Can Church and Home Work Together?
a review of Connecting Church & Home by Tim Kimmel

I’m a pastor’s wife … and daughter.  (and grand-daughter and great-grand-daughter, in case you wondered)  I’ve been going to church since before I was born.  I attended a private Christian college in a small Midwestern town.  And, with the exception of a few years in my early 20s, I’ve been actively involved in church my entire life.

But it’s not always been easy.  I haven’t always liked it.  In fact, a few years ago, I was ready to ask my husband to leave the ministry, to walk away from his calling.  I had been hurt, criticized, even condemned … some of it by people who didn’t even know me, had never seen or spoken to me.  I had my fill of “church people” and, I imagine if you’d asked many of the members of our church at the time, they’d had their fill of me too.

Out of that experience came a book about learning to love the Bride of Christ and finding that love through praying for the church.  It wasn’t an easy book to write.  And I still find myself returning to some of those chapters to remember the lessons the Lord taught me during that season.

Church life isn’t easy.  Church people aren’t always fun.  Let’s face it, it’s much more appealing to build a faith family of people who think just like we do about everything than to try to work together from all different perspectives and “count others more significant” than ourselves (Philippians 2:3).

Review of Connecting Church & Home

Lately one of the big debates in church circles is about family ministry.  How do we best meet the needs of family in obedience to biblical principles?  It’s not easy.  And there doesn’t seem to be a “one size fits all” answer.  That’s why I believe books like Connecting Church & Home by Dr. Tim Kimmel are so important.

Dr. Kimmel, the author of another of my favorite books Grace-Based Parenting, offers these definitions of family and church:

Definitions of Family & Church by Tim Kimmel

I love that!  Defining family and church in this manner squarely places the primary responsibility for spiritual formation in the hands of the parents … but it also reveals the church as a vibrant and useful part of that process.  And that is exactly as it should be.

Early in the book Dr Kimmel states:

Strong churches do not make strong families. Strong families make strong churches.  (10)

From there, he outlines a clear framework for the ways churches can help and encourage parents in their job of providing a solid spiritual foundation for their children.  He says, “It’s easy to slip into the trap of moving from the simple to the complex when we are trying to transfer faith into the next generation.  Grace goes the other direction.  It takes our challenges and distills them down to far more simple and manageable issues.”  (81)

Whether you are a parent who desires to provide your children with a heritage of spiritual influence and confidence or a church leader who longs to build a family ministry that effectively empowers parents to teach and guide their children spiritually, Dr. Kimmel’s book is for you.  Connecting Church & Home is an insightful and encouraging resource for building a partnership between churches and families.  I highly recommend it.

How does your church help equip you to lead your children spiritually in your home?

{affiliate links included.    i was provided a copy of this book for the purposes of review.  all opinions are my own.}

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