If you have ever tried to describe an FX to someone who has never seen one, you know you have a problem. It’s like trying to describe the taste of squirrel to someone who has never eaten it. I don’t know if it works this way for you, but I always seem to be talking to someone who says, “So, it’s like children’s church, right?” Noooooooo!
So, what are you supposed to do? (About the FX not the squirrel.)
You want to cast vision for this wonderful environment that equips parents to be spiritual leaders in their home, but still—they’ve never tasted squirrel.
Don’t make the mistake I have made at times, and try to explain it in terms they may already have experienced. I call this the “It tastes like chicken” approach. It works something like this: “Well, it’s kinda like children’s church, except you put parents in the room, and it’s better.”
First, that’s not the truth. Squirrel does NOT taste like chicken. Second, you’ve just associated something completely new to someone’s experience with something that may not have a great experience attached to it for them.
Honestly, how many of us have enjoyed children’s church? Come on. Raise your hands. Uh, huh. More people like squirrel.
I think the next time I try to describe the indescribable, I’m going to go a different route. Obviously, the easiest way would be to take the person asking to a Family Experience, but that’s not always an option. Maybe the next best thing is to emphasize what happens when an FX does what it is designed to do; the church partners with families in a relevant and meaningful way.
What if you could imagine a place that felt like someone cared about what happened to you that week? What if that place was as much fun for kids as it was for parents? What if it was a place that families went to be
- inspired to be a better dad, mom, or kid,
- equipped to make a difference,
- encouraged by other people to laugh together?
Is that a place you’d like to go? Is that a place you’d like to invite other people? Is that a place that would help a church be more relevant to families? Of course it is.
Family Experience ultimately isn’t a set of rules that you can check off to create an environment. It’s a vision for a relationship—actually, many relationships. So, like all relationships there isn’t one single way it should be done. If you keep the goals in mind, and honestly evaluate whether you are getting closer or further away from them, you will continue to build an excellent FX.
I hope that helps you cast vision for your leaders, families and volunteers. And then maybe you should take them out for biscuits and squirrel gravy—or maybe not.