The family and the church are most powerful when their influence is combined and aligned. Reggie Joiner

Parenting in today’s world is a challenging task. The parts of Emmanuel that focus on kids and students have always considered parents as partners in ministry. We want to further that partnership by acknowledging and supporting parents in their primary role in the faith development of their own children and young adults.

Family Ministry is the new department of our church that includes Children and Youth as well as some focused initiatives to equip and encourage parents along the journey.

We will continue to offer age-specific environments designed to help kids and students become followers of Jesus. We will also be offering environments and resources to assist parents in their important task of spiritual parenting.

The church is God’s idea. The Family is God’s idea. Combined and aligned, we can assist our kids to develop a personal, vibrant faith in Jesus Christ. For this to happen, we all must show the difference Jesus makes in our lives. Faith is caught by our children more than taught. As adults, we live in a joyful, vibrant, all-in manner that shows we are authentic, active disciples of Jesus.

Spiritual Parenting is another way of saying what Deuteronomy 6 describes as passing faith on to the next generation. Parents are to be the primary faith shapers in their children’s lives through normal life: bedtime, eating together, being together on the road, and when waking up.

Modelling a vibrant faith is key but it’s also important for parents to develop an intentional strategy for spiritual parenting. Some examples of intentional, spiritual parenting include: family devotion time, God-talks, preparing kids for upcoming transitions/challenges, blessing your kids, praying together, promoting personal spiritual disciplines, maximizing teachable moments, and sharing parts of your personal spiritual journey as a parent.

How can the church help? We will offer supportive relational ministry environments for kids that will focus on helping them become vibrant followers of Jesus. We don’t want to try to replace the role of parents. We will seek to provide supportive ministries for kids and teens and offer some training, equipping, and encouragement for parents. More than just a busy calendar, we hope to foster vibrant faith in families.

Milestones are important points along the spiritual journey for kids and their parents. Emmanuel wants to assist families with spiritual formation through these important markers. Child Dedication, going into grade one, beginning faith in Christ, Baptism, and grade 12 graduation/becoming a young adult will be celebrated as a church family. The church will also provide some equipping for parents as they help their kids through these important steps and stages.

Questions we hope you and your family will explore this year:

How do you understand God’s desire for your family?

What does it take to have a vibrant faith in Jesus?

What is a disciple? Are you one?

What makes your family strong?

What is going right in your family lately?

How could your family grow this year?

If you were 20% more intentional to improve as a family what would you do?

In what ways is the church helping or hindering your family?

What should the Church do to make raising kids to follow Jesus more likely?

Questions for Parents: What do you think growing in spiritual parenting will mean to you personally this year?

Questions for Kids and Teens: What can your parents do that would really help you grow a vibrant faith in Jesus Christ this year? What can the church do that would really help you grow a vibrant faith in Jesus Christ this year? What can you do that would really help you grow a vibrant faith in Jesus Christ this year?

For more information about opportunities for children visit eefc.ca/children. For more information about our youth ministry visit eefc.ca/jrhigh for students grades 7-8, or eefc.ca/srhigh for students grades 9-12.