Home Equipping Leaders Children Neighborly Advice: Effective Communication to Postmodern Families

Neighborly Advice: Effective Communication to Postmodern Families

By Kevin Johnson

Neighborly advice article

The pandemic and the use of new technology has challenged our way of preaching and communicating with our congregations. How do we communicate effectively to the entire congregation?

Discipleship Ministries is introducing a new three-part webinar series that delves into deeper conversation around preaching and communicating to children and families in a postmodern neighborhood.

How do we reach children in the life of the church through preaching and other forms of communication before they become part of the unchurched statistic?

By partnering with the Fred Rogers Center and Phillips Theological Seminary, Discipleship Ministries will apply a Mister Rogers-style approach to communication with today’s families and will apply Rogers’ theological framework that is rooted in love for neighbors to reach diverse intergenerational faith communities, while thinking of children first.

This series is designed for anyone who communicates regularly with children and their families.

Do you preach every week? This series is for you!

Do you lead a children’s message during the worship service? This series is for you!

Do you want to improve and gain better understanding in your communication skills? This series is for you!

This three-part series includes conversations around:

Thursday, March 25

Preaching/Communication to the Entire Family. Just in time for Easter Sunday, this conversation will address the question, “How do we more effectively craft and deliver sermons for the entire family to hear (and understand) the gospel more clearly?” Our panelist is Derek Weber, director of preaching at Discipleship Ministries. (Watch the video archive below.)


Understanding Child/Human Development and Multiple Intelligences When Crafting Our Messages. This will be a crash course conversation in understanding development throughout the lifespan. We will discuss how the learning process changes from childhood to adulthood. Panelists will include Sarah Flannery, author of the new book Children and Family Ministry Handbook; Rev. Dawn Spragg, ordained deacon in The United Methodist Church, contemporary worship leader and licensed family counselor, and voice from the Fred Rogers Center at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.


Using the Latest Forms of Media/Technology for Effective Communication. We have all had opportunities to learn and apply the latest technologies over the past year, and this conversation will provide best practices and advice as we find new and creative ways to preach and communicate to our congregations. Panelists will include Blake Davis, Discipleship Ministries’ audio-video director; Rev. Dr. Leanne Hadley, author and elder in The United Methodist Church who has demonstrated the use of technology in the local context in fascinating ways to stay connected; and Scott Spradley from Cokesbury Publishing, who is providing totally virtual vacation Bible school this upcoming summer.

Rev. Kevin Johnson is the Director, Children’s Ministries for Congregational Vitality & Intentional Discipleship at Discipleship Ministries. Kevin’s hero Fred Rogers suggests that we, “listen to the children, learn about them, learn from them. Think of the children first.” This quote defines Rev. Kev’s approach to ministry. Kevin, an ordained elder of the Kentucky Annual Conference, has over fifteen years of ministry experience in which he has thought of the children first. Prior to ministry, Kevin worked with children in the hospital setting and in group homes for emotionally and physically abused children.

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