Here is my rough summary and paraphrase of the session with Ryan Rush. I will post the audio when it is released so you can listen for yourself.
Ryan was a competent speaker and the audience enjoyed his message. In addition to these notes he explained the milestone strategy that his church uses to help families disciple their children.
Watch it now: Ryan Rush, General Session 3
Ryan Rush is Senior Pastor at Bannockburn Baptist Church. He has led the implementation of a comprehensive, cross-generational effort to connect church and home life. Ryan is the author of Home on Time: Life Management by the Book
These principles of connecting church and home must extend to every facet of ministry. At our church we don’t have a family ministry program or even a staff person for family ministry. It’s something that permeates the whole of our church culture. Pastors can be slow to embrace family ministry because they are overwhelmed and don’t want another program.
We need to focus on the proper standard for ministry. We need to find the one underlying theme that God wants to happen in families. We should not focus on the wrong things. The standard of what God wants in the home is not the 1950s. It’s not to emulate the families in the New Testament. It’s not to model after Old Testament families.
We need to look back to the pre-fall family in Genesis 1-2. Just like Paul and Jesus pointed back to these text for principles about the family. We need to ask why are families created in the first place. What we’re trying to do can be summed up in how the home functioned in those earliest hours.
3 Implications of the Genesis Standard for family
Start with the cultural standard in the church. Eventually these ideas will invade programs, but you must start with changes on the cultural level of your church
#1 The family was not designed primarily for learning about God. It was designed that we can actually know God, not just learn about him. It was created for intimacy. The greatest gift for families in your church is not to just teach them about God, but to help them have intimacy with God.
Too often we’re more interested in the appearance of the problem than the real problem. The is a danger of building something without a proper diagnosis. If we only train people to be more moral, this would be a great disservice. It’s easier to get parents excited about moral issues than spiritual issues.
Deuteronomy 6 does not start with just teaching kids about God. It starts with knowing & loving God. Three foundational questions: Who is God? What is truth? Why am I here?
#2 Every biblical expression of family is a reflection of God and his attributes. We reflect God in our own unique attributes as man or woman. There is beauty in a family that reflects God in a unique way that individuals can not. My walk with Jesus is incomplete until it is exported into home life.
#3 You can do many practical things to connect church & home, but there is none more important than exhorting the congregation to know God. Are we challenging people to move beyond information about God and into intimacy with God.
For more on Ryan’s church and their strategy, visit www.bbcfamily.com