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Connecting Church and Home Conference Takes Place in Nashville, Part I

March 23, 2009

Summary: Kim Davidson is Administrative Assistant to
Dr. Randy Stinson and a friend of CBMW. We post this two part series
with our gratituded to her.

This past weekend the "Connecting Church and Home " conference took place in Nashville, Tennessee at Brentwood Baptist Church . A friend of CBMW, Kim Davidson was there and blogged along as the conference unfolded. From her reporting we get a glimpse of this event. As the audio from these talks becomes available, Gender Blog will provide links to it.

From session one the vision of the conference was made clear: when it comes to leading churches with the family in mind…"We've Got to Get Better at This." So challenged David Horner, senior pastor of Providence Baptist Church  in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Horner went on, "[Family ministry] must be something that resonates at the core of who we are. This is a life-long process of relationally taking people deep into the Scriptures. We don't have to juice it up or make it relevant. We have so diluted this and what it looks like over the years that we must come back to a simple way of communicating Christ to the next generation."

He culminated his talk with a call to Christ-likeness: "Our task is to show youth the reality of Jesus. Our goal is not building programs. Our desire is Christlikeness (Col 1.28). We need to introduce them to Christ and help them grow in maturity in Christ. The goal for the church and the family is the same plan."

In session two, Steve Wright, Associate Pastor for Student Ministries at Providence Baptist, stood on the shoulders of his Senior Pastor's talk and carried it further. He described his own journey in youth ministry and how, along the way, he arrived at a turning point: "One of the things I became convinced of: God had given parents the primary role of discipling their children. It is hard to compel kids to treasure Christ above all else, when many of their parents treasured all else above Christ. I was building a ministry model that allowed parents to abdicate their role."   

Steve's charge applies to youth ministers, youth and parents alike: "See the gospel as the greatest thing. That God gets bigger, when the work of the Spirit gets mightier, when grace is more, when sin is uglier, when gospel roots go down deeper, when eternity gets louder. Keep this in mind: never let the gospel get smaller in your hearts."

Session three featured Jay Strother, Emerging Generations Pastor of Brentwood Baptist Church. He, in turn, built upon the previous two sessions. After laying out a foundation for the family from the Book of Ruth, Jay gave an encouragement to unify around the idea of reclaiming the priority of the family. 

He then gave, by way of application, seven Ministry Stategies for achieving the goal of Christ-like homes and church partnerships. 

  • Synchronize our ministry efforts around this master plan to build faith and character in our sons and daughters.
  • Communicate this expectation and plan clearly to parents.
  • Develop a resource guide that suggests to parents recommended resources for family devotions and specific family issues.
  • Connect our teaching ministries to the home.
  • Provide catalyst venues that introduce parents to Parenting 6.7 (Brentwood's ministry plan to infuse church with love).
  • Partner with the missions ministry in 2009 to provide family-friendly mission opportunities. This is what the students will remember 10-15-20 years down the road. 
  • Partner with the music and worship ministry to focus on intergenerational and family worship gatherings.

Part II

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