"Strong churches don't make strong families. Strong families make strong churches." - Dr. Tim Kimmel
What is the center of your Family Ministry strategy? Is it safety and protection from the dark influences of this world? Is it reaching unchurched families through evangelism? What drives your ministry to kids and families?
Dr. Tim Kimmel offers a one word answer in his new book, "Connecting Church & Home." That one word: GRACE. Dr. Kimmel suggests that God's grace can and should be what encompasses everything we do as a church - especially ministering to families.
Kimmel begins with the book with a challenging history of what has happened in the American church in the last 75 years. As society has deteriorated, parents have felt more and more isolated and incapable of leading their own children on a spiritual journey. Add to that - the church answered by raising up professional Children's and Youth Ministers to "help" them raise their kids. What happened more often was that the parents abdigated their responsibility to the "professionals."
This book is challenging, but is a very encouraging read. Kimmel offers a blue print of a "grace based parenting system." This is clearly defined as "treating others the way that God treats us" in every single relationship in the home. Kimmel writes, “By making God’s grace the philosophical starting point of everything we do, we guarantee that whatever is done will be done within an authentic connection to our kids’ heart” (P. 58).
Kimmel's strategy of "Grace Based Parenting" is broken into four dimensions: Greatness (aiming kids at the biblical standard of greatness), Character (guiding kids through the building of godly character that will last a lifetime), Freedom (every child wants freedom; allowing the child freedom to fail, etc.), and Inner Needs (providing for the basic needs for love, security, hope, etc.).
Grace based parenting is a parenting strategy that seeks to produce heart change in the life of our kids. This type of parenting results in kids who inwardly love Jesus and inwardly want to serve Him wholeheartedly. Kimmel understands that if you change the heart - the outward actions will change to imitate Jesus as well.
"Connecting Church & Home" can be purchased here.
Check out this video from Dr. Tim Kimmel discussing his book: