HTS Theological Studies
On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422
VAN STADEN, Jacobus M. (Thinus). Family ministry in a postmodern church. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2014, vol.70, n.1, pp.01-08. ISSN 2072-8050. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/HTS.V70I1.2783.
The aim of the article is to reflect on the necessity for family ministry in the church today, and to explore different models and methods for doing it. This article must be understood against the backdrop of the challenges facing mainline churches, of which the decline in numbers, the lack of support for programmes and initiatives on behalf of families, and the apparent inability to minister effectively to young people, are the most pressing. Since the early church there has been a close relationship between church and home. Not only did rituals and liturgies spill from the gathered congregation into homes; metaphors from family life also provided images and language to the early church. In the last few decades there has been a rekindled interest in the home as the primary incubator for faith formation. Several books, articles, organisations, programs, consultants and churches have described their approach as 'family ministry'. From a practical-theological viewpoint, there must be a set of criteria by which these approaches could be evaluated. This article aims to contribute in this regard, and to critique different approaches to family ministry.