Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Family Ministry- A Model, Part 1
To summarize anything that has ever been said on this site, Christians are to evangelize the lost. This happens best when people are not only equipped by the leaders of the church through practical ministry opportunities to serve, love and worship God, but when they engage in those ministy opportunities. Essentially, there are two parts that we are necessarily called to: equipping and doing. A church that merely equips yet does not act is guilty of the sin of omission (not doing what you know you ought) and the church that merely acts without the motivation of Christ is in danger of the the sin of commission in that they might point to false fruit as evidence of an inner working of Christ-why? The lack of a Holy Spirit presence means that it's not worth doing.
The family, is a key vehicle through which this happens. The family is bigger than "just" people with kids, because God's family includes each and every follower of Christ, married, single, divorced, young, old, those with disabilities, those marginalized in society...God's family includes everyone. So...what might a holistic "family ministry" look like? I am a huge fan of Brian Haynes and his Legacy/Milestones Path. I read his book in 2010, and attended all of his sessions at the recent KidMin Conference in Chicago last month.
Over the next week and a half, I will use his book Shift: What it Takes to Finally Reach Families Today to methodically describe the model I'd begin with (and contextualize for the specific ministry situation) if I had the opportunity. Here's the caveat the Brian himself makes at the front of the book: the specifics laid out were done with his situation and context in mind. As I read his book last year, I was filled with questions, real legitimate ones that need to be asked. And now, my caveat...this is not and would not be easy to implement. Without the Holy Spirit working in the hearts and minds of the church leadership, it won't happen. What's needed at the front end is a Champion, and that must be Christ as the Head. So, to begin, let's define Brian's terms:
Milestones: They are "markers of progression on the spiritual formation journey" (there are 7 milestones).
Core Competencies: "Key truths learned as progression from one milestone to the next."
Faith Talks: "Intentional times set aside each week for conversation based on Scripture."
God Sightings: "Informal opportunities to discuss God and His Work around us."
Church Events: "Equipping opportunities for parents, families, adults and kids, as well as milestone celebrations."
Parent Summit Conference: "Twice a year events hosted by the church to encourage and motivate parents and adults."
Parent Seminars: "Seminars related specifically to the 7 milestones."
Family Celebrations: "At-home celebrations for milestones."
Take-Home Sunday: "We teach people in adult Bible study groups a specific skill related to leading children through the milestones."
Generational Team: "Aligns the children, youth and adult ministries along a common path of spiritual formation that links faith and home and develops ways to equip parents as primary faith influencers."
Well, there you have it. If you're like me, you've now got a million questions.
"What about kids from families that don't go to my (or any) church?"
"How do we implement this?"
"Where do I start?"
Next Post: Listing the 7 Milestones.