How does the missional family look at relationships? As a means or as an end?

Andy Root, a professor at Luther Seminary in Minnesota, has a book coming out called The Relational Pastor. I’ve pre-ordered the Kindle book and look forward to reading it when it’s available on April 8. What I know about the book I know from an interview I had with Andy last summer (He was an awesome guy to talk to.) and from Scot McKnight’s review of his book on the Jesus Creed blog. (And this post, too.)

In short, Andy is making the point that too often pastors treat relationship as a means to an end. For example, we use relational ministry as a way to get the gospel message to people. Rather, Andy say relationship is an end of ministry.

On another blog, Carey Nieuwhof (who I also had the pleasure interviewing last summer and is also a great guy to talk to) address ways to reconnect people to the local church in this culture of church decline. Points 2 and 3 specifically identify different relational ways to connect with people, Elevate Personal Relationships and Love People.  In other words, relationships are a means to an end in ministry, particularly the end of reconnecting people to the church.

My questions for the day, both of these men are highly connected with family ministry, but are their points conflicting? If they are conflicting as they seem to me to be, which is a better model for family ministry?

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