I recently read in a business book about the concurrent release of two digital book readers, the Sony Reader and the Kindle, several years ago. One was a clearly better product than the other in terms of greater capacity and capabilities; however, the dividing line was that the Sony Reader had to be plugged in to a computer to download books and the Kindle... did not. Guess which reader is still around today? It was this “…one less step” that skyrocketed the Kindle, the inferior digital reader, into success.
I can’t help but consider how this “…one less step” principle might apply to our children’s and family ministries. Yes, many families are busier than ever. But rather than treating parents as passive recipients of our ministry’s services, or worse as the thorn in our ministries, I want to assume not only that they may be able, but that they want to become active partners in ministry. Instead of buying into negative stereotypes, let’s utilize family strengths to that end.
Remove the extra step.
How can we apply this “…one less step” principle to our ministries to creatively resource and support the parents in your ministry? I believe it comes down to carefully curating resources for the parents in our ministries. If you're a parent, you get this: life is busy and overwhelming. If we have to do too much research to access what we're looking for, we're out.
As pastors, let's take the responsibility to set up our parents for the win. How:
Carefully curate resources for parents.
Look for the best resources.
Include Bibles for different age groups, topical books and materials related to your Sunday lessons. Include topics such as: how to lead your child to the Lord, when is your child ready for water baptism, as well as social concerns, blogs, podcasts, apps that both kids and parents might be interested in.
Make them easily accessible.
Rather than putting these all on a single (overwhelming) list, create age-based and subject-based lists, and incrementally release these lists so parents don’t find themselves overwhelmed.
Create a Parent Resource wall or display in the children’s area of your ministry. Use this as “communication central” – put the above materials in this place to grab at any time. Provide preview copies of recommended Bibles, parenting books, and other reading material. Include pocket-sized “idea cards” with family activities
Are you overwhelmed by this? Let me help you.
In my next few posts, I'll provide several ideas for you.