Family Friendly Response to Josh’s post.

I read Josh’s post on family inclusive discipleship ministry.

I had a few thoughts on what he had to say.  He points to the division that has sprung up from that movie Divided that claims that only 100 % family based ministry is biblical.  They point to several passages and say family is the only way to raise a child and that youth groups usurp power from the family.  I believe I’ve addressed the divided topic previously in this blog and the damage it causes.  I’ve also talked to several of the people interviewed in that movie and they pretty readily stated that they weren’t up front with their purposes, asked questions, skillfully edited video to make their point.

Josh is arguing for a both/and…

Josh reviewed ministry in light of doing both family and youth ministry as a team.  While this isn’t a new concept (many smaller churches I’ve belonged to do this out of necessity).. I think in the larger churches this has to become the focus.  The essence of any ministry is to be able to team up with family.  Josh highlights several ways the church ought to team with family and several ways that family should help the church (and vice versa) move adolescents into a more independent faith.

I love that he started in grade school and not in Jr. High.  Josh does a very appropriate thing, incorporates the family into all the phases of a family’s life cycle.  He also takes into account the ages and developmental phases of the youth in question.

Modeling healthy family… ?

I think this has been argued both ways.  In some ways those without healthy families get shown what ideal Christian family’s ought to look like.  They can, sometimes seal out dysfunctional families if not handled carefully.  Not saying this would happen on purpose, but I think that for some people, they may get chased away because their family is not as involved as family x (keeping up with the Joneses- church style).
It also can help those with poor families learn from good ones.  It can help one family show compassion to another, and so on.  There is something good about communal rather than individual ministry and mission.

Family V Non-Family ministry, what is your take?


4 Responses to Family Friendly Response to Josh’s post.

  1. Jeremy Smith says:

    I completely agree with what Josh said. Family first, youth ministry second! At the same time, family friendly discipleship is tough to comprehend, because discipleship should call us to do things that might not be easy. i.e. Sharing the Gospel with unsavory people, going to a calling from God a continent away, or giving our lives for our faith.

  2. mattmurphy79 says:

    Thanks Jeremy,
    This is a both/and situation… need family, yet also have the need for a youth group to help them explore their faith on their own too. I’ve seen teens who have had their faith dictated to them walk away in college, and i’ve seen teens who have had little to no faith support (aside from getting to church) own their faith in college. Thx for the comment.

  3. Matt Markins says:

    Here’s an interesting video from Voddie Baucham. I was actually surprised that he sounded more open in this clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XS0OqlIAXU&feature=player_embedded

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