Stretching Your Thinking About Ministry With Families – 7 Must Read Articles

Dave Roberts gathers 7 key articles into this guide to recent thinking on ministry with families.

Three Models for Intergenerational Faith Formation
The three models described are not the only ways to do intergenerational ministry, and this is by no means an exhaustive or authoritative list. This is however a short but helpful way of reflecting on this area of ministry.

The Family Matters Series
6 practitioners share their insights and practical advice in this video series. Not ideal for those with low bandwidth internet access but an excellent way to explore family ministry for those new to the idea and those seeking to refresh their own thinking.

What is the Context of Biblical Discipleship?
In biblical culture, as in most cultures still today, people did not live primarily as individuals, but as families, especially extended families. When we visit places like Nazareth, Capernaum, and Chorazin we see the homes people inhabited in biblical times were designed for multiple nuclear families to live together, sharing a common life and vocation. The Old Testament word for this kind of extended family life is “beth.” The New Testament word for this is “oikos.” No one in the ancient world would even consider living as an individual or a nuclear family; it was far too difficult and dangerous. The purpose of the biblical beth and oikos was to protect and provide for the extended family. – This is a great summary of key theological themes to do with family and community. Read the whole article for insights about how this applies to mission and discipleship today.

Grandparents and Faith Formation
Vern Bengtson’s book, Families and Faith: How Religion is Passed Down Across GenerationsBengtson studied the transmission of faith across four generations and 35 years, encompassing over 3000 persons and over 300 multigenerational families. He found “strong evidence of transmission [of religious orientations] from grandparents to grandchildren.” In some cases, grandparents functioned as spiritual “replacement figures” for the children’s parents. In others, grandparents significantly reinforced the faith teachings and practices of their grandchildren’s parents. And, in still other cases, grandparents served as countering influence to the non-Christian attitudes and perspectives of their grandchildren’s parents. Indeed, Bengtson proposes that, because of demographic, technological and societal developments the spiritual influence and impact of grandparents is potentially stronger than previously.

Intergenerational – It needs to be more than a program, it needs to be a culture
Short but makes its point well.

Adoption Doesn’t Fix Kids
These days, we have come to see the complexity of adoption for all involved. Those of us working in orphan care—increasingly recognize what parents like Donna knew all along: the trauma of abuse and neglect do not go away when an orphaned child finds a loving home… no matter how kind, patient, or godly that family is. (From Christianity Today)

Snowballing Culture – Creating a church with an intergenerational culture
The Orange conference have worked very hard to communicate what a local church with an intergenerational heart looks like – discover more at the link