Discipleship Ministries has created a series of articles on building a ministry team. Read Bishop McGhee’s Four Team Concepts here.
The next few articles in the series will focus on the various ministry portfolios under Discipleship Ministries (Adults, Students, and Children) and the goals for each of these teams over the coming months. Check out the tag “team” to read the entire series.
Men’s and Women’s Ministries are collaborating to form an Adult Ministry team with an emphasis on Family ministry. . Over the next two years, this team will focus on empowering men and women to create community, resourcing them in life-long faith formation, and implementing a mechanism for accountability and encouragement.
Identify the Obstacles
The Adult Ministry Team’s first task involves identifying the obstacles to life-long discipleship. The most obvious obstacles include the reversed roles of the Church and parents, disconnected homes and churches, and the missing link between the churched children and their unchurched parents.
God’s Word instructs us to build a faith community for the edification of the body of Christ. However, the Word never instructs the Church to assume the primary responsibility. According to Barna, “In the course of reflecting on children and their spiritual growth, it is imperative that we understand God’s expectations of how children should be nurtured. The local church is crucial in this process, but a child’s family is central.” Neither the parents nor the church can do it alone!
To reconnect homes and churches we need to redefine family as the people who do life together. Parents often want to raise their children in the context of a faith-based community that provides security, belonging, spiritual and moral education, and accountability.
If you would like to learn more about redefining the family, click here to watch the training video “It Takes a Church to Raise a Disciple” by Bishop Tommy McGhee.
Dr. Ellen Moore led our IPHC Kid Min Conferences in 2015. During her training, she explained our Biblical mandate to equip families. Dr. Moore stated, “Biblically, a child’s physical, intellectual, emotional, moral, and spiritual development is the responsibility of the parents. Based on Deuteronomy 6:4-9, parents will be the ones who are held accountable.”
Inspire the Church to build stronger family communities. In 2016, Discipleship Ministries is hosting six regional Family Discipleship Conferences with trainer Dr. Michelle Anthony. The cultural trend leans toward parents who are abdicating their responsibilities and creating a huge rise of grand-parenting and the foster care crisis. It doesn’t matter what the family unit may look like, it is only important that we equip them to become spiritually healthy families. Spiritual parenting is a lifestyle change instead of just a trendy idea or discipleship phase.
Implement Life-Long Faith
Dr. Moore reminds us that Psalm 78: 1-7 outlines our responsibility as members of the faith community to expose young children to the history, the expectations, and the ways of God. She further explains that research by Benson & Elkin (Search Institute) shows that the most important predictor in the integrated faith development of teens is “Family Religiousness” such as the frequency of discussions with mother/father about faith, frequency of family prayer (excluding meals), devotions, Bible study, and frequency with which parents and children were involved in helping others together. Dr. Moore also states, “Predictors next in importance in the integrated faith development of teens were lifetime church involvement, religiousness of best friends, experience of a caring church, and lifetime involvement in serving others.”
Invest in a Legacy
By redefining family, Discipleship Ministries asks all church members to become part of a family community who ensures the life-long faith of our youngest members who may not have churched parents. In Dr. Anthony’s book Spiritual Parenting she quotes Catherine Stonehouse as saying, “The faith of children is most likely to grow when they have the opportunity to associate with adults who are growing persons who know and love God. The child’s faith is inspired when he or she belongs to an inclusive community that seeks to live out God’s love.”
Men’s Ministries Director Bill Terry explains, “The IPHC Men’s Ministries board desires to build strong homes where parents accept their God-given responsibility to intentionally disciple their family.” Discuss with your Men’s, Women’s, Students, and Children’s leadership how to create mentoring opportunities between spiritually mature adults and children, especially those without a spiritually active family.
We must meet the needs around us and invite people into our family communities in order to build community outside the four walls of the church. The desired result would be developing mature Christ-like Disciples who will model the same lifestyle for generations to come.
If you missed the first article about the Discipleship Team Concepts, click here to read it now.