to be the spiritual leaders in their homes? What if we really believed in them? What if we partnered with them?
Chapter 8 discusses how every parent we meet should be seen as a partner with our ministry, but they may be partnering at different levels. There are four levels that help us know where parents are, so we can help them move to the goal of being the spiritual leaders in their homes. We as leaders have the responsibility to equip parents to be the spiritual leaders in their homes. “Will we measure the parents we meet by our ideal standard of what a family should be, or will we see them as a part of God’s story of redemption and restoration?”
Aware – Parents are concerned about a particular situation or development. They are outside the church but open to it. They might reconsider church if they thought it was relevant to the moral or spiritual development of their children. They want to become better parents. Unfortunately most churches are more concerned about focusing inward to the needs of parents who are already in the church.
Involved – Parents have a basic relationship with the church. They may be just bringing their kids to church but they are taking steps to influence their kids spiritually. They feel better about their parenting because they are involved in activities with their kids. Sadly, research shows that about 80% of these churchgoing parents say the church has done little or nothing to help them be better parents. Most leaders assume because these parents are attending church that they are better parents. Most church strategies include adult programming for adults and kids’ programming. Partnering with families does not mean only involving parents and kids in separate programs.
Engaged – Parents are committed to partnering with the church. They are growing and assume some responsibility for spiritual leadership in the home. They attend family experiences together at church. They participate in leading children in activities sent home to encourage what they’re learning at church.
Invested – Parents devote time and energy to partner with the church. They understand the strategy of your ministry and participate with Christian parent groups. These parents have bought in to the philosophy of being the spiritual leader and being a partner with the church.
“Every parent needs you as a partner. Start acting like it.”
You can check out the other posts in this project:
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 9
- Chapter 10