Engaging your children in a replant

By Mark Hallock

If you are replanting and you have children at home, it’s important to consider how your entire family will be involved. There’s no doubt your family will be affected by the call to replant, so by intentionally choosing to serve and love together, you can make the most of each opportunity.

Here are four things we learned as our kids were involved during the early years of our church replant:

(1) Serve side by side. Whatever the age of your child, they can come along. Young children can bring so much joy to the older generation and children learn not just by watching us, but by doing what we do.

When I (Jenna) was serving on our children’s greeting team, both of our children took turns helping me. They did an amazing job, and we enjoyed the time together and the opportunity to get to know the families as they came each week.

(2) Have your children involved in existing programs. If beloved children’s programs are already in place, make sure they participate.

When we first arrived at our replant, they already had special programs for children. Of course, there was Sunday school, but there also were special traditions, like children’s choir and Palm Sunday parades. We always had our kids take part in these events as an encouragement to church members who took pride in putting them on.

(3) Make friends with other families with children. If there are families in the church with children, be intentional to get to know them. (If there are no families with children, it is a good opportunity for children to interact with adults. Keep visits short if needed.)

We certainly were fortunate to have a couple of families with children. This isn’t always the case in a replant. We also were fortunate these were families we enjoyed spending time with! It was important that we built those relationships early to not only help our kids adapt, but to encourage those families that there is hope for their church.

(4) Let older kids take the lead with outreach events. What are their gifts and talents? Let older children learn how to serve your replant with their particular passions.

Our kids help with every event we put on. We have always instilled in them a sense of leadership — not with unrealistic expectations, but with an understanding that God called them and they have great potential! We’ve done everything from stuffing Easter eggs and packing Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts to distributing flyers around the neighborhood or hosting a Community Group at our home.

Ultimately, we want to do all we can to help our entire family experience the joy of replanting. This takes intentionality as parents, but what an opportunity to help our kids grow in their faith as they learn to love and serve a local church family!

Involve your kids, encourage your kids, and empower your kids to serve and lead. Watch what the Lord does in them and through them for His glory and for the good of this replant!

Published March 27, 2018

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Mark Hallock

Mark Hallock serves as the lead pastor of Calvary Church in Englewood, Colorado. He also serves as president of the Calvary Family of Churches, a group committed to planting and replanting churches for the glory of God (thecalvary.org). His great desire is to see the gospel transform lives and neighborhoods through the planting of new congregations, along with the revitalization of declining congregations, throughout the city of Denver and beyond. Mark’s favorite hobby is hanging out with his wife, Jenna, and their two kids, Zoe and Eli.