The family unit is to be a place of intentional discipleship. It should be a microcosm of church life, a playing field for spiritual practices and a training ground for future disciple-making disciples of Jesus Christ. The home must be a place of intentional discipleship and family worship that is guided and aided by church leadership as a component of their focus to build God-honoring families in the body of Christ.
In a world of social distancing, moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas are relearning the role of being the primary disciplers of children in the home. This is not a bad thing. When it comes to children and family ministry, the church exists to supplement the spiritual activity of the Christian home. For example, when it comes to marriage enrichment, the church should be a coaching center and a support mechanism for the spiritual togetherness cultivated in the Christian home. As we look to the future, helping families will require more digital and electronic tools to accomplish this task.
Here are some questions that churches can begin to ask of themselves:
- Are we providing parents in our church with the tools and encouragement they need to lead family worship with their children?
- Are we providing married couples of all ages and stages with the tools and encouragement they need to enjoy meaningful devotional time together in their homes?
- Are we championing and celebrating those parents, grandparents and couples in our church who are doing a great job with family discipleship and worship?
As we engage our families, we look for trends and digital tools that help us reach them more effectively:
- Are our people more likely to hold regular marriage or family devotions when we provide digital tools for them to use, such as the Lifeway apps, SBTC Family app, Bible app, etc.?
- Which of these digital tools seem to be most popular among our people?
- What married couples seem to be natural encouragers of younger married couples through social media and online connections?
- Ultimately, we want to help our families grow and build their faith. Are there digital and electronic tools that can assist us in this as we move forward?
- How can handheld devices be used to aid preaching and teaching in the future? (Perhaps by uploading sermon notes or encouraging each small group member to use online Bible study guides with their mobile devices?)
- Should we consider offering guided in-home devotions and discipleship tools to allow couples and families to walk through the same Scriptures at the same time? If so, how can we systematize and celebrate?
- How will we address the daily discipleship needs of church members and guests who do not live in a Christian home? What helps can we provide them?