It is a no brainer, the church and parents cannot individually establish faith in children; they must work together. The ultimate problem lies within the church and parents being able to come together to create an environment for true faith formation. Tim Kimmel’s book Connecting Church & Home seeks to identify and implement a strategy to pass faith on to the next generation.
Tim Kimmel’s approach to family ministry is anchored on the same approach our Father takes on us; grace. As our Father God embraces us in our sin and brokenness; the church must also do the same for the parents and families it serves. Tim’s hope is that parents, in turn, will share that same grace with their children. In essence he believes that grace-based family ministry is initiated by God, modeled by the church and practiced in the home.
As a family pastor I know that there are numerous approaches to family ministry. I firmly believe that there are no clear steps for success when inspiring faith at home. The insights Tim establishes are both Biblical and compatible with any philosophy you employ in your ministry. Here are some of my highlights from the book:
- “Flawed philosophy creates flawed strategy, which leads people to embrace flawed tactics.”
- “A biblically focused church and family is often understood as something we do. A grace-based church and family is most often understood as something we are.”
- “When God’s grace is the philosophical starting point of our family ministry at home and at church, it not only assumes a position of love for them, but it must be steered by the gospel.”
- “Effective family ministry isn’t about blame or guilt; it’s about hope.”
- “Grace is a game-changer. Grace-based parenting and grace-based family ministry is simply treating the people in your (church) family the way God treats the people in His. It’s treating your children the way He treats His. If we want to produce a next generation who love God, live for Him, and make an impact in their world, God’s grace is the perfect vehicle to make this happen.”
- “I don’t see the church as an entity having absolute authority over the family, nor do I see the family as an entity having absolute authority over the church. Both families and churches should be in submission to God.”
- “The role of a parent is to connect to the heart of his or her child in such a way he or she prepares that child to more easily connect to the heart of God.”
- “It might help to stop and acknowledge the obvious: Strong churches don’t make strong families. Strong families make strong churches.”
I truly enjoyed this book- both as a parent and as a family pastor. Tim writes this book from a position of great knowledge and years of experience. As he shares stories of struggles and of triumphs, you can easily connect to his approach to faith formation that connects the church and the home.