How does a local church make a connection with families in its neighbourhood who don’t know, or don’t care, that it exists?The stats on how people come to faith in Jesus Christ tell us that relationships are the key. A non-churched person has a relational connection with an existing Christian, who in time introduces them to Christian community. But where does that connection start? How do we build friendships with some of the hundreds or thousands of people who live near by?
In the latest edition of iDeas, Crossover showcases mainly music, an exciting ministry that is sweeping across the Australian church landscape. Local churches of all shapes and sizes have found that mainly music is an effective tool for building relational bridges with young families in their community.
Mainly music is a program of fun music and movement sessions for young children and their parents. It is doable by just about any church, well supported with training and resources, and meets an important felt need amongst young families.
Parents of young children generally welcome help and interaction as they approach the daunting task of raising their children. Mainly music groups tend to have no difficulty attracting people. In fact, there is often the need to develop a waiting list or run multiple sessions.
The morning tea and social time at the end of a mainly music session is also a key to their strategy. Parents of young children are often starved of meaningful conversation with others in similar circumstances and mainly music offers the perfect opportunity for social interaction and friendship building.
Most important of all, mainly music groups offer an amazing way for non-churched people in our community to meet with Christians and form a connection with a local church.
To learn more about the ministry of mainly music, watch the iDeas DVD (2009) available to watch on our vimeo channel here: http://vimeo.com/66041646
If you’re interested in some of the missiological principles behind this resource, here are a few to whet your appetite.
1. It’s a bridge into the lives of young families
Rather than being an “island of irrelevance in a sea of despair,” mainly music breaks down the distinction between people in a Christian community and those outside the church.
2.It meets an important felt need in our society
mainly music groups offer first-time parents a place to connect with more experienced parents, or simply a time for adult conversation, good coffee and friendship.
3. It’s great PR!
mainly music groups are an outstanding way to break down negative perceptions and ill-informed prejudices about church, as people encounter positive interaction with followers of Jesus. “Maybe these Christians aren’t so bad after all?”
4.It’s a great springboard for evangelism
Having formed friendships and gained the trust of those who come along it is so easy for mainly music groups to promote other events and helpful courses run by the church – especially those that are relevant to young families.
5.It’s a holistic church response
mainly music can be like a platform for all kinds of missional connections, for example, a food bank, child dedications, marriage ceremonies, or ongoing pastoral care.
6. It’s really easy!
mainly music groups are really easy to establish and they tend to grow quickly through word-of-mouth promotion. Minimal resources are required to start a mainly music group and excellent training and coaching is available
nGage By Jo Hood. prac9.