The conference began with lunch and panel discussion. It was a fast moving session with much more going on than I could write down. Instead, I will list some of the takeaways from my notes.
Definition: The family equipping model seeks to reorient existing ministry programs so that parents are better trained, equipped, and acknowledge for their role in the discipleship of their children.
This whole process is about conversation and soul searching. No one group has figured out the perfect way to connect church and home. Even the panel speakers continue to transition and seek to do a better job with family equipping ministry.
This transition begins with attitudes and a new mindset. This is true for both parents and ministry leaders. It begins with taking the Bible seriously in passages like Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 78, and Matthew 28. It is not about programs but about a culture within the church that affirms the role of the home.
For more coverage of the 2010 Connecting Church & Home Conference visit our summary page. You can listen to audio from this conference on the Southern Seminary website.
Dr. Timothy Paul Jones shares some research. Most parents admit they are responsible for the discipleship of their kids but fail to do anything about it. Almost none of these parents were given help or training by their church. There are two facts that help us understand when parents are spiritually disengaged. First, they have never been told or trained. Second, they don’t feel they have the time.
Steve Wright shared about families living on mission. This is a response to the concern about this being an inward focused ministry paradigm. He listed the following:
- our family can look different and have distinct values
- our family has chosen publish school as an intentional mission field
- our family can host baby showers for neighbors
- our family can discuss college choices based on the best place to be a witness for Jesus
Several on the panel offered ideas for encouraging dads. The idea was to give them ‘wins’ to help them achieve forward progress and take ownership of family discipleship.
- demonstrating how they can pray for their wives
- teaching dads to use the CDG blessing verse cards with their kids at night
- in the child dedication service, dad gets to say “YES”
- have the dads come forward after the service for a special message from the pastor, when the kids ask what it was they share a brief moment of ministry to the family in the car
- have fathers involved in a baptism mentors process, even having them discern if the child is spiritually ready
- have the final slid of the sermon offer an outline for a family devotion for that week, print this on 3×5 cards and hand it out as the church leaves the sanctuary