As I consider this approach to ministry, I'm reminded of the words of Jesus found in the gospels "You feed them."
Of the commands that Jesus gave to others while He walked this earth, perhaps one of the most extreme was on the day that He fed 5000+ people with five loaves of bread and two fish. As the crowds gathered and time began passing, it became apparent that those present would soon begin to grow hungry. As the disciples surveyed the situation, as you and I in ministry often do (assessing needs) they realized that they had a problem.
Presenting the need to Jesus, they were rocked by His answer "You give them something to eat." (Matthew 14:16) Can you imagine their shock? The disciples were probably confused by His answer. "Wait a minute, you're the one who performs miracles," or "You're the one in charge here, You do something."
As leaders in Family Ministry, we're called to equip parents to feed their children at home. Just like the disciples may have felt that day, they often feel overwhelmed by this charge. What can we do to encourage parents in this role?
Insecurities. Address their insecurities. Many times we need to know that we're every bit qualified to lead. Sometimes we just need someone else to tell us that we're capable. What can you do to affirm parents in their role as spiritual leaders in their home? Give them the confidence to know that they're highly qualified to "feed" their families.
Inventory. Jesus asked the disciples to inventory the crowd to see what was available. Help parents inventory their families constantly to determine needs. Parents many times gain mastery over a certain phase that their kids are going through only to be met with "now what?" when the next phase begins. Teach parents to be vigilant and give them tools and resources to encourage them in whatever phase they're in. (Give them books/articles on parenting toddlers, pre-teens, teenagers, etc)
Impossible: Jesus took what seemed to be an impossible situation and transformed it into something that was more than enough (12 baskets full left over). When parents are faithful, they are trusting God with what feels impossible at times. Encourage parents to stay the course, no matter how tired and discouraged they will become. Show them that God is the God of the impossible.
How do you make Jesus' command "you feed them" practical in your ministry? In what ways can you help them take inventory, address their insecurities, and trust in what seems to be impossible?