Very few circumstances can reorient your thinking the way a global pandemic can. When church ministry was forced to shut down in March 2020, the pastors, elders, and staff of CBC Ilderton were given a rare opportunity to reorient our thinking about ministry. We came away from that time having gained a renewed perspective on what things are truly most important, and one of the many perspectives we gained was a renewed appreciation for the importance of the family in the life of the church.
The family is the most foundational unit of society, and it is the context in which God created us to grow and thrive in our discipleship. God created human beings male and female and gave them the gift of marriage, and he commanded them to be fruitful and multiply—to create families. All throughout the Bible, the importance of the family can not be understated. Many New Testament authors, including the apostles Paul and Peter, would include sections in their letters designed to instruct families how to love and serve one another rightly (see Ephesians 5:22–64 1 Peter 3:1–7 for a good place to start). Scripture is clear that the family is very important to God, and so our desire was to place that same emphasis on the family in our own church ministry.
What resulted from that desire was a noteworthy departure from the way things used to be done. Rather than having just Children’s Ministry, or just Youth Ministry, or just Adult Ministry, we have instead opted for a night of Family Ministry that seeks to serve families together—from the youngest to the oldest—on a single night at a single location.
For the children, Family Ministry Night will continue where Sunday Morning Children’s Ministry left off. It will be a time for children to grow in their knowledge of Scripture, sing songs that are biblically and theologically rich, interact with teachers and classmates, and learn through activities. However, we do not merely intend for the discipleship to end once the night is over. We plan to provide resources for parents to continue the discussion with their children throughout the week, with ideas for family discussions and activities designed to reinforce and grow each child’s understand of what they learned. While all of this takes place, older children will be able to attend Vertical Youth and adults will be able to grow through ministry opportunities of their own.
Our hope for Family Ministry is to see families grow together in discipleship—in love for one another, love for the Lord, and love for others—and we believe God will use Family Ministry Night to accomplish that. Please consider joining us together with your family beginning this Fall, and please also consider volunteering your time and giftings to the work of this ministry. While it may be true that leaders come up with the plan, it is the faithful work of volunteers that turns the plan into a reality!
All the best,