All posts written by Jared Kennedy

Pastor Dad released in Seattle, Pastor Daddy goes to Ridgecrest and maybe soon… adopts a new alias.

Many of you know that Sojourn’s first children’s book, Pastor Daddy, which was written by Lindsey Blair and Bobby Gilles with illustrations by Tessa Janes, can be purchased online or at the Sojourn book table on Sundays.  Pastor Daddy was written to teach preschool children the Christian doctrine of the home as a “little church” where the father teaches his family God’s commands and leads them to worship the one true God.

Well, there is a lot of new for fans of Pastor Daddy:

  • First, there was a new book by Mark Driscoll entitled, Pastor Dad: Spiritual Insights on Fatherhood, released by Re:Lit and Mars Hill Church yesterday for Father’s Day.  After the release, I got a few e-mails.  They all went something like this, “Mark Driscoll stole our book title!”  Well, for the sake of full disclosure, that isn’t exactly the case.  Driscoll preached a sermon (an eighty-one minute one) in 2001 entitled “Pastor Dad.”  The manuscript from that sermon was the inspiration for our 2008 children’s book.  So, technically, we took his title. :) The sermon is still inspirational as a booklet for dads, and I’d encourage all of you to check it out.
  • Second, I got a phone call today from Heather Easterday and the good folks at Seeds Family Worship.  Jason Houser and their team will be doing a presentation at the Lifeway Worship Leadership Conference at the Southern Baptist conference center in Ridgecrest, NC.  They called to see if they could feature and read Pastor Daddy as part of their presentation.  So, I said, “No problem!”  The Seeds folks hope to videotape their presentation, and I’ll post a link to it here.  [By the way, the last (and only time) I was at Ridgecrest, I was thirteen  or so and competing in the Baptist Youth Bible Drill and Speaker's Tournament.  Great memories.  I think my mom still has pictures.  Those will not be posted here.]
  • Finally, we’re currently having conversations with a publisher about sending Pastor Daddy to press.  Please pray that we will have wisdom during this process.  When and if we do publish, the title will likely change to Our Home is like a Little Church.  The new alias is meant to avoid confusion–this is not just a book for preachers’ kids–and avoid any copyright disputes with our friends at Mars Hill.  I probably made us liable in the paragraph above. :)

If you’d like to know more about the book, here is a little more of the skinny on Pastor Daddy.

From the Preface: At Sojourn, we believe that the home is the front line of ministry to children–not the Sunday school or public church gathering.  All the practices present in a Christian worship service–the Scriptures, prayer, and praise–should be present in teh home as well.  Pastor Daddy teaches this truth by repeatedly putting church and home side by side–on adjacent pages.  God expects parents to teach their children when they sit down for meals, when they drive along the road, when they lie down for bed, and when they get up in the morning.  These “pastoral” duties can be daunting for dads.  So, Pastor Daddy also serves a a reminder that these duties are done in light of God’s grace show to us through Jesus work on the cross.

Thursday Book Club: Foundations for Family Ministry

Tuesday/Thursday Book Club:
Perspectives on Family Ministry
Foundations for Family Ministry, chapters 4

Beginning with chapter 4, Jones begins to provide a foundation for family ministry.  The chapter serves as a lead-in for the four perspectives on family ministry presented in the chapter that follows.  Many churches think of family ministry in terms of “family counseling”–merely as a means to strengthen and salvage hurting families.  Others use “family minisperspectives-on-family-ministrytry” to talk about church ministry as a whole.  After all, the church is the family of faith.  The family ministry perspectives presented in this book seek to provide practical models by which churches can equip the nuclear family to be the primary training ground for youth and children.   Jones defines family ministry as follows:

The process of intentionally and persistently realigning a congregation’s proclamation and practices so that parents are acknowledged, trained, and held accountable as the persons primarily responsible for the discipleship of their children.

He then gives a brief outline of the major perspectives reviewed in the remainder of the book.  One of the best things about this book is that the men who write the “perspectives” chapters are local church practitioners who have developed their philosophies within the trenches of ministry.  So, here is a brief overview of what is to come in the next few posts:

The Family-Integrated Ministry Model: Family-integrated ministry is by far the most radical.  In a family-integrated church, all age-graded classes and events are eliminated. There is no youth group, no children’s ministry, no age-graded Sunday school program.  The generations learn and worship together, and parents bear primary responsibility for the
evangelism and discipleship of their children.  Voddie Baucham, Jr., author of Family Driven Faith, has been the most vocal advocate of this perspective.

