The Good News Is…
No matter what you call it: spiritual formation, generational faith transference, faith @home, family driven faith or family discipleship–if you want to raise godly children who are spiritual champions using a timeless biblical strategy such as revolutionary parenting, thereby leaving a lasting legacy…
God is moving!
“God is on the move all around the world, turning the hearts of parents to their children, and the hearts of children back to their parents,” according to Rob Rienow, pastor and author of Visionary Parenting and When They Turn Away, in what he calls a “global reformation of family discipleship.”
“God is also turning the hearts of pastors to the biblical need for family ministry. Churches around the world are beginning to embrace the necessity of family discipleship, of calling parents to be the spiritual leaders of their children, and to restore the practice of family worship in every Christian home.”
“Leaders by the thousands are waking up to the fact that churches have, for the most part, missed it in relating to families and parents,” says Richard Ross, Professor, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in the foreword to Trained in the Fear of God: Family Ministry in Theological, Historical, and Practical Perspective, by Randy Stinson and Timothy Paul Jones (p 11).
Family ministry, as defined by Jones, “is the process of intentionally and persistently coordinating a congregation’s proclamation and practices so that parents are acknowledged, trained, and held accountable as primary disciple-makers in their children’s lives.” ( p 15)
According to Mark Holmen, pastor and author of Faith Begins at Home, Church + Home, Impress Faith on Your Kids, and others, this move of God, launched in Canada in 2004 now involves hundreds of churches (www.faithathome.ca). Sweden is on board. Things are stirring in Germany, Norway and the Netherlands. Brazil, the Pacific Rim, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa will experience the Faith@Home movement, as he calls it, in the next few years. In the United States, it’s a topic at pastor’s conferences, gets coverage in many seminaries, and often finds its way into new books and resources. (see Part 4) (Church + Home, pp 17-18)
It’s all about you, Dad
“Our children are falling away because we are asking the church to do what God designed the family to accomplish.” (Baucham, Family Driven Faith, p 7)
“What happens in the home is more important and influential than what happens at church when it comes to faith formation and behavior.” (Holmen, Church + Home, p 19)
“…it is not about what’s happening at church. It’s about what’s missing at home.” (Hybels, It Starts at Home, p 10)
“What would it be like if every Christian church intentionally and effectively equipped the generations…one home at a time?” (Haynes, Shift; p 30)
“The home is the primary context of our spiritual formation…” “No matter how creatively we proclaim God’s Word to children at church, they are more likely to believe their experience of faith at home.” (Bruner, It Starts at Home, pp 17, 21)
“Deuteronomy 6:4-10 and Ephesians 6:1-4 clearly exhort parents to teach, disciple, and train their own children.” “…the responsibility for ministry to our kids has never been removed from the parents.” (Ham, Already Gone, p 50)
“This movement is a movement led by God through the church to reestablish the home as the primary place where the Christian faith is lived, nurtured and expressed.” (Holmen, Impress Faith on Your Kids, Introduction)
See the list of recent books on church and family in Part 4.