Before we start, I’d like to ask a couple of questions.
Do you . . .
- believe that families with elementary aged kids are important to the church community?
- think that the major moral influence in a kid’s life is from parents?
- believe that a local church should do all they can to encourage and equip parents to be spiritual leaders in their homes?
It would be difficult to find many churches or leaders that wouldn’t offer an enthusiastic “Of course!” to those questions. We all understand how parents impact kids (after all, we all had parents). We also can easily see how growing families need the church. The reverse is also easily seen – growing churches need families.
Equipping families to grow spiritually
I think we’re all on the same page so far, but here is the point where we may start to move in different directions: WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT?
What are we, as church leaders, doing to help families, kids, and churches have a consistent relationship that helps each of us grow and develop?
I know, I know. We have programs. Lots of programs.
I won’t start listing them here because you already know what they are. And you may have already doubted their strategy, purpose, and effectiveness in ministering to families. They started with the best of intentions. And they may have had a season where they were amazing at bringing in some community members or allowing families to serve. But maybe they haven’t proven to be as aligned with the rest of the church’s mission as time has passed.
What if there was a strategy that would help include families into your church community no matter where they were in their faith journey? A strategy that could include single parents, new parents, grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, and elementary aged kids of every background imaginable. On top of all that, the strategy not only helps you recruit volunteers to help in various roles, but it creates a culture where the volunteers begin recruiting people in their own circle of influence!
What is FX?
Imagine a strategic place in your church community that you could regularly speak to parents to encourage and equip them to be even better spiritual leaders. But wait, there’s more! This strategy also centers around the idea that the ideas, concepts, and faith building encouragement is best applied in our everyday lives. In our homes. With our families.
Parents and kids – together.
The strategy is called FX, a stylized way of saying Family Experience. It’s something I’ve personally been involved in creating, implementing, and teaching for over 25 years. I believe it’s the hub of the Orange strategy because I’ve seen it work. FX puts your ministry into an active position for encouraging and seeing life change for kids and parents, regardless of their faith journey. It combines the strengths of the church with the strengths of the family to form something impossible for either the church or the family to do on their own.
FX is more than another church program. It’s is a strategy.
The Family eXperience is so much more than an event or a program added to your already busy schedule. It’s a strategy to help you as a church and as a leader invest your time and resources in a way that effectively helps you achieve your mission. FX intentionally sets aside a specific time and place to put parents AND their children in the same environment and using a multi-media, fast paced style to communicate eternal truths that are relevant to their daily experience. When parents and kids can remember a video, or a joke, or a song, that they both shared at the same time in the same place, it sticks. It sticks in their memory and sticks in their own individual family culture. It is no longer something they experience one day a week, but it becomes something they live with each day.
One place many churches begin is with Jingle Jam, a free downloadable event for families – jinglejamfx.com
We’ll also be releasing another Easter Jam experience for 2022 soon.
Both of those events are a great way to dip your toe into the waters of an effective FX ministry. But please, don’t let it stop there. Families need to know that churches are on their side and wiling to actively partner with them. Churches need to provide ways for parents to comfortably be a part of the faith community. Christmas and Easter get a lot of focus from people who are seeking ways to incorporate faith into their lives, but we understand that twice a year isn’t optimal for truly making this a priority.
It’s not a one-time experience. It’s ongoing.
You can make FX an effective part of your ministry on a monthly, weekly, or seasonal basis. Your 252kids curriculum already includes a weekly FX plan from August to November, with a single Christmas featured script called Jingle Jam in December. The weekly scripts pick up again in January through the end of March, and again feature a single special event for the Easter holiday. Finally, weekly scripts finish out the school year through the end of May. We think this is an optimal plan for most churches to partner with families, and constantly stoke excitement and enthusiasm for the environment.
I know that this is only the beginning of the conversation. If this is the first time you’ve even heard of FX or if you’ve only begun to look into this distinctly ORANGE strategy, please keep asking questions. We’d love to help you incorporate FX into your community easily and effectively and we have the tools available for your leadership.