Family Ministry Philosophy
(For a full explanation of this philosophy, listen to the weekend sermon for February 7-8, 2009.)
Looking back over the last 4 generations we see a dramatic decrease in faith in Jesus Christ.
This is true both in percent of the population and in absolute numbers of people.
The percentage of teens growing up in Christian homes who continue to follow Christ after graduation ranges from 4% up to 31%
We are convinced that continuing to do what the American church has been doing over the past four generations, will not change these trends.
In order to reverse the spiritual drift we must change. We believe that God’s intention for instilling faith in the next generation has always been to work through parents teaching their children to follow Christ. That teaching must be by example and it must be intentional.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
While the church must invest in teaching God’s truth to each generation, instilling faith succeeds or fails based on time. At best the church may have up to 90 hours per year of time to teach children to follow Christ. The average parent already has around 2000 hours a year with their children, even 5% of that time exceeds the contact with the church. In addition, the greatest single influence in a child’s life is a parent.
As a church we commit to helping parents instill faith in their own children.
· We will equip parents to train their children to follow Christ.
· We will provide resources to parents for connecting faith with life.
· We will encourage parents as they work to instill faith.
· We will provide opportunities for parents to lead their children by example into deeper faith.
We are committed to restoring the proper roles of parents and the church, with the church as a resource to parents instead of the primary agent in building their children’s faith.
On an ongoing basis we will be carefully considering how each ministry can assist parents to instill faith in their own children. We will make changes as needed, so that an increasing proportion of our young adults will choose to walk with Christ after they leave home.