Finally, you can breathe.
With a few months between you and Christmas, you might finally feel like you’ve recovered from the holidays. But don’t prop those feet up quite yet.
Easter’s coming fast (April 5), and you probably know it’s the highest church attendance day of the year! And though high attendance is great, the real success lies in how many people return. Have you thought about the weeks afterward?
With so many new faces in the crowd, opportunities for outreach abound. As a church leader, it’s your job to seize those opportunities to transform first-time visitors into full-fledged members. And who makes up a large number of first-time visitors on Easter? Families.
The question is how to truly serve these families to engage and retain them. For many new churchgoers, the church community serves as a hospital—a healing salve to their wounds—before it becomes a means for them to serve and reach others. And that’s okay! Pastors just need to understand, on a cultural level, what those pain points are and how to best address them.
We’ll start with this one: Parents want to know how to raise their kids in today’s increasingly complex, challenging culture. They want to know what it takes to instill their kids with character, contentment, humility, generosity and responsibility. It’s a tough job, and the statistics prove it:
The average teenager expects a starting salary of $73,000, while the actual starting salary for a college grad is only $27,000.
Sixty-eight percent of teens say they feel more pressure to have more things, like computers, cell phones and clothes.
Eighty-four percent of teens report owning a cell phone, while just 52 percent have a savings account.
The average college student graduates with about $40,000 in total debt: $27,000 in student loans and $13,000 in consumer debt.
In a survey of recent grads with school debt, 47 percent say they are putting off buying a house or car, 76 percent saving for the future, and 35 percent starting a family.
It’s no wonder parents have a felt need to prepare their kids for the adult world! But many aren’t sure where to start. That’s where the church can help—partnering with parents on that journey.
According to finance expert Rachel Cruze, starting good habits young is key.
“If you as the parent have these conversations with your kids and show them how to live a debt-free life, you have given them a tremendous gift,” says Rachel in Smart Money Smart Kids, the book she’s coauthored with her father, Dave Ramsey. That book serves as the building block for an all-new six-week curriculum series by the same name.
“Most parents today don’t think to talk to their kids about debt, and some have even bought into the debt lie so much that they teach their kids to believe it too,” she explains. “That’s how families stay in debt generation after generation. But you can choose a different path, one that your children will thank you for for the rest of their lives.”
The new Smart Money Smart Kids study offers a tremendous opportunity for churches to come alongside families and serve them—and ultimately the next generation.
Consider holding a family series in the weeks following Easter. Begin planning it now and be ready to announce it at your Easter service. Then you can encourage visitors to return in the following weeks.
And while a sermon series is a great first step toward meeting your community’s parenting needs, it can’t be the only means of serving them. Smart Money Smart Kids can be an effective tool in your parent ministry plan. After all, true impact comes through a knee-to-knee discipleship program. Parents need the opportunity to share their challenges, concerns and victories within the support network of their church.
Because when your church is there for them, you have the potential to change their lives, the lives of their kids and their relationship to Christ. How much better does it get than that?
Ramsey Solutions is introducing a six-week class for parents called Smart Money Smart Kids, available for pre-order now. Memberships are available to individuals online or through church coordinators. The class aims to teach parents how to raise money-smart kids while instilling biblical character qualities that will help kids grow successfully into adulthood. Learn more at SmartMoneySmartKids.com.