Why Family Ministry?
By Mandy Steele
I can honestly say 2013-2014 has been the most difficult for me as a parent. When I was a young parent of small children, I longed for the say when I could sit in quiet with a book, shop for groceries without corralling kids, and eat a candy bar without having to hide in a closet. Now, I spend that free time running them to extracurricular activities, helping solve social dilemmas, and worrying about their futures. Having two teens and a “tween” is not the glorious freedom I envisioned. I would give anything to time travel, back to when I was rocking babies and changing dirty diapers.
This past Sunday morning, before church, one of my teenagers managed to launch us into a crisis of existential proportions. At first I was mad. REALLY?? Setting up for children’s ministry at Momentum is no small task, and I was NOT prepared for drama. We managed to pull things together, and agree to further the conversation until we got home. I could tell he was still struggling through the morning. He finally approached me and said, “I’m going to go find Rodney.” (Our youth director) Before we left the building, he was given some direction, and assured his small group leader would be in contact with him. The tension was lifted, and we were able to have great conversation at home.
This leads me to answer the question, Why Family Ministry? It’s simple. Because COMMUNITY. Parenting can be difficult and exhausting. I love that I am a part of a church that has a family ministry that not only teaches my children to fervently pursue Christ, but also partners with parents to support them in reaching that same goal. Starting when a baby is born into our Momentum family, leaders already love on new parents by scheduling meals and making sure needs are met. As an infant, your child is being prayed over and loved on in MiniMO. Through infant dedication, Momentum is committing to partner with families to raise a great follower of Jesus. This is carried on through our children’s and youth ministries, by providing parents tools and resources to use at home, and connecting through small group leaders. 88% of students are walking away from the church at graduation; the same studies show that, when students are grounded in both FAITH and FAMILY, the percentage of those falling away from the church drops to less than 4% (Family to Family, NAMB) “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
I am passionate about our family ministry because our family is directly impacted by it, and I can see the influence it has had in our home. They have met us where we are at, without judgment, and spoke into my children with truth and love. I want to pour into our family ministry what it has poured out onto our family. How wonderful it is to know your children are being prayed for, and that you are not doing this scary and sometimes intimidating thing called “parenting” alone!