Thursday Book Club: 3 Family Ministry Books in 2011

To cap off 2010, scholar and Sojourn member, Dr. Timothy Paul Jones, highlighted three family ministry books that he’s excited about for 2011.  These books “not only make the case for comprehensive family ministries but also provide the tools for churches to make the transition to family ministry from current programmatic models.”

A Theology for Family MinistryFirst off, A Theology for Family Ministry from B & H Academic provides a comprehensive look at the problems and the possibilities of doing family ministry in the twenty-first century.

Then, Trained in the Fear of God: Family Ministry in Theological, Historical, and Practical Perspective, published by Kregel Academic and edited by Randy Stinson and myself [Dr. Jones], sets family ministry in its biblical and historical context then shows how the biblical implications can be put into action.

Family Ministry Field Guide: How Your Church Can Equip Parents to Make DisciplesAnd then comes the Family Ministry Field Guide: How Your Church Can Equip Parents to Raise Disciples, a book for vocational ministers and lay-leaders alike that represents the results of a two-year study of what to prioritize in your church’s family ministry as well as what’s most helpful and what’s most needed in the field of family ministry.

Check out some other things Dr. Jones is excited about in his full post at Family Ministry Today.

Last Sunday: God’s Cross

This week in SojournKids, we studied Matthew 27:32-54, and we learned that:

  • Jesus died on the cross as a substitute for our sins.
  • Jesus’ cross makes a way into God’s kingdom

If you didn’t get a chance to grab the SojournKids “at home” sheet, you can download it here.

Pastor Rob Plummer: The Family in Early Church History

Check out this article at Family Ministry Today about the family in the New Testament and early church history by Pastor Rob Plummer.  Even though it is not the main point of this article, Rob finds a way to talk about how the gospel must be more central in our thinking than our families.  As a Family pastor, I’m so thankful for this emphasis.  It must be a focus on the gospel first that informs and transforms our thinking about family ministry.

Biological and adoptive family relations, while vitally important in this life, are not eternal. Jesus made it clear that, in the new heavens and earth, marriages will no longer mark our existence; all believers will be “like the angels in heaven” (Matt. 22:30). If our children stand beside us in eternity, it will not be as our children but as our blood-redeemed brothers and sisters (Rev. 7:9-12). Even as parents rightly pour out their lives in caring for their children, they must realize that what matters eternally is that their children know and love the Lord. The category of biological lineage or legal progeny will fade into insignificance at the dawning of eternity (Matt. 3:9).

Even in this life, foundational family loyalties must pale in comparison to our ultimate loyalty to the triune God. Jesus said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26).  This does not absolve believing parents of their responsibility to train their children in the fear of God; it does mean that every aspect of parenting is to be undertaken in light of a greater allegiance to the glory of God.

Thursday Book Club: Financial Peace, Jr.

Last Saturday, I wrote about Sojourn’s Take Control of Your Finances seminar, which will take place next Saturday, January 15th, from 8:30am until 11:30am at the East Campus.  You can register here. I’m super excited about the breakout session entitled “Creative Ways to Teach Personal Finances to Your Children” that will be led by Pastor Bryce Butler.  Just to continue peaking your interest, I thought I’d share some more resources that we’ve found.  Today, I’ll briefly review Dave Ramsey’s finance curriculum for kids, Financial Peace, Jr., his seven Junior’s Adventures children’s books, and the Junior’s Clubhouse website.

Financial Peace, Jr. provides some practical “cool tools” for teaching money management to kids (1) a commission worksheet, which is essentially a chore chart that provides ways to earn money by doing chores and ways to lose money by “not doing jobs, not doing homework,” etc, (2) a saving-to-buy with cash worksheet, and (3) an envelope system with pre-printed envelopes for giving, saving, and spending.  In addition to these primary tools, the kit contains a calculator, a “clip & carry” coin case, refrigerator magnets for mounting the three envelopes, and an instruction manual/audio CD that teaches the financial principles.  The curriculum along with the Junior Adventures children’s books, and the website introduce us to the story of young Junior, a fun-loving boy who likes to ride his bike and watch his favorite cartoon, Dollar Bill.  In his adventures, Junior learns various financial principles:

  • “The best place to go when you need money is to WORK!”
  • “When you are in DEBT  to someone, you change your relationship with them.  You no longer work for your own money, but you work for them.”
  • “INTEGRITY is doing the RIGHT THING, even when no one is looking… and not expecting anything in return.”
  • “GIVING makes you less selfish.  Helping others in need makes you SMILE.” Continue Reading…

Last Sunday: God’s Kingdom

This week in SojournKids, we studied Matthew 3:1-12, and we learned that:

  • Godʼs kingdom is where Jesus rules.
  • John was a prophet who told people about Jesusʼ kingdom
  • In Jesusʼ kingdom, we must turn away from sin.

If you didn’t get a chance to grab the SojournKids “at home” sheet, you can download it here.