Thanks to the generosity of B&H Academic, we have two more great books to give away this week. This time, they’re both focused on the importance of families, ministering to the families in our churches today, and even seeing the church itself as a family: Perspectives on Family Ministry: Three Views (B&H, 2009) and When the Church Was a Family: Recapturing Jesus’ Vision for Authentic Christian Community (B&H, 2009).
Scroll down to see how to enter the giveaway. We’ll be picking one person to win both books, and we’ll announce the winner next Thursday (April 5).
Here are the publisher’s descriptions of the two books.
In Perspectives on Family Ministry, Timothy Paul Jones makes the case that every church is called to some form of family ministry—but what he means by “family ministry” isn’t simply one more program to add to an already-packed schedule! According to Jones, the most effective family ministries involve refocusing every church process to engage parents in the process of discipling their children and to draw family members together instead of pulling them apart.
Jones sets the stage with introductory chapters on the historical contexts and foundations of family ministry. Then, three effective practitioners show clearly how your church can make the transition to family ministry. Paul Renfro (pastor of discipleship at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas) writes in favor of Family-Integrated Ministry, where the emphasis is on intergenerational discipleship. Brandon Shields (minister to high school students at Highview Baptist Church, a multi-site megachurch in Kentucky and Indiana) supports Family-Based Ministry—ministry that organizes programs according to ages and interests but also develops intentional activities and training events to bring families together. Jay Strother (minister to emerging generations at Brentwood Baptist Church in Tennessee) prefers Family-Equipping Ministry, maintaining age-organized ministry while reorganizing the congregation to call parents to become active partners in the discipleship of their children.
Spiritual formation occurs primarily in the context of community. But as the modern cultural norm of what social scientists call “radical American individualism” extends itself, many Christians grow lax in their relational accountability to the church. Faith threatens to become an “I” not “us,” a “my God” not “our God” concern.
When the Church Was a Family calls believers back to the wisdom of the first century, examining the early Christian church from a sociohistorical perspective and applying the findings to the evangelical church in America today. With confidence, author Joseph Hellerman writes intentionally to traditional church leaders and emerging church visionaries alike, believing what is detailed here about Jesus’ original vision for authentic Christian community will deeply satisfy the relational longings of both audiences.
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About Marc Cortez
Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.