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Principles

What is the Goal of Family Ministry?

What is the goal of family ministry?

Family ministry should be committed to one supreme goal – to connect all generations with Jesus and His Word.

Family ministry should be committed to one supreme goal – to connect all generations with Jesus and His Word. Share on X

To elaborate:

Connect all generations …

  • Family ministry is intergenerational.
  • There are no age restrictions to participating in and practicing the way of Jesus.
  • It’s linking two or more generations with each other and the Lord (cf. Deuteronomy 4:9).
  • Connections between children, parents, and grandparents develop when they’re intentionally cultivated (cf. Psalm 78:1-8).
  • Parents are the primary faith nurturers and should connect children with God as part of the rhythms of daily life (cf. Deuteronomy 6:7-9).
  • God blesses the community of faith when it obediently makes and sustains intergenerational connections (cf. Deuteronomy 6:1-4).

with Jesus …

  • Family ministry is relational.
  • Every generation is invited to love and live for the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength (cf. Luke 10:27).
  • The aim is to connect all age groups in intimate and secure relationships with Jesus.
  • When young or old confess with their mouth and believe in their heart that Jesus is Lord (cf. Romans 10:9), they become God’s children and part of His family (cf. Ephesians 2:19).
  • The core of family ministry is this rescuing and redeeming connection with Jesus. That is, life-changing and life-sustaining relationships with Jesus are the desired outcome of family ministry.
  • The task of family ministry, then, is to help young and old develop their identities as disciples of Jesus.

and His Word.

  • Family ministry is biblically informed.
  • The Scriptures are the means to orientate and unite all age groups with Jesus.
  • God wants everyone to first get the Scriptures inside themselves and then get them inside their children (cf. Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
  • Connections with Jesus require children, parents and grandparents to purposefully and regularly receive, reflect, remember and respond to God’s Word (cf. James 1:16-25).
  • It involves piecing together the stories to bring the overarching Story into focus. We should begin with the Gospels (emphasize Jesus as the primary theme), and gradually and appropriately incorporate other stories as part of the narrative about Jesus.
  • Bible engagement is Jesus engagement – the main way for families to connect with Jesus is to meet with Him daily in and through His Word.

What it isn’t.

The primary goal of family ministry isn’t growth in godliness, living responsibly, or even cultivating the spiritual health of children, parents and grandparents. It’s not just a good idea, an intentional strategy, an affiliation with an institution, or a partnership between the church and the home. Nor is it simply something a church can provide or prepare – it’s not a program or an event. It’s also not a curriculum, a resource, or even an integrated approach to discipling grandpas, grandmas, mums, dads and kids at every stage of life. And, as children’s ministry consultant Julie Kurz says, “Family ministry is not about hiring a new person or adding more programs to your already full calendar.”

Family ministry is more than what we do. Share on X

Family ministry is greater than the sum of its parts. What we do to engage, equip and encourage families isn’t the goal. The goal isn’t our ministry activities. Yes, we must counsel, correct, challenge, and cheer families on. And yes, we require marriage seminars, parenting workshops, and family camps. We know families need all the inspiration and reassurance they can get. But family ministry is more than what we do.

Rightly aligned.

Ultimately family ministry is something formational and transformational – something intimate and interpersonal – something transcendent and supernatural that involves all-encompassing multi-generational relationships with Jesus Christ.

In the worship song, “I Speak Jesus,” the songwriters declare, “Jesus for my family. I speak the holy name. Jesus. Cause your name is power. Your name is healing. Your name is life.” That’s spot on. If connecting families with Jesus and His Word isn’t the end game, then churches aren’t everything they should be. Furthermore, if churches aren’t aligning what they do to help parents be the primary spiritual influencers of their children’s faith, they’re not tracking as they should.

God calls on every church to invest in family faith formation. Share on X

Family ministry is God’s blueprint for transmitting faith from one generation to the next. To see families develop resilient, biblically rooted, divinely fueled faith, all age groups in the church must partner with parents to help them be the main spiritual influencers in their children’s lives. God calls on every church to invest in family faith formation. Judges 2:10 shows us what’s at stake if we don’t – a lost generation. So, if the things we’re saying or doing in the church fall short of the mark, we must realign our methodology and practice so that it’s family-oriented, Jesus-centric and biblically informed.

Related Articles

What Does the Bible Say About Family Ministry?

Purpose of the Family

Cultivating Family Faith.

Two-Minute Training Video

How can we help families grow in faith?

© Scripture Union, 2023

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