Our local church offered a ministry fair for the congregation to learn more about the opportunities to serve within the local church. Each ministry and small group was invited to set up a table with visuals and be ready for conversation to invite the local Body of Christ to serve or at the very least, get more information about the ins and outs of serving within the various departments, small groups, and age-level ministries in addition to choir, technical teams, and hospitality. The congregation would make actual commitments the following week in worship.
A Ministry Fair may seem old school, but I’ve gotten the most traction for energy-filled ministry by going old-school in fresh ways especially over the last two years. As the lead for children’s ministry, we decided to post the many new opportunities to serve. New opportunities to help defy four myths of serving in family ministry in the local church.
Myth #1 – Serving in ministry with families is only on Sunday morning.
Most church folk steer clear of anything that will take them away from their Sunday school class or will alter their Sunday morning routines. What we know today is that fruitful, life-giving ministry will take place on other days of the week and much is done behind the scenes. Offering life-giving ministry to families outside of Sunday morning is going to be our bread and butter and fits the rhythms of today’s families.
Our response? Tuesday night kid’s Bible study team, summer Thursday night drive-in team, drive-thru live nativity team, Campfire Christmas team, bus drivers, bulletin boards (I have 4 located on campus), social media friend team, small group hosts.
Myth #2 – Serving in ministry with families is only for adults.
It requires some thought, but every single ministry in the church should have developmentally appropriate ways for children and youth to serve alongside adults. Children and youth can serve in meaningful ways. We offered a sign-up card which listed new areas for children and youth to begin serving and learning skills to help them share the love of Jesus at home, at school, and at church.
Our response? Family small groups, McEachern Kids monthly missions team, playdates K5-2nd, card writing, special projects (one-and-dones that come up), food (bake, cook, host), table cloth care, first-time guest hospitality, special needs friend team.
Myth #3 – The goal of the ministry fair is to toss the net for volunteers to fill spots.
The ministry fair is a great place to take a relationship with a fellow disciple to the next level. I want to invite someone on fire for the Lord to spend time with others on fire for the Lord. I pray the Lord will not let me nor my team be satisfied with mediocre discipleship. Energy draws energy and builds life-giving energy. I’m trusting the Holy Spirit is working in the minds and hearts of His people to do something for Him. Family ministry could be the answer to THEIR prayers.
Our response? Home improvement classes, family summer local mission trip, small group hosts, skills classes, sanctuary kid’s host for clipboard team, summer special events, spring special events, winter special events.
Myth #4 – Only the ministry lead should talk about the ministry.
The children’s ministry theme was “There’s a SPOT for you in McEachern Kids”. All of our team members wore polka-dot clothing on Ministry Fair Sunday. People knew (I mentioned it for two weeks prior in the children’s moments) that whoever the congregation saw wearing spots would be the best people to talk with about serving on the McEachern Kids team. The one gentleman on our team who did not wear polka-dots (he’s a general contractor so there’s not much beyond flannel and plaid in his closet) instead dedicated his entire morning (both services and in-between services) recruiting and chatting with two specific men and would not let them go until they returned a completed sign-up card to me.
How could a ministry fair help you minister to families and encourage the Body of Christ you serve to love littles and their bigs to Jesus in new ways and beyond Sunday mornings?