So I started doing a new thing recently. It’s not a new thing, in fact it’s a really old thing. People have been doing it for centuries. It’s not that mind blowing or creative and it doesn’t even sound very impressive. And yet it has been profound and wonderful. What is it you ask?
I have started to intentionally visit families every family who are members of our church, specifically in their homes. It sounds simple, it sounds obvious. It sounds mundane even but I honestly think it’s some of the best ministry I’ve ever done.
It started because Covid restrictions began to ease and we could still not gather in large numbers but we could visit homes. What an opportunity! The idea was simple: start to see families and kids face to face and be able to take stock on a few key questions; where are our families at? How are they going? What does church look like for them at home? How can I pray for them? What is their next step of discipleship?
I can’t tell you how beneficial these visits have been. Initially it met a need, but now it has become a key part of ministry to kids and families. I’ve realised that if I am to serve these families well, the first step is to know them well!
I’ve been able to see where and how they live, what they put on their walls, who is in their picture frames, what their favourite family dinner is… Kids have shown me their rock collections and Peppa pig toys, the garden they planted with dad in lockdown, the Bible they read every night and the “Jesus craft” they have mounted proudly on their fridge. I’ve decorated cupcakes for afternoon tea, walked dogs, helped write school speeches and played board games. I’ve roasted marshmellows and sung songs… I’ve had dance parties in lounge rooms and cried with parents who are doing it tough. It has been some of the most rich discipleship I’ve done (pre or post Covid).
Put simply, I think it’s some of the most effective ministry I’ve ever done. I’ve realised that in the planning and programming of kids min, I can often overlook and underestimate the value and importance of simply meeting with my flock, in their paddock. And I pray that this will be something I never stop doing: slowing down and meeting with our families has been a joy and a privilege. Praise God!