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The Modern Family...What You Need to Know



The modern family continues to change and morph into new situations and structures.


Recent research from the Pew company has revealed this to be true.

There is no longer one predominant family structure. Families are becoming more and more diverse.

Here is an example:


In 1970, 67% of Americans ages 25 to 49 were living with their spouse and one or more children younger than 18. That has now dropped to 37%.


Here are some other current family structures:


  • 5% are cohabitating with children in the home.

  • 21% are married with no children.

  • 7% are cohabitating with no children in the home.

  • 11% have other family members living with them (grandparents, adult children, etc.)

In 1970, 69% adults were married. Today only 50% of adults are married.


In 1970, only 0.7% of adults were in a same-sex marriage. Today, that percentage is 1.1%.


Modern adults say that marriage and parenthood are now less important to living a fulfilled life. Look at these findings:


  • 71% of adults say having a job or career they like is important to living a fulfilled life.

  • 61% of adults say having close friends is important to living a fulfilled life.

  • 26% of adults say having children is important to living a fulfilled life.


  • 24% of adults say having a lot of money is important to living a fulfilled life.

  • 23% of adults say being married is important to living a fulfilled life.

What factors make up a good family arrangement?

  • 42% of adults say their own family experiences growing up.


  • 27% of adults say their religious views.

  • 19% of adults say what they have learned by observing family and friends who are married.

  • 5% of adults say what they have read in books.

  • 4% of adults say what they have watched on television.


Today's adults say they get fulfillment from...

  • Having a career or job they love (71%).

  • Having close friends (61%).

  • Having children (26%).


  • Having lots of money (24%).


  • Being married (23%).

I believe that "parent" ministry is just as important as "children's ministry."

As children's ministry leaders we should be leading the charge to invest in and help today's parents. You should devote a significant amount of your time, energy and effort to reach and disciple parents. Remember...

"When you reach a child you change a life. When you reach a parent

you change the entire family." It's not the 70's anymore. It's not even the 90's. It's 2023 at the time of this writing. Are you still trying to do ministry like it is 1970? Are you trying to connect and influence parents like it is still 1999? It may be time to make some changes if you want to connect with the modern family. Here are a few thoughts I have about this challenge: Today's families are very busy and have lots of distractions. Their schedules are crazy. Ballgame after ballgame. School activities. Dance. Karate. Extracurricular activities. In most cases, they have an extremely full calendar. We must encourage families to leave margin in their life for the things of God. This is a must if you want to see families growing in their faith. Today's families have wrong priorities. Sports rules supreme. Practices throughout the week. Games on Sunday. Traveling teams that miss church 4-5 weeks in a row. We must help them see the importance of placing Jesus at the top of their priority list. This is crucial if we want to see today's kids grow up to first and foremost follow Jesus. I like sports. I played football, baseball and basketball growing up. But never on Sunday. That was God's time. My parents refused to bow their knee to the god of sports. Today's families are engulfed in social media. YouTube. Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Pinterest. Families document their good and bad experiences for all to see as they post their life on social media. For parents, social media is the new "picture album" and "scrapbook" for all to see. Social media is a great way to connect with parents. Did you know that 95% of young mothers are on Facebook? Did you know that 98% of text messages get read? It is crucial to figure out how you can best influence today's parents through social media.

I believe we have a great opportunity to reach today's modern families. But it may take making some adjustments and dropping some things that no longer work. I know a preschool director that is reaching lots of young families. On Sunday, she asks the mother of a new family if they would like to meet for coffee at a local coffee place like Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts. She told me the vast majority of mothers say "Yes." So that week she meets up with the mother and spends time talking with her and building a relationship with her. Most of the mothers she has coffee with end up attending the church on a regular basis. Why is this working? Because this ministry leader is meeting mothers where they feel comfortable and relaxed. Modern mothers love to have coffee and chat. It provides a great platform to connect with them.

Modern families. Are you ready to engage them and reach them? The harvest is plentiful. Are you willing to make some changes to reach them? Are you willing to take a hard look at what you are currently doing? Let's go!

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