Connecting Church and Home

23 08 2010

I plan on writing a more descriptive summary within the next week or so, but for now I just wanted to jot a few thoughts I had about the Connecting Church and Home conference held at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on August, 20-21 2010.

“There’s something of a tragedy in having to have a conference about connecting church and home…”  – Al Mohler

To me, this quote really helped to sum up the conference.  American evangelicalism has lost something in its current paradigms of youth and children’s ministry.  In the process of trying to gain more kids for the cause of Christ we have actually out thought ourselves!  We are in a desperate situation as it seems we are losing younger generations.

As a side note, I want to say, that even if we weren’t losing younger generations, we still must evaluate our current ministry models to make sure that they align with Scripture.

To have a conference about the need for connecting church and home is telling about where we are as churches.  We’ve spent so much time in children’s and youth ministries focusing on “what can attract students” that we have forgotten about “what can build lasting faith.”  And I know there are some solid children and youth ministers out there that are thinking “wait, I am trying to build lasting faith” or “I am discipling my students” etc.  Sorry, that just doesn’t cut it. 1 hr, 2 hrs, 8 hrs, a week is not enough for any youth pastor to make a difference in enough students’ lives to really make a difference!

Where are we missing it? HOME!  God’s design for discipleship of children (and teens) begins in the home.  (cf. Deut. 6, Eph. 6).  We’ve worked ourselves to death trying to come up with new methods and models for doing things when it’s already outlined in God’s Word!

I will write more about this later, but until that time, here are a couple of links that you can go to read notes from the Connecting Church and Home conference or watch video of the plenary sessions…

Video of the 4 Sessions
(the quote from above is in Dr. Mohler’s session at about 40 seconds)

Notes from the Conference


Rethink, Shift, DO SOMETHING!

27 01 2010

This blog is about two books that I challenge any Student Pastor/parent/anyone else who cares about the spiritual lives of our students to read.

Shift: What it takes to finally reach families today By: Brian Haynes and

Rethink: Decide for yourself, is student ministry working? By: Steve Wright

I’m not going to go into an exhaustive review of either of these books other than to tell you they are both born from hearts that desire to see change in the current structure of youth ministry models.  Both books point to Deuteronomy 6:4-8 as a basis for student ministry in the church.

The point is that our current models of student ministry just aren’t working.  We have the lights, the sounds, even the tastses and smells to get students in! But what are we building into their hearts and lives? Recent research says that we are losing more students after high school than ever! And if you are in the ministry then you know that we often lose students well before “after high school”. Once they get the car and a little extra freedom, they’re gone!

Where are we missing it? PARENTS! We have grown so accustom to our traditional models of youth ministry that we have forgotten the biblical model. In fact, in some ministries, parents have even become the enemy! A youth ministry without parental involvement is not a biblical model. Parental involvement goes well beyond parents being on the youth commitee, and chaperoning events.

Parents are to the primary disciple makers of their children, not student pastors.  We don’t need youth pastors desiring to have more “hang time” with their students. We need youth pastors willing to teach and train parents how to be the primary disciplers of their children.  Don’t get me wrong, youth pastors must build relationships and be positive influences, but let’s face it, even if you get to do that the entire time a student is in your ministry, it’s still only 6-7 years! That’s less than 10% of the student’s life! Who’s going to have the bigger impact? Parents! So, before you disagree with this blog, I plead with you to please look to the Word for guidance and read the above books.  If you can only read one, then start out with  reTHiNK, but I think both will be beneficial to your ministry.

God bless!