There have been three driving convictions for me the past year as to what this church should be about:
1) An emphasis on the Bible basics of preaching-teaching, worship, fellowship, and prayer.
2) The experiencing of God in the community of small group structures.
3) A family-equipping model of ministry. (One of the seeds God planted in me last year was while Tracey and I were attending a family-equipping church and family conference.)
We began this year with a solid, initial approach to implementing #1. In January we hope to begin implementing #2.
Recently, through the reading of two different books - one by Johnny Hunt and the other Wayne Cordiero, I was face to face with the same advice. As a leader, find out what the 5% is that you alone can do for your organization, and make sure that you are giving the best time to that 5% - not to the 95% of other things that other people can be trained, equipped, and released to do.
Pondering the question, What is my 5% for The Spring?, I knew with conviction that part of that 5% is guiding the church toward a family-equipping model. As your leader, I am committed to shaping this church towards a family-equipping approach.
In the weeks and months ahead, I will educate us more as to what is meant by a family-equipping model. Right now, the Steering Team is reading a book to help us in that entitled Perspectives on Family Ministry by Timothy Jones, professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS).
I am gladdened that SBTS' School of Church Ministry is giving leadership in this area by trying to educate, equip, and encourage churches towards a family-equipping ministry. Just yesterday I found their blog entitled Family Ministry Today: The Center for Christian Family Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:
I strongly encourage you to check out their blog, familiarize yourself with it, and begin learning for yourself about the model of family-equipping ministry. Check out the video on the front page called What is the Problem with Current Church Structures?
A family-equipping model is not just another program or fad that we may try for a while until something else comes along. It is, instead, a philosophy of how to structure a church in order to best equip families spiritually.
It is not a decoration issue. It is a blueprint issue.
I look forward to how God will lead us to become a family-equipping church. Last night we already made a solid step forward. Parents and grandparents received a Parent Handbook from Group Publishing that goes along with the lessons your children and youth are receiving on Wednesday nights. Parents and grandparents are encouraged to use that handbook to talk with your children and teens at home this week about our first lesson from our Faithweaver material. When we move to Sunday School on Sunday mornings, we will all be studying the same lessons. That is a solid, simple approach.