Your ministry needs a family experience (FX) – a shared experience between parents and kids where they can hang out together and hear/see the same thing at the same time. Do you have one?
Are you panicking at the thought of another event on your maxed out budget? And what about all those volunteers?
Nope. No way. Not possible.
Let me challenge you: it IS possible. Here are the top three reasons I hear from other leaders who struggle with starting an FX. Let’s look at the myths and then work our way into the truths:
Myth #1 – It takes a huge team, elaborate props, unlimited budget, and a ton of time.
Truth – Sure, it’s awesome to have a huge budget that you can use to make flying rubber chicken contraptions and raffle off fabulous prizes to get them through the door; but in reality, a couple of the right kinds of stage personalities and a little bit of creative storytelling can go a long way. Keep in mind that the games you play, the language you use, and the things you give away need to somehow bring it back to the kids AND the parents doing this together.
Myth #2 – You have to have one every month.
Truth – Start with one and then if you felt like it accomplished it’s purpose (see above), do another one. Try to add another element each time you do it. Look around your church, you have people just itchin’ to be asked to showcase their gifts. One shared family experience a year is better than no shared experiences at all. Capitalize on things that are already happening at your church. Does your church blow the doors off the place at Easter? Invite parents to stay for 30 minutes after your biggest Easter service and have them do something together. This gives you a platform to cast vision to your parents and even begin to equip them to lead at home (so don’t blow it when it comes to handouts, be strategic about it!)
Myth #3 – FX is just another kid’s program.
Truth – This is the biggest myth of them all. We plan our family experiences according to what an average dad will find humorous. We put dads on our stage as often as we can, we have dad’s act out of the story, and we have dad’s on our creative team. If we can convince the dad that he will have a good time then we’ve won the whole family. In the same respect, single moms love us because we put fun, outrageous, male leadership in front of their kids. Blended families love us because we give them a way to connect with their step-children on the way home. Wives love us because we get their husbands to do just about anything to be “famous” for their kid(s). I even catch our church leadership in the back each month checking things out. A lot of times, they don’t even have their kids or grandkids with them.
Whatever your FX looks like, remember that it always has to come back to getting parents and kids in the same room for a shared experience. And don’t forget to cast some vision while you’ve got the captive audience!
How often do you get your kids and parents in the same room for a shared experience? How can you capitalize or edit your already-existing rhythm or programming and tailor it towards a family experience?