Family Ministry

Cub Brat SaleThe church’s role supplements the role of the parents in leading our kids to follow & serve Jesus with our whole heart.  This is our goal in creating a Faith @ Home culture at our church.

What does it mean to have a Faith @ Home culture?

We view parents and grandparents as the primary teachers about God to their children.  We desire to assist, support and encourage them every step of the way.  As God commanded in Deuteronomy 6:5-9…

…love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.  And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.  Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.  Put them in your phones and on your mirrors as reminders.  Write them on the doors of your house and on your garage.

Our goal is to have milestones each year that parents can build on, to provide regular habits of talking and listening to God together (through prayer and reading His Story).  You can start with a chapter in Proverbs a day, or read as much of Jesus’ life story from Mark, or Luke and Acts.  Have the kids read out loud, or have the family take different parts and act it out as someone is reading.  If you get a translation like The Voice, you can assign different people to read different parts, so you hear the narrative of the Bible stories and help God’s word come alive.

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Why are we a Faith @ Home church?

Fewer than 10% of parents who regularly attend church with their kids read the Bible together, pray together (other than at meal times) or participate in an act of service as a family unit. Only 28% of churched youth have talked with mom about faith. Only 13% of churched youth have talked with dad about faith. And finally, a majority of evangelical youth are leaving the church shortly after they finish high school.

How did it come to this? The Scriptures are clear that the home is the primary place where faith is nurtured and passed from generation to generation (Deuteronomy 6:1-9, 2 Timothy 1:5).

Could it be that the church has become such a trusted partner for “outsourcing” spiritual growth that a robust, Jesus-centered spiritual life in the home seems somehow less important? The research above suggests that the answer just might be yes.

So what do we do? Part of the solution involves us continually shaping our ministry so that it is increasingly home-centered and church-assisted instead of the more typical church-centered, home-assisted model. In short, that’s Faith@Home—an idea that helps us fully embrace this difference.

Call or text Chris Adams, Family Ministry Director, at 612-978-1231 for more information.        

07 GELC VBS 0094 Tips for All-Ages Family Prayer

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1. Make prayer and devotional time a regular part of family life.

We have a set routine of regular devotionals at the beginning of our day. During this time, we read a short devotional and then we pray for specific requests each day. We have several missionaries and mission projects that we pray for on specific days. Our kids learn the importance of setting apart time every day; that this is a time that we all get together to read Scripture and pray. Because it’s a routine thing, all of the kids expect it and come ready to listen and to pray.

2. Encourage all the kid(s) and adult(s) to pray- no matter the age.

In our house, we use a day system to rotate through all four of our children. The child whose day it is has certain privileges and certain responsibilities, including praying during our devotional time. I have some children who would always volunteer to pray and I have some who are shy to pray- even in front of the family. By rotating daily, all of the kids are encouraged to pray- the younger ones and the older ones. And we’ve always had the attitude of acceptance and encouragement toward the child who prays.

3. Use materials that are aimed at the middle of the children’s ages.

Over the years, we’ve occasionally used prayer guides or daily devotionals. When we do, I look for material that is appropriate for an age somewhere in the middle of my kids’ age range. Right now I have kids that range in age from 10 to 16, so we use a devotional guide that is written for preteen/early teens. The material is not over the heads of the younger girls, and the older kids still get something out of the reading as well.

4. Encourage older family members to be models for the younger ones.

When my husband and I pray, we’re modeling prayer for our kids. When the older kids pray, they are being models for the younger ones. We often encourage our older kids that they are examples and remind them that the younger ones look up to them. During family prayer times, this can mean that the older kids pray and encourage the younger ones that prayer is an important thing to do and that they don’t have to be reluctant or embarrassed to pray.

Family prayer is so important for growing closer to God together. Even though we have kids of multiple ages, we’ve found ways to make family prayer work for us.