Ron Hunter – @ronhunter
Planning for X – Backward Planning
“Leadership and discipleship are two siblings in the same family.”
We all have an “x”…the place where we are going to die. If you knew where it was, how would you live differently? How about the kids in your church? What would you do between now and then? With an end spot, how would you begin now to get there?
As families, we have taken our kids to church and said…you do it, you’re the expert, you disciple my family.
That one hour a week is nothing when it comes to a relationship with Jesus Christ. The hour a week at church is not enough for discipling our children.
The Characteristic of a Healthy Church: Keep Refining Discipleship. Learning to be Christ-like and as a result, making disciple-makers.
“Discipleship is at the heart of a healthy church.”
Biblical Foundation for Discipleship
Like Little Green Army Men…
Realize your kids are different.
Start as a newly enlisted private never stops.
The General/Captain does not do all the training.
We must prepare for life’s battles (defending their faith)
If you wait until the battle to prepare your kids, the odds are against them.
“Discipleship reaches across generational lines. I know plenty of Millennials who would love to have people in the Boomer generation mentor their marriages.”
Rob Rienow – @visionaryfam
“Are you passionate in the church but passive in your house?”
“I had been putting my spiritual opportunities in front of my spiritual responsibilities.”
“The Great Commission begins at home.”
“Family worship is the engine that powers the Christian family.”
“We have Christian families, with well-fed children, who are starving spiritually.”
“The essential program for family ministry is family worship in the home.”
It’s never too late to start.
“Family ministry is about equipping and accelerating the home for Gospel impact.”
At the end of the day, we want to see Jesus high and lifted up…not just at church on Sunday mornings but in every Christian home all over the world.
Lee Strobel – @LeeStrobel
“The virus of doubt is infecting too many of our young people.”
1/3 Americans under the age of 35 have no religious affiliation.
62% of millennial are certain that God exists.
4 in 10 millennials say religion is important in their lives.
Teens today are twice as likely as adults to say that they are atheists.
The problem is we can not become complacent.
They are leaving the church.
They are getting married later.
We have never seen such an effort to turn Christians into atheists.
Young people are leaving the church at 5-6x the historic rate.
Most young people are sighting “intellectual doubts” for leaving the church.
There is a pride in skepticism within this next generation.
What can we do in our churches to rescue skeptics?
Let young people know it’s okay to answer questions. Jesus answered people with sincere questions.
Cultivate environments where it’s okay for people to express questions and doubt because there are people waiting in line to answer those questions.
Help young people see that studying history and science can bring them closer to God.
We need to give kids the confidence that we have truth on our side.
“We have an unfair advantage on the marketplace of ideas. We have truth on our side.”
Doubt is like a nightmare. If you hold it in, it will erode your soul. But if you let it out and talk about it, it seems to lose the emotional hold it has on us.
One of the 6 reasons young people are leaving the church is because they don’t feel the church is a safe place to ask questions.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” 1 Peter 3:15
Breakout 1 – Family Ministry that Connects
Jeffrey Wallace – @IamJeffWallace
Students have a single story perspective driven by how they are raised.
Was attending church an option or a mandate?
What is the surrounding culture of your church? What are the surrounding demographics of the families in your church? Understand your demographics.
- God desires for parents, guardians, and caregivers to love Him deeply and to love their kids deeply.
- God desires for intentional discipleship to take place in both the home and the church.
- God desires the home and church to partner together to influence culture with the hopes of shaping the faith formation of a generation.
Note: Together, the home and church exist to demonstrate God’s love to a broken world.
What percentage of the kids in your youth group have parents who attend the church?
What goes on in the connection points or bridges between ministries and family life stages?
How many of you have an intentional transition strategy in your family ministry?
How are you engaging in these particular subgroups?
- Parents, Guardians, Caregivers
- Church Programming (internal/external)
“Build relational equity with non-tradition parents so that they can experience the love of God.”
Family Ministry Strategy Chart
Where are you missing the mark? What’s missing in the strategy?
“None and done until the 911”
And Jesus Grew…
Know: Upward development. Jesus grew in favor of God. Lordship/Disciples
Own: Inward development. Jesus grew in wisdom and stature. Character/Discernment.
Known: Outward Development. Jesus grew in favor with man. Relationships/Influence.
-LifeWay Christian Resources, KNOWN Strategy.
Family-Integrated Ministry (family driven faith all worship together)
Family-Based Ministry (separate contexts, shared focus: Children’s Church and Teen Church)
Family-Equipping Ministry (Church and Home co-champions: A combination of the two)
The family-equipping ministry model retains some age-organized ministries but restructures the congregation to partner with parents at every level of ministry so that parents are acknowledged, equipped, and held accountable for the discipleship of their children.
Family-Equipping is a Both/And model.
Why not have a family service? Why not have family-focused events? Have some of group 1 as well as group 2 in your family ministry model.
Mobilize parents to be all things for their kids. Be mentally and emotionally engaged in the life of their kids. We should want parents to be a good parent.
Let’s Talk About It
- What’s the family dynamics percentages in your context? Traditional? Non-traditional? Blended? Adoption? Foster?
- Which of the 3 family ministry perspectives best fits your context today? Where do you want to be tomorrow?
- What activities, events, or programs are you doing to promote healthy family ministry strategy?