Family Ministry: A Comprehensive Guide

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North American families are in crisis, and the need for family ministry is more evident than ever. In her many years of ministry, research and teaching, author Diana Garland has found that the strength of Christian families is rooted in their faith and nurtured in their congregations. Garland believes that Christian families gain strength in part because of their communities of faith.

Twelve years after first coming to print, the award-winning Family Ministry has been given a significant makeover. In this new edition Garland takes a three-pronged approach to family ministry, which includes developing families grounded in Christian faith, helping families live the teachings of Jesus with one another, and equipping and supporting families as they learn to serve others.

The insights gained are organized into four main sections:

The Context for Family MinistryFamily FormationFamily DynamicsLeading Family Ministry

Garland examines and fully integrates the historical, sociological, theological and biblical contexts to understand the role and meaning of family in the life of Christians and the church. She perceptively connects these explorations with the social and cultural context of the early twenty-first century.

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Editorial Reviews

Reggie Joiner
"Diana Garland uses reasoned, comprehensive methods to put understanding in the context of our personal and casual observations. Sometimes her conclusions confirm that we're on the right track. In other instances, she finds out we're missing the mark and need to change our strategy completely. At each step, she includes personal stories that take the concepts from the research lab to the living room and challenge us to do what we do better, for all the right reasons."
John Roberto
"Family Ministry: A Comprehensive Guide is a gift to everyone in church leadership and ministry with families. Diana Garland accomplishes the almost impossible--blending history, theology, family theory and pastoral practice into one book that is a must-have resource for everyone who works with families. Diana's knowledge, experience and wisdom are woven into each chapter of the book. Family Ministry provides congregations with vision and practices for ministry with families in the 21st century."
Doctor - Eric Swanson
"If you think you know about family ministry, think again. This handbook on family ministry provides the biblical, historical and research-based approach to family ministry. It is a gem that could serve as the foundation for anyone engaged in family ministry. The book is loaded with compelling research, heart-tugging stories and practical suggestions for implementing and improving church-based family ministry. Don't miss this one!"
David Sherwood
"This second edition of Diana Garland's groundbreaking resource for the church, Family Ministry, builds on the qualities that made the first edition so important. It is deeply informed by biblical theology, understanding practical needs of families in local church communities, and ongoing research. Dr. Garland is dean of the Baylor University School of Social Work and has for years led major research studies on families in the church and community ministry. With her husband David Garland, dean of Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor, she is coeditor of The Journal of Family and Community Ministries. Her book is substantive and engaging--full of well-grounded stories and applications for family ministry."
Dr. Eric Swanson
"If you think you know about family ministry, think again. This handbook on family ministry provides the biblical, historical and research-based approach to family ministry. It is a gem that could serve as the foundation for anyone engaged in family ministry. The book is loaded with compelling research, heart-tugging stories and practical suggestions for implementing and improving church-based family ministry. Don't miss this one!"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830815852
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 12/20/1999
  • Pages: 629
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 2.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Diana R. Garland is Dean of the School of Social Work at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Her other books include Sacred Stories of Ordinary Families, Church Social Work and Beyond Companionship: Christians in Marriage (with David Garland).
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Table of Contents

Introduction Structure and Purposes Resources AcknowledgmentsSection 1: The Context of Family Ministry
1. Our Genealogy: A Brief History of the American Family Fighting About Family Kinship and Households Colonial America Frontier America Slavery and Family Life for African Americans The Industrial Revolution and Beyond Conclusions
2. The American Family Today Today's Family Statistics Why Defining Family Is Important Conclusion
3. The Family in Christian Thought Early Christianity Changes and Challenges Family Life The Catholic Church: Marriage as Sacrament The Protestant Reformation The Enlightenment The Church and Non-European Cultures The Church and Families in Recent History Learning from History
4. A Biblical Frame for Defining Family In the Beginning . . .
Jesus' Life: A Transformation of "Family"
Jesus' Teachings by Word and Example The Ethiopian Eunuch The Family of God Implications for the Church
5. An Agenda for Family Ministry The Development of Family Ministry Defining Family Ministry Family Ministry as PerspectiveSection 2: Family Formation
6. Fieldguide of Family Relationships A Family Story Single Adults Married Adults Parents Siblings Older Adult Families Who Are Families?
7. Family Development Developmental Stages The Processes of Family Development We Are Family Cyclical Phases of Family Development Family Life as Christian Formation
8. Families in Physical and Social Space The Ecosystemic Approach Habitat Adaptation and Stress Possibilities and Complexities of an Ecosystemic Approach Emergencies, Crises and Catastrophes Strong Families
9. Culture and Family Identity Families in Culture The Unique Culture of Families Becoming Culturally Competent Family Identity Family Rituals Family Stories Implications for Family MinistrySection 3: The Processes of Family Life
10. Family Interaction Types of Communication Conflict and Anger Forgiveness and Repentance Intimacy Implications for Family Ministry
11. Power and Roles Jesus' Teaching About Power Gender Roles Discipline Family Violence
12. Working Together Defining Family Faith Biblical Narratives of Family Faith A Story of Family Faith Service as a Family Affair Engaging Families in Ministry Hospitality Woven into Family LifeSection 4: Leading Family Ministry
13. Congregational Life as Family Ministry Worship Christian Education Christian Care Administration Leadership for Family Ministry Conclusions
14. Knowing Your Congregation and Neighborhood What We Know--And What We Need to Find Out How to Do Assessment for Family Ministry Congregational Assessment Methods Knowing the Neighborhood Summary
15. Planning and Evaluating Family Ministry The Mission of the Congregation Identifying Most Compelling Ministry Possibilities Planning for Change Dimensions of Family Ministry Making Changes Planning to Evaluate Engaging the Congregation and the Neighborhood Summary
16. Programs and Services Congregation or Neighborhood—Or Both?
Family Resource Programs Family Life Education Programs Community Development Family Advocacy In Conclusion Glossary References Bibliographic References Names Index Subject Index Scripture Index
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