What might happen if the whole church turned its time, energy, and attention to revitalizing Family Ministries? What if “Family Ministries” became more than a position and overflowed into a whole-church commitment to cultivating the next generations of seekers and servant leaders?
At a recent planning retreat, convening Church Staff and Church Council together, we sanctioned a common priority: to amplify ways we value children, youth, and families by providing dynamic and inviting worship, faith education, and programming. To take this commitment to scale, we charged every commission and program staff member to consider information gained from the community input sessions of the summer and to design action plans for engaging children, youth, and families more deliberately and responsively.
Meanwhile, our Family Ministries Team (Rev. Mark Simone, Marty Culbertson, and Kiersti Critchfield) is in the process of renewing our approach and offerings for children, youth and families in response to the needs and values expressed. Developing a sequence of milestones for specific ages and stages of faith formation, cultivating youth leadership and advisory teams, inviting youth presence and contributions in worship, and engaging a series of family forums. These each represent the growing scope and integration of programming.
During this transition year, we are also blessed with the volunteer leadership of Kristin and Zach LeFeber as they design monthly events of Federated Fellowship for young families to build relationships and conversations grounded in faithful parenting.
Our baptismal promise to every child and parent calls the congregation to be the aunts and uncles and grandparents to each child, joining with parents to actively help raise each one in the Christian faith. How is God calling YOU to join in a comprehensive commitment to our children, youth, and families? How are you personally engaging conversation, encouraging support, getting to know the interests and yearnings and worries of our children, youth and families? God is making a new thing in you, through Christ.