Friday, March 16, 2012

Trained in the Fear of God - Review - Kregel Book Tour

Trained in the Fear of God
Family Ministry in Theological, Historical, and Practical Perspective
Randy Stinson and Timothy Paul Jones, Editors, 2011
Kregel Academic and Professional
304 page, Paperback
ISBN 978-0-8254-3907-0
Order directly from Kregel here.

Are you looking for a better understanding of family ministry?  Are you frustrated with the options available at church for your family?  Do you work in family ministry at your church and struggle with where to go next?  If you answered yes to any of these questions this book may be for you.

Trained in the Fear of God is a resource for church leaders and pastors, adults involved in family ministry and anyone else who desires to understand the how and why of their church's programming structure.  This book discusses how churches have moved to age-specific youth ministries and why that focus should shift to a more multi-generational holistic approach.

Trained in the Fear of God addresses the concept of parents being ultimately responsible for teaching and discipling their children.  Another layer of responsibility is also discussed which involves the church as the larger "family".  Filled with a lot of scripture and great examples, this book is encouraging, convicting,  and educational.

Stinson and Jones share the thoughts of 17 scholars and practitioners to provide a biblical and theological foundation for moving to ministry to and by families.  Some practical examples and implementation ideas are provided in addition to the foundational material.  The contributing scholars included Albert Mohler, Robert Plummer, Bruce Ware, and James Hamilton and others.

I found this book to be easily readable and understandable.  I now know and understand more about why so many churches split up parents and children during their services.  I also agree with the suggestions to put more emphasis on family/parental responsibility in teaching children rather than relying solely on the church.  I've noticed the shift in a lot of churches today in teaching whole families in a service rather than pulling them apart, and I strongly encourage readers to try to move in that direction.  It affirms the parents, follows scripture, and helps families grow in knowledge together.  This compilation of church history, scripture and suggestions would be a good "required reading" resource for family ministry workers to share some perspective on why things don't always have to follow in the "we've always done it this way" rut.

This was not a quick read, however, since there is a lot to think about and process in the pages of Trained in the Fear of God.  That said, it was worth the reading time.

I received this book in exchange for a candid review.  I did not and will not receive further compensation.  Comments and opinions are my own.  I was not required to provide a positive review, but I did like this helpful book.

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