The church of the first century were called to leave their earthly familial allegiances and to bond to one another as the new family of God.
Recently, I have been reflecting about why I deeply believe in family ministry. Fuller Seminary (FYI) and Orange really help me articulate a historical, theological and practical response to why youth pastors must value church and family.
I remember back in 2002, it was kind of considered weird for a youth pastor to view family ministry as a priority. Now, in 2013, it is considered kind of normal to consider family ministry as a priority.
The days where youth ministry only focused on teenagers are over.
Back in the ’70s, church ministry departments became very compartmentalized, fragmented and misaligned. Consequently, youth ministry became very isolated, highly programmatic and focused only on teenagers. But now, in 2013, youth ministry and the Church are finding their way back to where it all started and began. In the first century, the Church was central to the community. And the family was central to the Church, which is why the Church needs to serve the needs of the family. Families saw the church as their community.
Dennis, in the book A New Design for Family, states:
The church of the first century were called to leave their earthly familial allegiances and to bond to one another as the new family of God. The revolutionary impact of the first-century church was their love for one another as Christ had commanded them. The need for the church in the twentieth century is to respond as they responded. We are the church and we are family. Let us get on with our business.