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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Family Ministry, part 1

This past weekend, our family was blessed to attend Group Publishing's "KidMin 2011" Children's Ministry Conference.  Anne and I helped in "The Shelter"- their prayer room, our boys helped out before and after the main sessions, and our daughter helped out with a band's merchandising table on Saturday night.

I also attended all of the sessions that Brian Haynes led; it was solely focused on family ministry.  Over the next few weeks, I'll post some thoughts about the sessions, his philosophy of ministry, and some ways that we might equip parents to lead their families. 

Here are some introductory thoughts right out of my notes from his first session:

Theological premise/foundation for family ministry?
-There is a generational training plan in place
-Parents and families must intentionally integrate faith into daily life
    -They do this by modeling spiritual service and evangelism

All disciples of Jesus are given the mandate to make disciples as the church.  The family has a distinct role to play.
  -Deuteronomy 6- community-wide and around my table, by the way that we live- church oversees the family by equipping them.

Family of origin has the most influential impact on the lives of kids.
   -Deuteronomy 6 to Psalm 78 to Proverbs 22:6 to Ephesians 6:4

Parents have a primary faith influence, either positively or negatively (even if absent).  They leave a legacy whether they like it or not.  They abdicated their role to us and we called them to us and told them that discipleship happened at the church.  Now, faith takes place in a certain building, in a certain place, on a certain day, at a certain time. This is called "compartmentalization."

What does this mean for how we practice ministry if the church and family are to partner together to make disciples through spiritual formation?  How are we to "do" ministry?

Help me write this blog!  Please post your thoughts, comments, questions, and your PUSH BACK below. 

For more detailed information about who Brian is, what he does, and a lot of specifics, Brian has a website where he lays his model out at  Brian also blogs about his journey at his blog  I know that he'd love for you to check it out and connect with him.

1 comment:

darenmitchell said...

I believe the modern church in many ways has modeled itself after the government. When FDR signed the new deal in the 30's he significantly added to the purpose of our government which before was providing defense, border control and some regulatory authority and now is providing entitlements which over the last 80 years has expanded into welfare, medicaid, and a host of other social program spending.
The church has expanded it's role in the lives of people as the government has in the last 50 years. Why does the church operate it's education like the public schools? Churches that understand what I'm talking about here have disbanded the notion of classrooms. But just like our government provides social programs, the church provides spiritual programs of it's own, that before the 1950's didn't exist. Now the church has a "ministry" for every age group, an entitlement if you will. Just like government has a difficult time eliminating social programs, the modern church faces the same kind of difficulty. Namely, people who don't want their entitlement taken away. Churches today hire staff who will take "charge" of ministries, and the more staff, the more "ministries", and the more entitlements Christians receive.
The church needs to become smaller, in the same way the government does. The government is too big, spending too much; and those who argue for less government maintain that people will take more personal responsibility if the government will stop handing them funds and entitlements. I make the same argument for the church; it's typically spending too much on staff and facilities.
I believe the church needs less staff, less "ministries" and more priority spent on equipping parents to be the youth ministers of their children. Human behavior is to do what is easiest, to take what is offered, if the church continues to offer age specific ministries, and hire staff to "take charge" of these programs then why should parents take responsibility? They don't have to, and they haven't, and they won't. If you want proof of this ask any middle school or high school teacher how many parents are involved in the education of their children. And guess what? The church has the same problem for the same reason.