Family in Focus
Reaching the World by Reaching Families
By Josh Bennett
As we all know, families are under constant attack in our culture. We believe it is key for churches to reach and minister to families. When we reach a family with the gospel, the potential for generational discipleship is unlimited. Here are a few ways we minister to families at The Springs Church in Marana, Arizona.
Safe and Fun Programs for Kids
We know ministering to families begins with quality programming. Families will not continue to bring their kids to churches where they feel the kids' program is not safe and organized.
We do several things to overcome the fears a first-time parent might have:
We have a computerized check-in system that allows parents to get a contact number, input allergies, and receive a matching check-in tag for their kids. They also receive a key card that allows them to check in quickly every time they return.
We give every parent a postcard of our kids’ ministry policies and procedures. This way, they know on their first visit what is important to us as a church.
We run a background check on all volunteers and have security come by the classes several times each Sunday. These simple things combine to create a safe and well-communicated kids’ program.
Family-Focused Life Groups
Another important outreach is Life Groups that focus on marriage, families, and faith. Our latest life group is called Faith in the Family. We place a major emphasis on family discipleship in the home. Each week, couples study the Bible together and grow closer to God as a family.
This past week, 80% of the couples in our group spent at least an hour together in couple Bible Study in addition to family devotions (with kids) and prayer times. When the group started eight weeks ago, not one couple in the group was spending time studying the Bible together. The most important thing families need to do is spend quality time together in God’s Word. Praise God, we are seeing that happening!
We have a growing number of stay-at-home parents in our area. We see this as an awesome opportunity to minister to young families. Our church hosts KidZone (a program similar to a short VBS) every Tuesday morning. It has helped us connect with families on another level and has been beneficial in connecting families in the church.
Everyone can reach families in different ways. Some of our ideas may work in your context; others may not. I encourage you to find what does work and do everything you can to reach families with the gospel. The best way to reach the next generation is to reach this one and teach them generational discipleship.
About the Writer: Josh and Ashley Bennett are part of the Marana Team along with Jeff and Heather Goodman. Together, they are planting The Springs Church in Marana, Arizona.
"The Springs Church has meant a great deal to our family. Not only has it been a wonderful place for genuine fellowship and personal growth, but it was also a place that God provided for us to heal from a previously difficult church experience. We are so grateful that God provided a place where His Word is taught without dilution, and the love He calls us to is freely given. The pastors and their families genuinely care for and minister to the people that God brings through those doors. It’s a blessing to see and an honor to be a part of it."
—Marcos and Jenny Salazar