“I was not born to be free—I was born to adore and obey.” -C.S. Lewis
Many across the nation and around the world are reconsidering how we develop disciples in local churches. Sticky Faith, at Fuller Youth Institute, and Orange Conference have made the need known. Mark Holmen’s @Home ministry, the D6 Conference, and now the 4/14Window, and National Center for Biblical Parenting are also working to take discipleship from church program to a movement that is reforming and redeveloping discipleship. This is all significant, but we need to consider the purpose of the movement.
What is the goal of family ministry?
Some say it is to stabilize our culture by making stronger families.
Some say it is to prevent the attrition of our young people from our churches.
Some say it is to create better foundations for our churches.
Some may believe that it is to produce more moral young people.
All of these are potential byproducts of family ministry, but they are not the goal of the movement.
The movement is about making disciples of our young people. Therefore, the goal of family ministry is to lead to:
- Kingdom minded people
- who adore the King with the rest of his subjects,
- and who obey him
- through love
- and through their testimony of the establishment of the kingdom.
Just as with my article on the goal of parenting, I see that there are barriers, both out of strength and weakness, which will keep a person from meeting these goals. The table below demonstrates these barriers.
|Strength Barrier||To The Goal||Weakness Barrier|
|God is scary and vengeful||Adore the King||Jesus is just my buddy|
|Church gatherings are something everyone must attend out of obligation||with the rest of his subjects||Church programs are available when you want to attend for your self-improvement (spiritually or otherwise)|
|Correction is firm and heavy handed||who obey him||Passive and permissive attitude|
|Love as an obligation||through love||Love is a feeling|
|The Gospel is a particular path with particular words needed to get one to heaven||through their testimony of the establishment of the kingdom||Lifestyle alone should be enough to demonstrate God to the world|