Principles for Family Ministry
Principles for Christian family ministry
Families are one of the most significant contexts of Christian discipleship. For many of us learning to live justly and lovingly with family members is one of the most difficult Christian discipline. Many congregations also find it extremely difficult to reach beyond the bonds of blood and marriage, which our culture defines as family, to live the good news of the gospel. That good news says that when we choose to follow Christ, we will have all the mothers and brothers and sisters we need and, by implication we must be that family for one another.
Principles of family ministry
The following needs to be the focus of family ministry for the church. They provide a core of goals for family ministry that is significantly different from and broader than community mental health's mandate to help families be less troubled and more satisfied. ( which could support the status quo)
1. The church bears responsibility for ensuring that no one in the family of faith is familyless-that everyone is folded into the nurture of family.
2. God created humanity with a purpose, a mission of care. God recognized that this was not for persons to carry out in isolation. They needed companions in the work, and so the partnership of family was created. The first man and woman were not created simply to be companions, but to be companions in the work. (Gen. 1:26-28)
3. Families have a purpose , a calling from God, to be on mission together. Family ministry thus needs to be transformed in our minds into " families-in-ministry".
4. God has and continues to work through families of diverse structures, quirks and dysfunctions. The important thing is not the kind of family one lives in but how we allow God to work through us in whatever family state we find ourselves. The ideal is (A) living faithfully within the context God has placed us (B) and from that place -whatever it is- using our family relationships for the sake of God's purposes. The Scriptures tell us of the diverse family structures through which God has worked and of flaws, sins and dysfunctions in families used by God.
Family Ministry: A Comprehensive Guide
By Diana R. Garland