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. At the same time, there is a spiritual family that supersedes every biological bloodline. The home must be a place of intentional discipleship and family worship that is guided and aided by church leadership as a component of its focus to build God-honoring families in the body of Christ.

In a world of social distancing, Moms and Dads and 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’s ministry, the church exists to supplement the spiritual activity of the Christian home. When it comes to marriage enrichment, the church should be a coaching center and a support mechanism for the spiritual togetherness that is cultivated in the Christian home.

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Meeting Current Needs

Are we providing adequate resources and encouragement for our families to take ownership of Christian discipleship in the home?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR TEAM-BASED EVALUATION & PLANNING:

  • We are providing parents in our church with the tools and encouragement they need to lead family worship with their children:
      • [Strongly disagree] 1—2—3—4—5 [Strongly agree]
  • We are providing married couples of all ages and stages with the tools and encouragement they need to enjoy meaningful devotional time together in their homes:
      • [Strongly disagree] 1—2—3—4—5 [Strongly agree]
  • We are championing and celebrating those parents, grandparents, and couples in our church who are doing a great job with family discipleship and worship:
      • [Strongly disagree] 1—2—3—4—5 [Strongly agree]
  • Our families feel well informed of the resources available to them for family discipleship and worship:
      • [Strongly disagree] 1—2—3—4—5 [Strongly agree]
  • We are especially keeping any eye out for those church members we know entered this season with preexisting relational tensions, and we are providing intentional encouragement to them:
      • [Strongly disagree] 1—2—3—4—5 [Strongly agree]

Review your answers to determine key areas of strength as well as those areas that need additional growth. Your responses may change week to week as you ramp up your regather phases, so it would be wise to revisit these questions often. Be sure to check out some of the resources linked below as well as on the sbtexas.com/covid19 site. In addition, email the SBTC staff who stands ready to assist any church that needs help or encouragement.

Assessing Developing Trends

How are the families in our congregation responding to the opportunities and resources we offer for home-based family worship?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR TEAM-BASED EVALUATION & PLANNING:

  • 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, YouVersion Bible app, etc.? Which of these digital tools seem to be most popular among our people?
  • Is it possible there may be a future in digitizing our small group curriculum or sermon notes through the apps that families are regularly using in their homes?
  • Is it possible that families in the church are becoming dependent on the production of the church staff in order to have a meaningful daily devotional life? How can we begin to refocus on empowering and championing them to own family discipleship and worship?
  • What married couples seem to be natural encouragers of younger married couples through social media and online connections?
  • Are families in our congregation more or less likely to hold regular family devotions when someone from church staff is encouraging them on the specific devotions of the day through email, text messaging, or social media?

Planning Future Opportunities

How might we effectively synthesize in-home discipleship with on-campus discipleship in the future?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR TEAM-BASED EVALUATION & PLANNING:

  • Are there seasoned married couples in our church who would be great mentors for younger married couples? How can we equip them with the tools needed and encourage them to pursue mentoring relationships?
  • To what extent will we continue the daily/regular video devotional presence from church staff and leaders? When should we begin to reduce their frequency and repackage their purpose from instruction to empowerment?
  • Can handheld devices be used to aid preaching and teaching in the future? Perhaps by uploading sermon notes to the YouVersion Bible app 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 so that couples and families are walking through the same Scriptures at the same time? If so, how can we systematize and celebrate it, and who will be responsible for it?
  • How will we address the daily discipleship needs of church members and guests who do not live in a Christian home?

Strategize the Path Forward:

  • How does in-home discipleship fit in to the discipleship strategy of your church? Write a 2-3 sentence explanation.
  • Identify technological tools already at your disposal that you can use more effectively to synthesize family worship and discipleship and on-campus worship and discipleship.
  • Decide to what degree your weekly pulpit ministry will integrate with your home-based discipleship and family worship ministry.
  • List specific steps that need to be taken to effectively integrate family worship and home-based discipleship with the on-campus ministries of the church. Decide who is responsible for oversight and implementation of each step.

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