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The best way to serve families with your church’s budget

Topic / Videos

A few weeks ago I shared an infographic about what “Equipegration” looks like at Red Door Church. It’s how we “equip” the family and “integrate” them into all we do.

Out of that approach came a conversation about how we can best spend the church’s budget dollars to serve families. Is it to hire staff? Is it to run certain programs? Plan events? Buy curriculum? Something else?

My local network of youth workers here in the Cincinnati area had that discussion and we came to some interesting realizations about what’s contributed the most to change in our own families and how we can use budget money to replicate that in the lives of other families. I share what that is in this video.


Posted on May 5, 2014

  • Jon Gilliland

    Hey Tim, I’m 100% on board with the idea that the role of the youth leader is to equip parents to disciple their kids and to integrate teens into the life of the whole church. My struggle is making that happen in an effective way. If I could convince my pastor to rebuild our church from the ground up with that philosophy at the forefront, that’d be great, but that’s not very realistic. So what can a full-time youth leader in a ruralish 140 year-old Southern Baptist church in south Alabama do to equip parents (most of whom would prefer to outsource their role as spiritual leaders to me) and integrate kids (most of whom enjoy being away from their parents and being with their peers)? Feels like I’m swimming upstream here and that anything I try is like trying to stuff a square peg in a round hole. The traditional youth group reigns in my context. I know it’s ineffective in the long-term, but I’m not sure what steps we need to take to shift the paradigm. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    • Hey Jon, that’s a great question, one that’s better suited for face-to-face over coffee or something. It’s kind of like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Forcing it never makes for a good fit.

      Honestly, the most fruitful ministry I’ve ever been a part of is using my home as my ministry center, first to my family, and then inviting other families in, too. And no, I don’t mean just inviting teens over nor just their parents, but treating the family as a unit, as a team, instead of a group of individuals. Let them catch the vision as they see you lead your family in prayer, scripture reading, spiritual conversations, worship, and more.

      Eventually, teens and parents will also start to wonder why they need youth group.

      • Jon Gilliland

        I love that idea. I’ve actually been thinking of bringing our youth parents together to cast a vision for them to “adopt” the spiritual orphans in our youth ministry–reaching out to their families, inviting them over for dinner to talk about life and God, loving on them in practical ways, etc. Any tips for making sure something like that is as non-awkward as possible?

        • I think that’s a great vision to cast and really hope it takes root! I’d honestly not jump the gun, though. This type of ministry will be most fruitful when the parents who are adopting spiritual orphans already have a solid spiritual foundation within their family with their own kids.

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