Implementing SBTS’s Family Equipping Ministry Model

Communications Staff — March 20, 2009

What does the church have to do with the home?

The Connecting Church & Home conference seeks to answer this question and others related to it, with several speakers from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary making presentations.

The conference – held March 20-21 at Brentwood Baptist Church near Nashville, Tenn. – will reflect Southern’s recently unveiled Family Equipping Ministry Model, which is designed to equip church leaders to assist parents in discipling their children biblically.

Live blogs of the conference sessions will be available on Towersonline or at http://www.sbts.edu/family/. The event is being live blogged by Kim Davidson, administrative assistant to Randy Stinson – dean of the School of Leadership and Church Ministry at Southern.

The Family Equipping Ministry Model operates with the following definition of family ministry, developed by Timothy Paul Jones, assistant professor of leadership and church ministry at Southern: the process of intentionally and persistently realigning a congregation’s proclamation and practices so that parents – and especially fathers – are acknowledged, trained and held accountable as the persons primarily responsible for the discipleship of their children.

This definition appears in Jones’ forthcoming book ‘Perspectives on Family Ministry’ (B&H Academic, 2009), said the most crucial element is the emphasis on parental responsibility.

‘According to one recent survey, 85 percent of parents admitted that they were responsible for their children’s spiritual growth,’ he said, ‘yet, with few exceptions, these parents had no plans for their children’s spiritual training and had experienced no training or accountability in their churches for such a task.’

Jones said that local church leaders must prioritize teaching parents about their responsibility to train their children.

‘Many parents aren’t actively rebelling against God’s expectation – they’ve simply never been informed of their responsibility,’ he said. ‘The church has a responsibility to train parents, especially fathers, to plan and to engage in an active and intentional discipleship process with their children.’

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