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It used to really bug me that many families seemed more committed to attending organized sports each weekend than going to church together. Then I asked myself this question: "Is it possible that a Little League organization does a better job at bringing families together than our churches do?"

After thinking about it a while, I realized that the answer may be yes. There is a definitive "payback" to families when they go watch Johnny play baseball. In other words, there is a shared family experience that is beneficial to all.

Ask yourself this question: "How often do families come together at your church?" In our culture, when a new family walks into church their first thought usually is, “Where do my kids go?”

Here is a list of observations I have made about families and churches today.
  • Families are busier than ever before
  • Because life is so busy parents value family time
  • People do not see church time as family time
My personal opinion is that life is not going to slow down. As a result of our culture's busy lifestyles, the successful church of the future will find ways to create shared family experiences to not only encourage families to attend church together, but to stay together once they walk in the doors.

Here are some things that I have done to bring families together at church.
  1. Family Service – A couple times a year do a family service on Sunday morning. Ask the youth band to lead worship, do some drama skits, short films and object lessons. Make sure that the stuff you do is not too kiddy. It needs to appeal to all generations. If your senior pastor agrees to let you do this make sure it’s really good. Practice, practice, practice!
  2. Family Vacation Bible Adventure – We moved our summer VBA from the morning to the evening and we made it a requirement that parents attend with their kids. VBA is rated "F" for Family - which means it is NOT a drop off event. It was a blessing to see that our attendance numbers stayed the same (around 1,000 people). Yes, we lost some kids, but we gained some parents.
  3. We created a Friday night show for families called Eddie’s Shake Shop. Eddie’s Shake Shop was a thirty-minute theatrical production followed by a 10-minute sermon and an altar call. Families loved it! It also brought in a lot of visitors to our church. Some nights we would have 60–70 visitors.
Therefore, I would like to challenge you to get involved in an area of your church where your family can serve together. You may or may not be in a leadership position to make changes at your church, but you can make decisions for your family. Many of the strongest families in our church serve with their kids and teenagers - either in the children's ministry or in some other ministry capacity.

Church is a great place for families to serve together! And if Little League can bring people together for a positive family experience, then the church should be able to do that as well...and more.

Copyright ©  Mark Harper Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Mark Harper
Web site: Mark Harper Ministries
Pastor and Leadership Coach, Mark Harper has 35 years of experience in the local church. He is the creator of the Super Church 2.0 Curriculum, which is used in over 5,000 churches worldwide. The focus of Mark's ministry is helping leaders build strong churches and helping parents build strong families. Not only has Mark served in the local church as pastor, associate pastor, and family ministry pastor but he is also a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team. He also recently released the Amazon Best Selling book The Red Book: The Lifeblood of Children's Ministry.

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