Holistic Ministry

New friends, a beautiful break and confirmation of what Jack and I had been feeling led to in our ministry are the results of this past weekend’s children’s ministry leadership retreat in Glorieta, NM.

Hosted by the Baptist General Convention of New Mexico, we were able to meet and talk with children’s ministers from all over the state. Now Jack and I aren’t official “Children’s Ministers” as most of these good folks are. At best we’re unofficial volunteer coordinators, which made us feel especially blessed to compare curriculum, exchange ideas and kibitz with the rest. Best of all was the validation that many ministries are coming to the same conclusion about children’s ministry that we have: that all ministry must be holistic or all-inclusive of families.

‘Holistic’ is a fishy word in today’s Christian society. It’s come to be associated with all things new-agey and self-spirituality, but in reality it just means comprehensive, total, whole. Jack and I believe you cannot fully minister to a child unless you are ministering to all those living in the child’s household as well. The ‘whole’ family.

That’s not to say that one child can’t make a difference in a home, but that that child has a better understanding of eternal salvation and living a Christ-like life if he or she is brought up in stable, discipling environment.  God has called parents to serve as primary disciple-makers in their children’s lives (Deut. 6:4-9; 11:18-21; Psa. 78:5; Eph. 6:4). Holistic ministry is not another ministry to add to a church’s list of services; it’s a process of supporting parents—especially fathers where possible— so that they are acknowledged, trained, and held accountable through men’s, women’s marriage, parenting, youth and children’s services. Holistic ministry takes the whole church working together!

God is so good. And we are so slow. It’s taken nearly 19 years of marriage to figure out that God means for Jack’s love of children and my affinity for teaching adults to work together. I guess slow and steady wins the race!


5 thoughts on “Holistic Ministry

  1. while I agree wholeheartedly, there will never be a church that just serves these “whole” families, and if there is you are missing Jesus’ work,
    one person trying and learning from you is all it takes to change whole families
    trying to reach parents and children with love is all that counts, you cannot make them attend or change
    one step toward Jesus may mean a life time of difference in 10 or 20 or 50 years later
    one step
    one sense of Gods love
    but I would love to spend a week at your church teaching my parenting class
    set me up!!

    • I agree- one demonstration of God’s love is enough. I think the goal is to reach as many as possible. My point is to not concentrate only on children if you’re a ‘Children’s Minister’ or only on women if you’re into the ‘Women’s Ministry’. All services or ministries should work together. Not only to reach, but to teach. All for His glory.

  2. Pingback: Thankfulness No Matter What | God's Girls

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