I’m a huge fan of the family ministry movement. I love the idea of involving parents more in the church and encouraging them to take a more proactive role at home. But, I have to be honest, I didn’t really know how the whole concept would flesh out in real life. The church has been handling “the spiritual stuff” for so long, how do we pull parents back into the picture?
My First Ideas
I tried putting great resources on display. Books for all ages, Bibles, and copies of killer blog posts I had happened upon. The table quickly became a coat rack.
I tried organizing a Family Easter Egg decorating party. Three parents attended. Two parents complained that their kids were going to get messy. Not exactly what I would call a success.
It Seemed Better in My Head…
I had a dream, a vision of what I wanted things to look like. I wanted parents sitting with their kids, worshiping together, hearing the lesson together, and then engaging with the content they just heard. I knew I couldn’t write a program like this (I can barely write a newsletter each week!), and I couldn’t really find one that fit my ideal description either.
Until 607 Generational Discipleship Experience. This is not an “everyday curriculum”. Instead, it uses major holidays to turn a regular service into a family experience. We planned to do a family service about once a quarter, so this was the perfect format for us. Plus, I think parents are more inclined to attend a “special holiday event” when a family service is advertised that way.
I took an extensive look at both the Christmas lesson and the New Year’s lesson, hoping to use them for a family service. However, the Wednesday between Christmas and New Year’s was cancelled at our church, and we all know an audience of zero is no good. I did teach the Christmas lesson to the kids in Children’s Church just to see their reaction, and they were completely engaged.
I love the fact that there’s a video midway through the lesson with “real-people” interviews or some other little vignette. And the props used during the lesson (for Christmas, it was 3 wrapped gifts containing a clock, a red heart, and CD) are simple, easy-to-relate to, memorable, and not too distracting. I’m a fan of object lessons, but it kills me when kids get all caught up in the “way-cool illustration” (you know, the ones we love to force into the lesson even when they don’t exactly fit) and totally miss the point of the lesson. These weren’t that way at all.
The Best Part
The best part about this curriculum is that parents walk away with a skill and a tool to use at home. Here’s what each lesson explains:
607 is all about helping parents live out Deuteronomy 6:07. 607 will help you host an inter-generational worship experience that’s so much more than a typical worship service: parents will walk away with an experience, a skill, and a tool.
The children’s sermon and the 607 Experience Sermon will guide
you through a themed teaching and interactive time for families of all ages.
Through this inter-generational worship experience, parents, kids, and teens
alike will be inspired to grow in their faith in Christ.
Each 607 Experience Sermon will teach a specific skill that moms, dads,
grandparents, aunts, uncles, and mentors can implement at home and into
the way we impress faith on the next generation.
Each parent or leading adult will walk away with a Drive It Home Tool
to help them impress faith on their kids and the next generation of disciples
in Jesus Christ.
For the Christmas lesson, it was ways to keep Christ the center of Christmas. For New Years, it was a worksheet that helped parents develop a family mission statement and family faith plan.
So far, there’s about ten holidays available, including Mother’s and Father’s Day. The rest of the holidays are promised by August 30th. The regular price for a year’s worth of 607 is $299.
I have to say, we just signed up to use 252 Basics for a year, and I’m not entirely impressed with the Family Experience lessons they have as part of the curriculum. I think the ones found in 607 are much better organized, more meaningful, and a lot more practical for parents. I’ll let you know how the Valentine’s Day lesson plays out!