Hello Chapel Hill,
The make-up of families in our time has gone through many changes. Traditional families of two parents who were raised in the church (and are equipped to pass on the faith that they had received from their parents) are no longer the norm. Non-traditional families made up of single parents, grandparents raising children again, step-families, blended families, or parents working 60 - 80 hours a week to make a living are on the rise.
While many of the parents in non-traditional families realize that they as parents have enormous power in forming the faith for their children, they also live in an age of intense pressure on the family. This pressure has severely hindered many Christian parents from influencing their children’s faith. More and more, parents lean on the church, pastors, youth and children's leaders to pass on the faith to the younger generation. For sure this is an important role of the church but it’s far from sufficient. Both Biblical teaching and researchers of social studies have continued to affirm the importance of parents in influencing and shaping their children’s faith life.
Within this social and cultural context, I’d like to talk to you about a new ministry at Chapel Hill, the Family Ministry. The Family Ministry will focus on caring, nurturing, and supporting parents (perhaps a more correct name for this ministry is Parents' Ministry). I have charged the Director of Family Ministry, Tiffany Smith, with the task of providing leadership, energy, oversight, and Christian teaching to support and to be in partnership with parents as they strive to build happy homes.
I hope you are as excited as I am about this new ministry. There is so much work ahead of us. I’m asking for your prayers and help to support Tiffany and our Family Ministry in this important effort.