In this episode, I talk with the author of Spiritual Parenting, Dr. Michelle Anthony. We walk through some of the principles in her book, and then break down what family ministry looks like at her church. She shares the groups, events, resources, and other unique components of their plan for equipping parents to be the primary spiritual leaders in their kids' lives.
Dr. Michelle Anthony
Links Mentioned in This Episode
Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family (book) – Dr. Michelle Anthony explores how to avoid the six dysfunctional parenting styles and lead your child into the abundant life Jesus has for them
Spiritual Parenting (book) – Dr. Michelle Anthony shares practical examples and biblical insight on the spiritual role of parenting
7 Family Ministry Essentials (book) – Dr. Michelle Anthony and Megan Marshman explore the seven things that are essential for leaders who are equipping parents and coming alongside them as they lead their kids into a growing relationship with Jesus
HomeFrontMag.com – A resource for churches to share with parents to help them create fun, spiritually forming times in their homes
First Time Family Process
- A family registers with their basic information
- Families receive a card inviting them to the next parent orientation
- They receive a follow up email that introduces them to the ministry, welcomes them, and invites them to share about their family
- Parents complete the follow up intake form that asks them questions about the structure of their family and invites them to share any specialized needs
Elements of a Parent Orientation:
- Sit at small group tables based on the age of your kids
- Tables are led by a staff or key volunteer from that area of the family ministry
- Invite parents to answer: What is the most difficult thing about being the primary spiritual leader of your child? How can we as a church support you in this role?
- Transition to large group time where the vision of the ministry is shared
- Staff members are introduced
- Resources and programs are shared and explained
Equipping Parents Pathway
- Parent orientation
- Go through Spiritual Parenting study
- Engage with HomeFrontMag.com (A monthly plan for families)
- Receive take home resources each week that summarize that week and point to the next one
- Participate in quarterly family nights and other family events
Family Ministry Models
- Family friendly model where the church offers experiences and events the family can share in together
- Family centered model where families are together all the time and not separated by ages
- Family sensitive model where the church attempts to meet the needs of all families and champion social issues that families are facing
- Family empowered model where the main intent is to empower parents to be the spiritual leaders of their homes
- Get Dr. Anthony's books, check out her study on RightNow Media, and check out HomeFrontMag.com
- Ask: What is my pathway? How are we equipping parents? Then, have some conversations about what 4-5 steps you want to point new families to.
- Consider hosting a parent orientation to help parents understand the vision of your ministry and know that they are not alone
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Next Episode: Jana Magruder
In the next episode, I talk with Jana Magruder, author of Nothing Less. Nothing Less is a book based on research with Protestant parents, that asks the questions: What were the things that influenced your child's faith the most? and What mattered most in helping them follow Jesus? Jana walks through the top indicators, and also shares a few surprising things that didn't make the list and why.