I’m in the process of wrapping my mind around the idea of a philosophy of ministry. In doing so I have started reading a book entitled Perspectives on Family Ministry. Although it may be a jumbled mess, I hope to summarize what I am learning in this post.
Family ministry is necessary and significant because:
-Families have been under attack since the fall of man/the church must reorient itself to protect and to develop families
-Fathers/husbands have been marginalized/the church needs to reach men and turn their hearts toward their families, to guard and guide their families
-What the church has been doing is ineffective. Today’s churches have more programs, conferences, Christian music, etc than ever before, but somehow a significant number of children fail to make the transition from youth ministry to a devoted follower of Christ. We need to focus on bringing families together, rather than pull them apart
-The church is a family
-Families are waiting to be led.
The following is an excerpt from Chapter 1
What if Boredom Isn’t Always Bad?
The founder of Young Life once commented, “It’s a sin to bore a kid with the gospel.” Is this statement true? How has this statement been applied in youth and children’s ministries? How have these attitudes affected ministries to children and youth?After considering your own response to these questions, read what Mark DeVries has to say in response to the Young Life attitude: “It might be more of a sin to suggest to young people that the Christian life is always fun and never boring. Keeping teenagers from ever being bored in their faith can actually deprive them of opportunities to develop the discipline and perseverance needed to live the Christian life. It is precisely in those experiences that teenagers might describe as ‘boring’ that Christian character is often formed.” Do you agree with DeVries? Why or why not?
I’m not that great at formulating my thoughts…but here it goes. I just think that the statement “It’s a sin to bore the kid with the gospel” is a silly statement. I hope that the leaders in Genesis, myself included, and the parents of the children realize the hope that is in the gospel, and that this hope can be seen by the children of our church. Living a life of following Jesus is a purposeful life, and I believe that in itself is contagious.
In the late 80’s, one youth minister portrayed the church as a one-eared Mickey Mouse. The head of the mouse represented the church as a hole, and the ear represented youth ministry. Basically, the youth ministry was barely connected to the church. “Although the student ministry and the larger congregation were technically linked, the two operated on separate tracks, with each one pursuing its own purposes and passions.”
Because of the growth and development of this model of ministry, this is what has happened in many cases…the primary responsibility of the spiritual growth of children has shifted from the parents to the professional minister.