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In our first Coffee Chat, many participants expressed a desire to better help parents nurture their children's faith at home during the week. The board sees family ministry as part of our mission by helping church leaders explore ways to encourage and equip parents to continue the Bible exploration and faith conversation throughout the week. This topic is a collection of some ideas and resources to help churches help their families.

But first, what is Family Ministry?

Many great minds have been at work on this subject. Here are some things to read:

Family-based Youth Ministry by Mark DeVries was the "go-to" book across the Church in the 90's and early 2000's. Jim Burns, one of the more famous youth ministers to come out of Youth Specialties, writes a short essay on Mark's book at  When reading Mark's book, substitute "Sunday School" and "Children's Ministry" wherever he used the word "Youth." You can do the same with Burn's summary.

If you just want to "listen" to Mark, here's a good YouTube video where he discusses family ministry on the 25th anniversary of his book's release. Again... substitute "children/Sunday School" wherever he says "youth" and see what it makes you think about.

Tim Jones has published a three paper history and redefinition of Family Ministry that builds on DeVries' vision. It's well worth reading, especially as it critiques the  "generational segmentation" of church programs and learning.  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Related information and family resources here at

What are you doing to engage parents in your congregation in the faith formation and discipleship of their children? Reply with your suggestions, brainstorms, programs, and questions below.


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Last edited by Amy Crane
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