by Dave Brock/ September 17, 2015
7 Family Ministry Essentials, by Michelle Anthony and Megan Marshman, deserves far more praise than I am able to fit in this post. Whether you are a family minister or children’s/youth pastor, there are concepts in this book that will both challenge you and inspire you to grow as a minister. This book also exhibits a unique perspective of what it means to minister to entire families.
What is this book about?
I personally love finding new ways to reach families and help them to grow in Christ together. In reading this book, my excitement for equipping parents and families has continued to grow, and I cannot wait to implement these ideas in my own community.
The book covers seven essentials:
Empowering families to take spiritual leadership in the home.
Forming lifetime faith that transcends childhood beliefs.
Teaching Scripture as the ultimate authority of truth.
Understanding the role of the Holy Spirit’s power to teach and transform.
Engaging every generation in the gospel of God’s redemptive story.
Making God central in daily living and every biblical narrative.
Working with the community to further God’s will.
Each of these family ministry essentials will challenge you to evaluate the way you do ministry. I know it has for me!
What did I get out of it?
I could write an entire book about the things I learned through this book, but I’ll condense it down to one aspect: the Ministry Assessment at the end of each chapter. Not only will this book take you through the journey of discovering new ways to minister to the families in your community, but it provides thought-provoking questions to help you honestly evaluate your ministry. It will also show how you can redirect the needed areas to a place where families will grow and thrive.
I appreciate that this book doesn’t tell you to do A, B, and C and then D will happen. Instead, the authors coach you to hear God’s voice and discover the direction He wants for your own ministry.
The biggest physical adjustment I made right away was no longer giving out that week’s take-home papers after church. Instead they are going home with parents the week BEFORE we talk about it in church. The goal is to let parents be the ones who introduce the Bible story to their kids, then we build on it as a church. Parents can be the most influential ministers to children and youth, and we should help them succeed in every way.
What will you get out of it?
Short answer: SO MUCH!
Longer (but still short) answer: Fresh ideas, visions, and goals for what you want your ministry to look like. If I can be honest, I can say the same thing about how it will impact where you want the families in your church to be at spiritually as well!