After spending a day and a half with Brian Haynes, author of Shift: What it takes to finally reach families today, I'm more convinced than ever that Brian brings something to the family ministry dialogue that I rarely see: a workable, sensible, biblical, sustainable family ministry philosophy.
Brian's grasp of family ministry goes beyond anyone's that I've encountered thus far. He and his church (Kingsland in the Houston area), have spent the last decade studying, refining, and testing a spiritual formation path that integrates family ministry into everything their church does (at every age level). Sounds hard, I know. But the beauty of it (and something we've searched for in the arena of family ministry for the last two years) is its utter simplicity.
There are three parental behaviors that are the goal of their family ministry: celebrating milestones, weekly faith talks at home, and capturing God Sightings. And they've so brilliantly succeeded at helping parents grow in these behaviors--as evidenced by the quarterly research they conduct with parents.
I'm telling you! This works! Brian and his church have succeeded in what Timothy Jones has identified as the key factor of a church's family ministry success. They've created an ethos in their church that influences everything they do. It's brilliant--and it's very different from what other folks espouse in their strategies.
Check it out at legacymilestones.org, the latest issue of Children's Ministry Magazine, and Brian's new book Shift (releasing 8.5) from Group.
Seriously, this is what it takes to finally reach families today. And it's not a program; it's a workable paradigm shift.