Family Ministry: Cultural or Positional

By now, I think most of you know that I love being a children’s pastor—it’s what God has called me to do. I have been reading and praying and eating (only because I get hungry when I read) and as I was in one of my quiet times (it was not a time out), this question popped into my head:

Should family ministry be a cultural or positional?

In other words, should my church hire or reposition/re-title someone to be a “family pastor” or should our whole church staff become a “family staff?” Taking it further, should we become a “family church?” This is by no means meant to be a negative or slam on anyone who is a family pastor. Many of my dearest friends in ministry are family pastors and they do a phenomenal job. This is more of me thinking out loud for my own life and ministry.

Reggie Joiner, in his book Think Orange, states “We really can’t expect parents to get on the same page with the church until we get on the same page as leaders.” That resonated within me not as a children’s pastor, but as a pastor in general. The family does not consist of just parents and children under 6th grade. The family consists of parents, children, teenagers, young adults, grandparents, etc. The family is bigger than a position. The family has to partner with the whole church and vice versa. I know some will say that a family pastor’s responsibility is to bring it altogether. Our youth pastor is just as much a family pastor as I am or our community pastor is.

For me and our church we are all pastors ministering with families—we’re all family pastors.

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  1. I think it’s crucial to have a Children’s Pastor. Children are so impressionable and can quickly take a wrong path… By having someone who loves this ministry and by specializing in just this ministry, children can see they are important, they are a crucial part of the church and that they belong.
    Ultimately, each Pastor is a family Pastor, but it’s like a secondary title, an unspoken part of the ministry, as each family comes together at home and in our walk through life and in Jesus Christ.

  2. Hey Justyn,
    Good post. As a “Family Pastor” I oversee childrens pastors and youth pastors and our goal is to minister to whole families (children, parents and teens). But since God’s Word makes it clear that parents are to be the main spiritual influencer in the life of the child, we center all that we do around the parents. In other words, we are always asking the question, “how does this help the parent fulfill the task that God has given them in bringing up their children?” The challenge as I see it (and the difficulty we face) is that unless the entire church buys into the philiosophy of the the family ministry, then it is just a bigger silo. As Reggie says, in order to truly minister to the whole family the church must have an integrated strategy. This is a tough sell to a lot of lead/sr. pastors. Peace!

    1. Matt, great thoughts and insights–especially since you are a family pastor. I totally agree and i agree that the toughest sell is always getting the lead/senior pastors on board. Thanks…


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