Experts offer fresh perspective to help stem the
tide of youth departing from the church
It’s a question church experts are desperate to answer: Why are so many young people leaving the church after high school? More importantly, what can be done to stop it? Michelle Anthony and Megan Marshman write in their new book, 7 Family Ministry Essentials: A Strategy for Culture Change in Children’s and Student Ministries (David C Cook/June 1, 2015/ISBN: 978-0781412971 /$15.99), that ministry leaders must discuss the critical role of family in the formation of faith that will transcend childhood beliefs.
While youth spend the vast majority of their free time with their family rather than the four walls of the church, parents often feel stymied by the distractions and busyness of life and ill-equipped to disciple their children during their formative years. 7 Family Ministry Essentials asserts this is where the church comes in. “While parents are the primary nurturers of their children’s faith, the church plays an essential supportive role to this endeavor,” Marshman explains. “The church can help awaken parents to their God-given roles, helping them see spiritual vitality is the most important aspect of their life and their child’s life.”
With decades of experience in Christian education and ministry, Anthony and Marshman capture the seven guiding essentials of family ministry that will transform lives, the church and the world:
1. Empowering families to take spiritual leadership in the home
2. Forming lifetime faith that transcends childhood beliefs
3. Teaching Scripture as the ultimate authority of truth
4. Understanding the role of the Holy Spirit to teach and transform
5. Engaging every generation in the gospel of God’s redemptive story
6. Making God central in every biblical narrative and daily living
7. Participating in community with like-minded ministry leaders
7 Family Ministry Essentials is for any leader who wants to see true spiritual formation happen within families of their church but isn’t quite sure where to start. Offering practical steps and inspirational stories, this strategic guide will help leaders equip parents in their congregation to be a vital part of knowing and modeling faith at home and hopefully stop the steady flow of young adults out the church doors. As Anthony says, “To invest in parents is to invest in the lives of young people far beyond the access we will have to influence them.”
In a culture inundated with consumerism Christianity, this handbook offers a new measuring stick to gauge effectiveness in ministry and will be an invaluable resource for pastors and teachers who want to see true spiritual transformation in the next generation.
Learn more about more about 7 Family Ministry Essentials and other ministry resources from the authors at www.davidccook.com.
“In this book, Michelle and Megan offer practical advice to help ministry leaders shape growing ministries and develop amazing leaders. I can guarantee you will be challenged and stretched!”
~ Ryan Frank, CEO of KidzMatter
“There has been no shortage of descriptions of why the church is failing the family, but rarely do we find prescriptions that help a pastoral staff do anything to change it. Michelle Anthony and Megan Marshman will not only make you aware of the challenges we face, but inspire you to equip and empower families for lifelong discipleship. I can’t wait to have my staff and seminary students interact with their ideas.”
~ Bill Staffieri, senior pastor, Beachpoint Church, and adjunct professor, Talbot Seminary
“I spent years in ministry trying to be the surrogate family for my students. This book eloquently displays the biblical need of supporting and making the family the central foundation in a student’s life. Megan and Michelle lay an unshakeable, biblical foundation of how to strengthen the families in your ministry.”
~ Evan Liewer, director of youth and young adults, Forest Home Christian Camp and Conference Centers
About the authors
Dr. Michelle Anthony is the vice president and publisher of learning resources at David C Cook and a popular speaker in the area of family ministry. She is the author of Spiritual Parenting, The Big God Story and Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family.
Anthony has graduate degrees in Christian education, Bible and theology, as well as more than 25 years of family ministry experience. Anthony and her husband, Michael, are the parents of two adult children and live in Colorado.
Learn more about Michelle Anthony at www.michelleanthony.org, on Facebook or by following her on Twitter.
Megan Marshman is the director of student resources and production for David C Cook and has led and challenged thousands of students in their faith at Hume Lake Christian Camps.
With a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Azusa Pacific University, Marshman speaks nationally at churches, conferences and university chapels. She and her husband, Randy, live in Long Beach, California.