How family ministry is influenced by the American Church Story

As you read this I’m getting on a plane for the D6 Conference in Dallas this week. I’m looking forward to talking a lot about family ministry and the church and would love for you to join me in processing it! Be sure to check out D6’s live video feed of some of the sessions where I’ll be interacting in the live chat.

This conference will be particularly interesting for me because I’ve been processing family ministry from a youth ministry perspective for several years now, but it’s only been in the past year or so that I’ve been approaching family ministry from a family perspective. Hearing church leaders talk about family ministry at D6 this week will undoubtedly be a collision of those two perspectives for me.

One of the guys I’ve been bouncing some of my family ministry thoughts off of is Heath Hostetler, a guy in the Epipheo network where I now work full-time. Our stories are very similar except he’s about 10 years head of me, making the lessons he’s learned especially valuable to me.

I sat down with Heath and talked with him about several things:

  • Lessons we’ve learned from stepping out of church ministry.
  • The “American Church Story” and how it influences how we do ministry.
  • A clearer understanding of what the “church” is and isn’t.
  • How scripture views “calling.”
  • What all this means for how we do youth ministry.
  • How youth pastors should begin to approach family ministry.

I’d love to hear your feedback about our discussion in the comments below. This is still very much a learning experience for me, so hearing your thoughts and reactions is helpful for me and others who read them. Thank you!

You can watch to the interview above or download it in iTunes.

1. Play the audio of this interview     
2. Play the audio of this interview     
Life In Student Ministry

Posted on September 25, 2012

  • Pastor Rob

    I agree, I absolutely hate the term “calling”, no one is called to a permanent place of ministry, but is traveling along in their relationship with God to be used by Him where ever He brings us. the “calling” we often think about is us realizing the gifts God has given us for ministry, but those can be applied where ever He leads us, not a specific ministry.

    • Good thoughts, Rob. I don’t hate the word “calling,” it just kinda irks me when we use it so loosely to talk about an idea that may or may not be clearly biblical. I think the distinction between “general callings” and “specific callings” is important.

  • Steve

    I’ve been a full time youth pastor for 7 years. This summer I had a sabbatical (every 7 yrs we get one here) and my views on the American Church started to just get so turned up side down. I was able to step back and really look at what I was doing and I started to feel uncomfortable with much of what I see in the church. This video brings a lot of clarity and vision to me on what the church should be and how youth ministry should actually happen within that context. I’ve been on this site for years, have never posted, but I just felt like I should because I have so many questions and there aren’t too many (to my knowledge) sites that will look outside the box when it comes to issues like this.

    • Thanks, Steve. Taking a step back really does bring a lot of clarity. It seems like it’s difficult to talk about these kinds of things with youth workers and pastors who are have been so entrenched in the American Church Story without some sort of disagreement arising. Vision gets blurry when you stare at something up-close for a long time, ya know? Glad you’re serving with a clearer perspective now!

    • Heath

      Hey Steve. Heath from the video here. Would you be willing to share any of your insights? I am very interested in your thoughts and findings, especially because you are still working in the church. That is a unique perspective. Also you mentioned having a lot of questions. I love to talk it through if you are interested. Blessings bro!!!

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