Having an expectant parent ministry is fun. Expectant parents today are among the most informed! The internet and technology supplies them with the answers they need that relate to growth and development, physical, mental, social and emotional development. Marketing is at an all-time high targeting the new invested buyer. Preparation is pretty easy because of the information at their fingertips.
So, why have an “Expectant Parent Ministry?”
- Many young adults who have had a church experience are returning. They are searching for something or someone to help prepare them for the future task of parenting.
- For those who are active in church they are searching for others who will celebrate the months leading up to the birth and the days following.
- The church has a vested interest in supporting the family. We want to help the family develop a spiritual foundation for their children.
- The church wants to encourage families in their own journey to Christ-likeness.
As you start your ministry think about your goals. Obviously your first goal is to reach families. Consider these aspects;
- ministry during the pregnancy,
- ministry upon the birth of the child,
- and the months following.
Does and does the ministry connect with your church’s overall family ministry. Are families connected to Adult Sunday School classes and in relationships that will support their growth as parents? Build a bond with adult classes to help you know about families who might be expecting, particularly first time parents who might not have information about the preschool ministry. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Plan an “Open House” for expectant parents. Offer an orientation about your ministry (teachers, events, policies) so they know what to expect. Allow them to see how a baby room at church is set up and a nursing area or separate room for nursing moms. Pre-enroll the baby is possible to help their first experience be smooth in transition from mom to class.
- Call them during the pregnancy to pray for them and answer any questions they might have. Build a link with the family.
- Plan a moms’ coffee so they can meet other moms who have a common interest.
- Schedule a free dinner for expectant parents to meet other couples.
- Match up moms’ who might have a common interest or a mom of older preschoolers to create a mentoring experience.
- Prepare a reading or free Apps list for new parents. Provide resources in the form of brochures or a webpage just for new parents.
- Offer a dedication service for the families who wish to dedicate their children to God in a public way. The service can be a meaningful way for the church family to pledge their support of the families.
You may want to start small and then lay the foundation for more ministry to these families. Work with volunteers to help you navigate the opportunities. Perhaps your desire to minister to families will mirror their feelings of ministering to these young families. I truly believe that God calls people to particular ministries, so offer individuals an opportunity to join you.
You ultimate goal for the ministry is to bring to them to a saving knowledge of Jesus as Savior and Lord as well as to grow in their walk with our Heavenly Father. The Great Commission would be fitting scripture to support your ministry, Matthew 28:19.
Download a prayer guide for parents: Praying For Your Expectant Child