Category Archives: Family Ministry

The Function of Youth Ministry

For my doctoral program I am working on a project to think through the scriptural foundations how we view youth, evaluating the last 150 years of youth ministry development and discussing how the church should function in its ministry to youth.

Essentially the major question to me that youth ministry philosophy must answer is: what is your plan for how youth will integrate into the body of Christ?  Texts like 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 and John 17:20-26 require this to be a sincere goal.

In fact, I think this might be the critical issue of our day because often youth graduate from high school and we go to their graduation parties, but then what?  We have not helped them during their teen years to truly prepare for life beyond youth group in the church.  How shall we help them to be ready for the next step of the journey–belong to the body of Christ.  Various schools of thought are advancing alternate views.

Typical Youth Ministry

Typical youth ministry serves youth directly with a youth pastor and a team of youth sponsors focusing on helping them to become disciples in the midst of their youth culture.  However, typical youth ministry does not have any established process of pathways for youth to become integrated into the life of the church.  If it happens it’s random or exceptional or unconnected from the youth ministry philosophy.  In other words: “integration of youth, huh?”

Family Integrated Approach

The Family Integrated approach on the other hand demands universal and comprehensive integration as the exclusive approach advanced by their interpretation of the bible.  In other words, “youth group, what’s that?”  This approach might be called, integrate NOW!

Strategic Integration Youth Ministry

The path I would like to pursue seeks some of the goals of family integration without entirely dropping all of the means of youth ministry as we know it.  What if an explicit goal of youth ministry was not only to develop the character and maturity of our youth, but also to create processes through which youth were mentored, connected and involved in the body of Christ?  What if upon graduation, they already felt like they were meaningfully connected to a church where they were already members and welcomed?

What do you think?

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Whether you are a student, a parent, a youth pastor or just interested in this conversation.

  • How do you think the church ought to approach ministry to youth?
  • Do we need to abolish youth groups like the Family Integrated propounds?
  • Can we meaningfully integrate students now?  If so, how?  I’m all ears…

Tim

15 Comments

Filed under Family Ministry

Generational Discipleship

At the church where I’m an Associate Pastor I’m leading a team of staff members who are seeking to answer the question, “How can we as church leaders help encourage and equip parents in their role as the primary faith influencers of their children?”

It’s not an easy question to answer, but we’re committed to realigning our thinking for the sake of faithfulness to God and victory in our generation.  Our mission, by the grace of God, is to connect generations to make disciples of Jesus Christ.  We want to promote healthy family life, equip parents to disciple their children, adopt those without a spiritual support system and connect generations within our church.

In this entry, I’d like to share our Values.  I’d love to hear back from you!  Please write some comments about what you read below.

Values for Generational Discipleship

  • God has created the family to bring him glory

– God’s word gives guidance for healthy family life

– All families experience brokenness and sin, but are redeemed by Jesus as they look to him in faith.

– We give each other grace as we all strive to follow God

  • God calls parents to disciple their children

– Healthy families put God first in their lives

– Healthy families make space for discipleship

– Effective leadership in the home begins with personal growth in God

  • The church and family are partners in spiritual formation

– The church should train, involve and equip parents throughout its programming

– The church is responsible minister to those who lack a strong spiritual support system

– Healthy families in turn strengthen churches

  • The whole church is involved in Generational Discipleship

– Varied generations need one another and together engage in discipleship

– Church Leadership practices and proclaims generational discipleship

1 Comment

Filed under Family Ministry, Generational Discipleship, Parenting, Spiritual Formation

Devotions for Families in December

This December I wrote a Christmas time devotional for households for the church I serve, Cornerstone EPC in Brighton, MI called Devotions in December.  It has 11 devotions to be used during advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas.

I’d love to share with you.  Just click the photo above or here to visit Cornerstone’s site where it’s available as a PDF.

 

God bless and merry Christmas!

Tim

2 Comments

Filed under Family Ministry

So here’s a positive dancing opportunity

If you think dancing is fun,  (c’mon, let’s all admit that it truly is), then here’s a great multi-generational opportunity for wholesome fun.

Whether your a single or a couple or even a family, you’ve got to try the Medieval Dance this Friday August 6 at Cornerstone EPC (9455 Hilton Road, Brighton, MI)  www.cornerstoneforlife.com

We’ll be doing both Contra Dancing (a.k.a. English Country Dancing) and Swing.

Young or old, you’re all invited.  For more information, visit:

www.thedanceproject.info

The Medieval Dance

Comments Off on So here’s a positive dancing opportunity

Filed under Current Events, Family Ministry

Christian Camps for Making Disciples

This summer there are lots of great camps.

Here are two options:

1.  Spring Hill Day Camp at Cornerstone EPC.  Link

2.  Camp Cedar Ridge — this camp in the Huron Forest is wonderful because of the emphasis on discipleship.  If you want to encourage your children to grow as Bible readers while having fun, here’s a link http://campcedarridge.org/

Happy Camping!!!

Tim

Comments Off on Christian Camps for Making Disciples

Filed under Family Ministry, Parenting

My family is on a virtual tour of Europe!!!

Tonight we began a very cool quest.  We joined the Vision Forum Faith and Freedom Tour of Western Civilization.  Doug Philips and three other associates are doing a daily video blog which users can subscribe to.  Our family gathered around our computer tonight to learn about Roman Gladiators, Circus Maximus, and how Christianity eventually won the day in Rome.

If you’d like to check out a preview video, check this one.

The cost is $60 for two weeks of videos but also includes a full lecture mp3 of all that was done each day (mailed later.)

Comments Off on My family is on a virtual tour of Europe!!!

Filed under Christ and Culture, Family Ministry, Uncategorized

New Class on Wednesdays for parents

News release:  I’m teaching a three week class at Cornerstone EPC.

Family Discipleship
Teacher: Pastor Tim Brown
Location: Room 605
January 13, 20, and 27
*For all parents — walk-ins welcome*

The Apostle John writes, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 1:4) There is nothing greater than having children who know and follow Jesus. If you’re a parent, you’ve been entrusted with a special mission – you are the primary disciple maker in your child’s life. Feel overwhelmed? Well, don’t be! We want to help you. Come get a helpful mix of encouragement, training and fellowship in this brief three week series. Plus, get a free book just for coming!

The basic premise of this class is that parents, not Sunday school teachers will answer to God for the discipleship of the youth of our church. If you are a parent, you need encouragement. The job is not easy.

More on this in future blogs.

Tim

Comments Off on New Class on Wednesdays for parents

Filed under Family Ministry