The purpose of this booklet is to invite you to join us and other church leaders around the world to develop and engage in strategic, biblical ministry to families. Family ministry is not simply helpful or beneficial, but necessary and essential to the work of the local church. God has created two fundamental institutions to advance His Gospel and build His Kingdom in the world—the church and the family. At the heart of this movement is uniting the church and the family in the Great Commission. In the first days of creation, God created the human family to build His Kingdom and proclaim His glory:
- God’s image is reflected in the unique creation of man and woman (Genesis 1:26).
- Marriage and family are pictures of God’s covenant love and faithfulness (Ephesians 5:32).
- The family is God’s primary plan for passing the faith to future generations (Psalm 78).
Through the blessing of children, God’s people are able to fill the earth with the worship and glory of God (Genesis 1:28). Because God created the family as the foundation of human life it has been under continual attack from Satan and his demons. Whatever God loves, Satan hates. Whatever God desires to build, Satan seeks to tear down. In this booklet we will explore four urgent reasons why our churches must have a plan to minister to families:
- Families are suffering.
- God’s institution of the family is under spiritual and cultural attack.
- Justice and safety depend on strong marriages and families.
- God created families and churches to partner together to advance the Gospel.
Because of these realities, every local church needs a biblical strategy to build families, strengthen marriages, train parents, and connect the generations. When we strengthen families, we strengthen our churches. Church leaders from around the world are increasingly sensing a call from God to develop Bible-driven ministry to families within their churches and communities. There is an urgent need to include family discipleship as an integral part of the church’s overall Gospel mission. If we fail to engage in biblical ministry to families, the consequences for our churches and our nations may be dire. We want to invite you into this movement! This booklet is the first in a three-part series written with the goal of accelerating a national family ministry initiative in nations all around the world. In these pages we will talk about the “Why” of family ministry. The remaining two booklets will focus on the “What” and the “How” of building and equipping families in our churches. We have created this booklet to spark prayer, thought, and conversations surrounding the urgent call for the global Christian church to give strategic efforts to building, strengthening, and equipping families for Christ.