The Family-Based Ministry Model: In the family-based model, no radical changes occur in the church’s internal structure. The congregation still maintains youth ministry, children’s ministry, singles ministry, etc. What makes this model different is that the focus of each ministry shifts.  Students may still experience worship and small groups in peer groups, separated from other generations. However, each ministry sponsors events and learning experiences (with inter generational curriculum) that are intentionally designed to draw generations together. Mark DeVries pioneered this approach in his book Family-Based Youth Ministry.

The Family-Equipping Ministry Model: In the family-equipping model, many semblances of age-organized ministry remain intact. But the church leaders plan organize their ministries so that they champion the place of parents as primary disciple-makers in their children’s lives.   The church intentionally co-champions the role of both the church and the home in equipping students and families.  Two strong advocates of this perspective are Steve Wright, author of ApParent Privelege, and Bryan Haynes, author of the forthcoming book, Shift: What it takes to finally reach families today.

The three perspectives are not mutually exclusive.  There is overlap, but each perspective is nevertheless a distinctive approach?  Where does your church fit?  Have you adopted one of these models?  Are you somewhere in between?

Memory Monday 06/15/09

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:8a)

What is “Memory Monday”? Each week I’ll post Scripture and/or Bible doctrine memory work from the previous Sunday’s children’s Bible lessons. Here is the challenge! Learn the memory work together as a family. Then, kids, come to our Sunday gatherings next week and recite the memory work to Mrs. Kelsey Barnes (St. Matthews campus), Mr. David Kidd (Germantown campus) or me to receive a reward.

Praise Factory: Free Children’s Ministry Curriculum

praise-factoryWhile I was at the Children Desiring God conference, I ran into my friend Deepak Reju.  He serves as an associate pastor  for family and counseling ministries at an influential church in Washington, D.C., Capitol Hill Baptist Church.  The church has recently put their self-written Praise Factory curriculum online for free.  When I got back to town, I received a note from Bill and Courtney Bell informing me that they’d found the site and some helpful things there.  Bill and Courtney used the curriculum when leading the children’s ministry at a previous church.  Later, I saw a brief review of the curriculum at

Well, I knew it had to be good, but this week is the first that I’ve been able to take a look at the site myself.  Here is the run down.  The Praise Factory Curriculum is designed to teach systematic theology to children.  It provides a complete scope and sequence for 2 year-olds through fifth grade divided into three age divisions.  For each division, complete lesson plans, musical scores, mp3 sound tracks, and parent resources are provided.  Here is the run down: Continue Reading…

Tuesday Book Club: Family Ministry Assumptions

Tuesday/Thursday Book Club:
Perspectives on Family Ministry
Family Ministry Assumptions, chapters 2-3

In his remaining introductory chapters, Jones give an overview of some assumptions that are common to leaders within the family ministry movement.  While there are varying views of how a family ministry should be organized (reviewed in the second half of the book), there are at least two common assumptions.  Here they are:

perspectives-on-family-ministry1. The task of training children in faith is too significant to be surrendered to professionals. Ministers, elders, and deacons should equip parents, but the task of training children (like the task of dating one’s wife) is too significant to be surrendered wholly to professionals.  From a biblical standpoint (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Psalm 78:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12; Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21), parents are the primary faith trainers of their children.  According to the Barna research group, Christian parents commonly agree with this assumption, but the majority  generally rely upon their church to do all of the religious training.  According to the research, the majority of parents do not spend any time during a typical week discussing religious matters or studying religious materials with their children.  They do not feel equipped to do so.  Sadly, very few student  ministires are talking about how to partner with parents to disciple children.

2.  The “teenager” is a cultural invention. Believe it or not, the term “teenager” was never used until 1941.  Of course, the fact of adolescence is ancient.  After all, the book of Proverbs is written to address the young adolescent man.  But, according to Jones, the social function of the adolescent years changed during the latter half of the twentieth century.  “What emerged for the first time during these decades was a distinct adolescent culture that differed radically from the culture of parents and other adults.”  The teenage years were no longer viewed as an intermediary life-stage with adulthood as the goal but a distinctive “youth culture” or “orientation” that resisted movement toward adulthood.  The 20th century church responded (some would say accommodated) to this phenomenon with a preponderance of age-focused ministries.    They began as para-church ministries (the YMCA, Young Life, Youth for Christ) then church youth groups began to imitate the para-church ministry models.  Youth groups developed “their own distinct expressions of Christian community, disconnected from the faith of their mothers and fathers.”  The Family Ministry movement in its various forms seeks to address and deconstruct in various ways the departmentalizing and compartmentalizing of the church’s people.

So, what do you think?  Do you agree with these two assumptions?  How is your church addressing them.  More to come soon as I continue to work through Dr. Jones’ book.

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