The Family Ministry
God intended for the family to be the basic unit in society. A casual view of history reveals that as to marriages, so goes family; as go families, so goes the community, as go communities, so goes the nation; as go nations, so goes civilization. The Bible tells us that in the beginning God created the family. In His infinite wisdom He chose the family to serve as the cradle for personhood. In Deuteronomy 6, as well as in other biblical passages, it is clear that God designed the family as the crucible in which the reality of the person of the living God is be both taught (through formal education) caught (by example of the parents' lives). The quality of family life influences every other part of our life.
Many Christian churches today have properly prioritized evangelism and evangelistic events as part of their core purpose. Unfortunately, most are not emphasizing discipleship, especially when it comes to marriage and parenting. Statistics tell us half of the over 1,200,000 divorces each year in the U.S. proclaim to be believers. Also, over 70% of our children being raised in Christian homes after 10+ years of youth groups and/or Christian schools are walking away from their faith after leaving home. Just these two statistics alone should stir our hearts to examine our ways in the area of family ministry.
While the object of evangelism is salvation, the object of discipleship is the development of an intimate, abiding relationship with Jesus Christ, to grow in spiritual maturity, and learning how to tend to the things God has given to us according to His Word. The most powerful and effective evangelism will result naturally when mature Christians, whose lives within their homes, in the church, workplaces, and communities, reflect and glorify the true and living God as a result of their abiding relationship in Jesus Christ and following His Word. One of the primary purposes of the Christian church is to identify and exercise the gifts of mature Christians in our church for the benefit of discipling others. Many Christians believe that being discipled means going through a 6 or 8 week class to learn the basics of Christianity and, hopefully, the importance of having and maintaining a daily abiding relationship with Jesus. This type of class is very important, but being discipled means more than knowing the fundamentals of being a Christian…being discipled means you are being taught in the ways of the Lord in all areas of life.