Family Ministry at Harvard Avenue

Family Ministry at Harvard Avenue

Read a little bit about our vision for Family Ministry and the role our new Family Pastor will have in helping our vision come to life!

The Family Pastor at Harvard Avenue will be a vital part of our pastoral team, strengthening our ability to minister to families faithfully and holistically. They will bring a specialized, spiritual focus to their role—recognizing that caring for one family member means caring for the entire family. Family Ministry emphasizes the importance of family dynamics and relationships as fundamental elements that impact when, why, and how young people can develop their faith.

Children’s Ministry and Youth Ministry are phrases that are more familiar to us than Family Ministry, here at Harvard Avenue. Traditionally, when we think of Children’s Ministry and Youth Ministry, we immediately envision an hour of Sunday school, a couple hours of Wednesday night activities, and a few special events thrown in throughout the year like Vacation Bible School or Mission Trips. These are tremendously valuable, transformative, and fun experiences for our children and youth that are an integral part of their spiritual development. Children’s Ministry and Youth Ministry aren’t going anywhere! We will continue to provide opportunities for our children and youth from ages 0-18 to strengthen their faith, develop friendships, and discover who God is calling them to be. However, as we move into a Family Ministry model, we will be able to expand and enhance the ways we are ministering to children, youth, and their parents.

From birth to high school graduation, we have 936 Sundays and 936 Wednesdays for worship, Sunday school, youth group, and children’s activities. We would love for families to spend every single one of those days with us at church! But, we also understand that modern families are juggling so much that demands their attention, energy, and time. Family Ministry focuses on providing families with the guidance, resources, and support they need in their daily lives that will allow them to feel more connected to Jesus, each other, and our church. We want to equip and empower caretakers to integrate faith development into their family’s life everyday—not only the days they’re able to spend with us. Our Family Pastor will focus on cultivating opportunities for families to flourish spiritually, emotionally, and relationally at church as well as in every other facet of their shared life.

With the help of Children’s Ministry and Youth Ministry staff and volunteers, the Family Pastor will establish a model for ministry that allows the church to be a central support system for families that addresses the unique needs and challenges modern families face. At Harvard Avenue Christian Church, we want families of all shapes and sizes to flourish. We want parents to feel supported and encouraged as they nurture their children and make decisions for their family. We want children to feel loved and celebrated as they explore the world and discover who they are. We want to walk alongside families in all the joys and challenges they are facing today, so that they can feel confident that their church is praying for and pouring into them. We want every child, teen, and caretaker who walks through our doors to have a stronger relationship with God, their family, and their community because we’re carrying out our mission to live and love like Jesus.

Our Family Pastor will outline a ministry framework to provide connection, continuity, and community for families as they continue to grow. This ministry framework will include theological and practical components:

– Developing a curriculum scope and sequence that mirrors our mission and core values in order to allow families to grow in their faith together in age-appropriate and life-applicable ways.

– Establishing relationships with both children and parents that encourage open communion of needs, hopes, and desires for spiritual, emotional, and social development.

– Recruiting, training, and supervising staff and volunteers who will serve as teachers, mentors, and shepherds for children and youth.

– Creating a programming schedule that accommodates the rhythms of family life and includes worship experiences, community events, life group participation, and serving opportunities.

– Overseeing administrative systems and tasks to ensure child safety, parental engagement, and regular communication.