I recently had a dear friend ask me to give him a few resources for implementing a family ministry structure in the church that he pastors. I thought that perhaps others might benefit from the list I provided.
“Our church wants to begin doing family ministry”. That sentence can mean any number of things. The people in your church probably have differing ideas as to what actually constitutes family ministry. That is why you need to have a season where everyone gets on the same page as to what family ministry actually consists of. The most helpful book for doing this is 3 Views of Family Ministry edited by Timothy Paul Jones from the Perspectives Series. (Read my review here).
Though I ultimately embrace a different model, one book that will need to be considered is Voddie Baucham’s Family Driven Faith. Here he makes a strong case for the necessity of family ministry. I prefer the Family-Equipping model and so I believe that Baucham overstates a few things. However, this is a valuable resource in showing the need for doing family ministry.
Another helpful book is Trained in the Fear of God edited by Timothy Paul Jones and Randy Stinson. This books gives theological, historical, and practical reasons for installing a family-equipping ministry model.
If you have everyone on the same page as to what actually constitutes family ministry, and you everyone decides that the family-equipping model is the best option then you will need to figure out how to implement a family ministry strategy. There is no better book for doing this (from a family-equipping perspective) than The Family Ministry Field Guide by Timothy Paul Jones.
Another helpful resource, though honestly I think you only need Jones’ book, is The Family-Friendly Church by Freudenburg and Lawrence. This book will serve as somewhat of a vision casting book. You will see here what other churches are doing to help equip families for a “home-based, church-supported ministry”.
Day to Day:
You’ve got your family ministry up and running. Now what? Here are a few books that I have found helpful in the day to day operations of family ministry:
Age of Opportunity by Paul David Tripp (excellent resource for parents of teens)
Family Shepherds by Voddie Baucham (excellent resource for dads especially)
A Parent Privilege by Steve Wright (great reminder of the privilege of parents)
Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick (read my review)
I am probably biased on this point. Forgive me. But I do think I am correct. SBTS seems to me to be leading out in the field of family-equipping ministry, thanks in part to the leadership of Timothy Paul Jones. I say this to say keep your eyes open for things coming from SBTS in this field. They are usually pretty high quality and cutting edge in this relatively new perspective on family ministry. One particular resource that you need to subscribe to is Family Ministry Today. This journal will help make you aware of new books in the field of family-equipping ministry as well as various issues that you might have.
Furthermore, I have found the folks at SBTS to be very accessible to the local church. If you have questions that arise during your implementation of family ministry contact the school.
If you are lost in all of these suggestions and you really only want to get 1 book get The Family Ministry Field Guide. If you can get two then add the Perspectives book. And be sure to keep an eye on the Family Ministry Today site.