Family Centered Ministries
The Church’s mission is to make disciples of all nations. At CMF, we believe a primary strategy for accomplishing this mission is through the family. It’s a strategy that has been neglected in the church in recent history. God established the family not just for companionship but for discipleship.
It’s been said about the American church that we disciple children and play with adults, when we should disciple adults and play with children.
We are intentional about training and establishing families as the hub for spiritual care and growth. Thus, children’s ministry takes place in the child’s home, and our children’s ministers are called Dad and Mom.
We encourage every father – or mother if necessary – to gather his family together for daily Family Worship. “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
Pastor Scott Brown writes, “Our church strives to prepare her people for this task. I have personally trained many men and women for it by utilizing a four-point training course on how to conduct family worship. It takes about 30 seconds to deliver. First, simply open your Bible and read it to your family. Second, after you have read it, you should ask your family to share the spiritual truths that stood out to them. Third, have your family earnestly pray for one another, making requests of God for His favor, for family, church, community, nation and world, and to cry out for the souls of the lost. Fourth, sing together as a family. For when God and the Word of His grace are exalted, the fountains of living water begin to flow.”
Pastor Arthur Pink (1886-1952) wrote: Nor may any Christian plead that he is not qualified for such a work: gifts and talents are developed by use and not by neglect.
What we DON’T want to do is make this complicated. Family Worship should be conducted reverently, earnestly, and simply.
Are you married with no children? Or are your children grown and out of the home? Husbands and wives can still gather together for Family Worship. Grandparents can have Family Worship when their kids and grandkids come to visit.
Sunday Worship and Fellowship
What a joy to gather each week with other families and believers to worship together, study the Word together, pray for each other and be in fellowship with one another. We meet every Sunday at 10:00am at 190 River Ridge Circle in Burnsville, MN. Bring your family and your Bibles.
We are intentional about having children age 4 and older stay for the entire worship service because we believe that families ought to worship together! We realize kids may not understand everything from the message, but we believe God is planting seeds in these young hearts, seeds that will one day take root, yielding the fruit of repentance that leads to salvation in Jesus.
Pastor John Piper writes, ““If you want your child to grow up in the church and love the church – love the church. Don’t send them off to Sunday School or children’s church. Show them how you love to worship God.”
You might find this article enlightening: Why You Ought to Have Your Children With You in Church.
At CMF, children age 3 and under are dismissed during the sermon for a Bible lesson and activities.
Midweek Family Night
Bring the family to our Midweek Family Night every Thursday at South Suburban Evangelical Free Church (12600 Johnny Cake Ridge Road, Apple Valley). Here’s the evening schedule:
6:30pm – Fellowship
7:00pm – Men’s or Women’s Bible Study
7:00pm – Kids’ fellowship and gym time
8:15pm – Wrap up and clean up
The men and women will alternate each week being in Bible Study where we will be “preparing God’s people for works of service so the body of Christ may be built up.” (Ephesians 4:12) The group not in Bible study will watch the children.
The goal of our Bible studies is to raise up men and women of God. So regardless of your situation – youth, young parent, single, married with no children, retirement age, etc – all are welcome and encouraged to participate.
The youth in grades 7-12 will continue to meet together on their own special night for Bible Study and fellowship, but we don’t want their involvement to stop there. We encourage the youth to attend our midweek family night and, either help watch the children, or participate in one of the adult Bible Studies. We also encourage youth to use their gifts for the building up of the body (we praise God that the majority of our worship teams are comprised of youth!).
We view our youth as a vital part of the congregation and strive to create opportunities for them to interact with the entire body of Christ.
Family Service Projects
Because we value and seek to strengthen families, CMF is intentional about organizing service projects that are family friendly. We have three regularly scheduled service projects that welcome all ages.
St. Stephen’s Men’s Shelter Meal Prep
Monthly: First Saturday at 9:30am and/or 6:00pm
The first Saturday of each month at 9:30am, we gather in a home to prepare a meal for the men of St. Stephen’s Men’s Shelter in Minneapolis. Common activities: stuff gift bags, cut fruits and vegetables, mix ingredients, assemble utensils, and make brownies. Everything is provided; just show up to help and enjoy the fellowship while we work!
At 6:00pm a group brings the food to St. Stephen’s and serves the meal to the men at the shelter. Contact us for more details.
Cobblestone Game Night
Monthly during the school year: Second Tuesday at 7:00pm
This is fun and relaxed ministry to the senior residents of Cobblestone Apartments (off of Pilot Knob near to Think Bank and Pizza Ranch in Apple Valley). We play bingo and other games with the residents in order to build friendships. The whole family is welcome to come. You don’t need to bring anything; snacks are provided.
Visit with Vets
Every other Month: First Sunday at 1:15pm
Six times a year, we head over to the Veteran’s Home in Hastings to bless the vets with goodies and conversation. Bring the entire family! Common activities: cut pie, scoop ice cream, make cards for the residents, and enter into conversations with the men. The goodies and card-making supplies are all provided. Plan on joining us after church on the first Sunday of the following months: February, April, June, August, October, December. Contact Pastor Mark if you would like to volunteer or you need more information.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.Deuteronomy 4:6-9