3 Ways Doing a Family Service Is a Game Changer

Do you ever get the sense that parents and families are overwhelmed by their frantic pace of life? That they barely have time to stop and take a breath?

I’ll never forget the Sunday a dad came up to me and made a confession.

He said he was sorry that he hadn’t been able to ask the weekly question we text every Saturday.

He said that he hardly got to see his family during the week with school activities, sports, and work, but he didn’t want it to be that way.

It was the moment I realized that we needed to do something to bring families together because it could be the only quality time they would spend together.

And so we decided to do a Family Service, a kid-centric experience for families to learn about God together, the first Sunday of every month.

Here are the 3 ways it’s been a game changer for us.

1. It connects disconnected families.

The world isn’t slowing down.

Families aren’t looking for more things to add to their weeks or their schedules.

If they had time to make a wish, it would probably be that they had less on their plates or more time in the week.

Which is why we decided to do the family service on a Sunday morning; we didn’t want to add another thing for families to come to.

Like the dad I talked to, we know there are a lot of families who barely see each other, and so the family service could be the one hour in the entire month that families get to sit down, take a breath, and really connect with each other about God.

2.  It widens the front door.

The wider the front door, the more opportunities your church has to reach people far from God.

A family service is an awesome opportunity for families to invite other families.

It erases the excuse of “We’ve been to church and it just isn’t for us” or “We go to so-and-so church (unspoken: about 2.5x’s per year)” because it’s totally different than anything 90%+ of other churches are doing.

Then once a non-Christian family comes and experiences how fun it is and how much their kids love it; they’ll want to come back for more.

3. It creates an opportunity for you to cast your vision for families to families.

You can try to cast your vision to parents through kids, but it’s an uphill battle at best.

Doing a family service gives you a natural opportunity to share your vision and passion with parents, so that they can catch it.

When they catch it, the chances are they’ll become contagious.

Once that happens, don’t be surprised if the whole church catches it.

Once the whole church catches it, don’t be surprised if it spreads outside the church doors and into the community.

Do you have a family service? Is there something else you do that has been the biggest game changer for you? I’d love to hear about it, so leave a comment.

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8 Responses

  1. Lois Scott says:

    I was unable to login on this site.

  2. Elana says:

    How do you do this with-in a church without isolating all the people who don’t fit the category? teens & young adults without family or parents at church. Those single and longing for family as well as those who have been trying to have kids forever? I can see the benefit of family time but I think I would need to find another way to facilitate this with 50% of our church not fitting the category. Ideas anyone?

    • That’s definitely a big tension that we try to balance. Even though our target audience is families, through the flow of the service we are inclusive of everyone and don’t single out families for any element. We also make sure the whole church can be involved in whatever we use for our main idea and challenge. And another big thing we emphasize are spiritual family members. Something we say is: “A lot of churches want a 1:5 adult:child ratio, but we want a 5:1 adult:child ratio because the more Christian adults in the lives of kids the greater the chance they’ll remain in the church , which means we need everyone in the church being present in the lives of our kids.”

  3. Teresa Goller says:

    What does your typical Family Service look like?

    • We do ours the first Sunday of every month to kick off the new theme. The curriculum we use is Orange, which actually has all the material for a family service built in. The idea behind a family service is basically that parents attend a service designed for kids with their kids. Here’s the basic format:

      Open with 2 Kid’s worship songs

      Welcome/Intro the Month’s Theme and Verse

      Fun Challenge (We get ideas from Jimmy Fallon) that includes parents competing against their kids

      Improv sketch where we use audience members or really anyone you want to introduce the main idea

      Bible story (Orange curriculum provides a video, so we use that)

      Landing- Review the Main Idea/Set up a response time

      Lightening Round (People have 1 minute each to answer 3 questions- the first question is an ice breaker for all the introverts, the second ties into the main idea, and the third is geared toward who a family can invite to church)

      Family Prayer Time- 3-4 minute worship song while families pray together about the main ideas and any prayer requests

      Announcements and Offering

  4. Diane Roth says:

    I have never heard of “Orange”. where would I find it?

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