Pastor Paul Rieger
Last month I neglected to write about Mother’s Day. Looking at June, a big focus is Father’s Day, and it would be pretty inappropriate if I only mentioned fathers and not mothers. So this month of June, I’d like to take the opportunity to talk about our family ministry.
You might have seen family ministry mentioned in announcements, or you might have seen one of our videos, or you might have even participated in an activity. But you know me, I like to ask why and I think knowing the “why” of things helps us focus on what’s important. So why family ministry? Why did we create a position known as Family Minister at Trinity? Isn’t that just a part of what we already do? Sadly, no it’s not. With our growing and changing culture, everyday everything seems different. It’s hard to keep up sometimes. So what family ministry does, is it seeks to connect strategically with the families of our church and equip them to serve their families. And so this isn’t just for young families, but for all aspects of the family.
What is Family Ministry?
How can we equip grandparents to be positive influencers in their family’s life? What can we do to work with moms and dads so that they can be the spiritual leaders of their households? How do we equip children to grow in their faith and even become spiritual leaders too? This is the drive of family ministry. When looking at how faith is passed on and when examining how new Christians are made, we see that the number one spot is in the family. You might, like me, have the vision that it’s people who wander in or even those who seek to know God, but it’s not. Faith is primarily passed on in the family. But if you think about it, faith is a family thing. We celebrate God as our Father who has given us His Son to adopt us and make us the children of God. Together we use family language to talk about our faith. We refer to one another as brothers and sisters in the faith. Trinity is a family!
What Can We Do?
So then the next question comes, what can be done by Trinity to sup-port this ministry? Well, in doing research, Nancy Simonson, our Family Minister, came across the statement that family ministry must be a connected part of the whole church. Ministries cannot be disconnected, they must all be connected. We’re already doing this in many other areas and now we’re incorporating family ministry into it as well. But that looks like getting people to love and serve one another as family. Using the people of God to help equip others with the gifts they need to minister in their homes. Equipping the church of God to be a family and care for one another as family. And all of this stems from scripture. Exodus 20:12 says “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
There is benefit to honoring your parents. But on the other side, Ephesians 6:4 says “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” A parent is not to be a tyrant but to guide a child to maturity and faith. Because in the end, all of this is happening to grow the family of God. If you’re curious about family ministry or wish to participate, talk to Nancy or me or get a hold of one of our newsletters.