A recent study conducted by Awana shows that on average a child will only make it to church less than two Sundays a month. That’s only 24 hours a year. One day, that’s it. You have one day to build relationships, create community, and make disciples. It’s an equation that simply doesn’t work.

 As church culture changes and attendance becomes less predictable, it is imperative that we, as ministers and volunteers, find ways to connect to people outside the walls of our building.

Here are 12 ideas that will stretch to build relationships and foster faith formation outside of our Sunday comfort zone.

  1. Text the parents/caregivers in your church a quick word of encouragement.
  2. Find out when lunch is served at the local elementary school and obtain permission for the school/parents to eat with the kids from church (my kids LOVE it when I show up to eat with them!)
  3. Write a notes for your small group or Sunday school class and tell them to open it… on Tuesday.
  4. Tell your pastor, youth pastor, or children’s minister how much you appreciate the time they give to serve the next generation.
  5. Show up at a basketball game, soccer game, softball game, ballet recital, piano recital, dance recital, etc. and cheer your kids on!
  6. Take fifteen minutes one morning and pray for each child/family/volunteer that you serve.
  7. Host a family event such as a barbecue, picnic, game night or movie night.
  8. “Catch” a kid doing something good and tell Mom and Dad in front of him/her how blessed you were by their actions.
  9. Offer to cook a meal for a tired mom and let her know you see her hard work.
  10. Send a congratulatory card to dads at your church for the great job they are doing with their family.
  11. Honor grandparents by letting them tell their story on video and then share it with their grandchildren.
  12. Participate in a Bible study with a member of the youth group and let them pick the topic.

Once we start taking our faith and building relationships outside the walls of the church, I suspect we may just start seeing more families and new friends inside the walls of the church.

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Christina is wife of Pastor Luke and mom to Hannah, Naomi, and Caleb. She has been serving in ministry since 2010, first as a director of children's ministry and now as a family minister near Lexington, KY. She is passionate about helping churches transition into family ministry and equipping parents for discipleship in the home. She is currently completing studies at Wesley Seminary at IWU for a Master's degree in ministry with a focus on children, youth and family, with the desire to help churches grow their family ministries.