The reason cited for so many young adults who are leaving the church? Hypocrisy. Not even simply Christians who go out and “do something bad”. But Christians who talk about a life of faith, and experience of God on Sunday, and live like the rest of the world throughout the week.
Mark Holmen has written books, and spoken/ministered for years on the topics of faith development/growth at home. Pretty solid stuff here. He brought out a great question for us to be thinking/praying about:
“How do we equip the home to be the primary place faith is lived, expressed, and nurtured, using existing ministry structures?”
One thing they talked about over and over so far in this conference was this: Being a church that partners with what God desires of our church’s homes doesn’t mean simply hiring someone with the title “Family Pastor”. Or even tagging “Family Ministries” onto another job description of an assistance pastor.
In fact, he discouraged using the word “Family” in whatever we go back and do. For several years, his church tried a new “Family” initiative, and got very little buy in. They realized saying that, isolated and turned away people who didn’t view themselves as needing family development (i.e. usually view that as “young married with small children”). So they changed to “FAITH AT HOME”, and are still continuing to grow in response. Everyone has a home, and everyone is a part of a family, especially the family of God.
Such a thing doesn’t come from a new ministry, but a new set of ministry “lenses” that goes across the entire gamut of what we are involved in. It generally will take 5-10 years to see a large change occur, often even a full generation. We must build and grow on successes/health.
He gave 3 important “Next Steps” for what to do:
1. Personal Evaluation & Change – What do I need to do?
2. Your Ministry Evaluation & Change – What can I do there?
3. Your Church Strategy Evaluation & Change
So here we go….