Practical Family Ministry: A Collection of Ideas for Your Church is a book written by Timothy Paul Jones and many other contributors. I began reading this book as assigned reading as a mentor for a seminary student doing a family ministry project. It was assigned reading for him, but I wanted to go over it as well.
The book serves well as an introduction into family ministry within a church and addresses some of the potential push backs people might have.
- Christian parents know they are to teach their kids about God, and that simply repeating a passage and sending them on their way is not going to cut it. Parents know what they are supposed to do, but it is just not happening. Why? Much of the problem is related to a lack of a sense of urgency (19).
- Parents are the first missionaries their children will ever see and for many children perhaps the only living Gospel example these little ones can visibly observe every day (37).
- Unfortunately, our calendars are so filled up with activities that sometimes we do not allow time for the divine appointments and teachable moments that God has placed before us (46).
- In a culture in which precious little of the family is held sacred, a family meal is one simple but profound means of protecting, equipping, and ministering to your family (50).
- But the family is even more than a mission field. The family is also a missions training and sending agency (61)!
- You may say “every member is a minister” – but, when the going gets tough, the tough sends a staff member. What this pattern reveals practically is that, in many churches, the people haven’t been equipped to do the work of ministry (71).
- The notion that emerging adults are disinterested in maintaining or building relationships with older, more experienced adults is a myth (85).
- Yet too little attention has typically been given to how churches can serve families affected by divorce and remarriage (92).
- Any church that is serious about equipping families to disciple the next generation must equip not only parents but also grandparents (100).
- Every Christian generation has the responsibility to pass on this reservoir of truth (111).
- Our purpose should be to leverage children’s lives to advance God’s kingdom so every tribe, every nation, and every people-group gains the opportunity to respond in faith to the rightful King of kings (124).
- We cannot compartmentalize our love and devotion to God (128).
Timothy Paul Jones, along with the other contributors, offers practical and encouraging advice to those who want to impact the next generation. Readers are reminded of the God-designed channels through which discipleship should occur: the church and the home. With a solid foundation of biblical guidelines, each writer offers workable strategies and ideas for family ministry. Parents as well as ministry leaders will be equipped to do their part to carry out the spiritual discipline of discipleship. This resource will help pastors and other church leaders evaluate all aspects of ministry in relation to equipping families to disciple the next generation. It is a perfect tool for ministry staff to read together as it sets up the right perspective on the future of the church. Timothy Paul Jones serves as both editor and contributor for this work. Other contributors include Danny R. Bowen, Scott Douglas, Christopher Harding, Brian Howard Honett, Gary May, Philip L. McKinney II, Joshua A. Remy, Robert Lee Stanford, John Ellis Steen, Matthew Scott Thompson, John David Trentham, and Steve Wright.