Posted by Scott T. Brown on June 5, 2012 of NCFIC
Here is the bottom line: You cannot minister to the weak families unless you have strong families. Strong families are dependent upon obedient men and holy women. If we never have healthy families, then we will never have healthy churches.
The following six things are biblically mandated elements of church and family life. Each one can help to foster healthy family life, and ultimately strong churches.
1. Provide biblically qualified elders When a church establishes biblically qualified elders who manage their households well (1 Timothy 3), they are providing for long term social change. As these men lead by example, the whole church begins to understand how a biblically ordered family functions.
2. Encourage biblical headship in the home How do you define a broken family? It starts with the role of the head of the house. Families are broken by men and women who do not fulfill their God-ordained roles. If the church ever hopes to minister to broken families, it must start by going back to Scripture to find how men should be spiritual leaders in their homes. We need to be about the business of equipping men for biblical manhood.
Who will minister to the lost youth of this generation? Families and churches must reach out to preach the gospel and teach all that Christ commanded.
3. Stop creating weak families through your programs We believe that the modern church has missed the mark by doing things that keep families weak. The church has not maintained biblical priorities for family life. When we do this, we end up withholding adequate role models or worse, we have no good role models for our weak families. If you want to build strong families, you have to stop creating weak families by maintaining unbiblical, family-weakening practices. Until this changes in a church, families will remain weak and broken.
4. Make the church a true family You must give broken families a biblical church family that exemplifies Christ’s love for the church. It is in a healthy church family that people with broken families learn something they did not know before – how to be a family (Mark 10:30).
5. Provide for the lifestyle of Titus 2 women in the church Titus 2 gives a picture of women in strong families ministering to young families. When you promote Titus 2 women who will instruct the younger women, you have provided a key component to church and family life that generates strong women and strong families. If you do not encourage women to be holy keepers at home, you will never be able to have strong families. This is a culture-defying act, but it must be done because it is a key component to biblical Christianity.
6. Provide inter-generational worship and education Families are strengthened by participation in biblical discipleship methodology that is inter-generational. This is the only pattern that we find in Scripture. There is no such thing as age-specific ministry in the Bible. It needs to be admitted that putting thirteen-year-olds with thirteen-year-olds is a very foolish and unscriptural practice. Until churches change this and similar practices, the vicious cycle of decline will continue.
Two critical issues need to be addressed. First, refusing to give priority to making strong families in our churches ensures that we will always be calling people to weakness.
Second, neglecting the biblical directives for family life rejects the major biblical methods for ministry to youth.
Our failure to obey the Word of God in ministry to youth is of enormous significance for the prosperity of the church. At this time, as we continue many unbiblical practices, we are systematically sending our young people on the path of destruction. It is fracturing our families. It is corrupting our churches. It is destroying the next generation.
If we ever expect to see change, it is important to stop doing the things that make for weak families and start practicing the things that strengthen them.