Years ago, I read the book Connecting Church and Home by Tim Kimmel, a discussion about the vital, symbiotic relationship between parents and the local church. At the very beginning of the book, Kimmel defines the family as “the domestic church” and defines the church as “a gathering of domestic churches.” He goes on to say, “Strong churches don’t make strong families. Strong families make strong churches.”
As I consider the strength and vitality of our church over the last 18+ years, I can attest to the truth of this statement. Specific family names come to my mind as I scan the landscape of our church, families who have left their fingerprints all over ministries here at Watermark and whose children, many of them grown and with families of their own, are now leaders in key ministry areas, some on our staff. Our church has been strengthened by parents who have intentionally and passionately modeled their faith for their children, trained them up in the ways of the Lord, prayed faithfully for them and have trusted God to do his work in the hearts of their children.
Given this reality, the burden for the family ministry here at Watermark has always been to not just consider ways we can provide the greatest children’s and student ministry experiences for kids, as important as that is. Rather, our most significant burden is to consider how we can come alongside of parents, who are the pastors of their "domestic churches," to equip them to lead and shepherd their children so that the church might be strengthened for generations to come. Our prayer is that through these families the church will thrive and that the world through Jesus’ church might “see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). We believe that this is the investment that will return the highest spiritual yield simply because of the unparalleled impact that a parent has on their own child.
As we continue to evaluate how best to invest in you, Mom and Dad, we are excited for what lies ahead of us this next year and praying that the Lord will use these efforts and resources to equip you to build strong “domestic churches” in your home. Some of the opportunities and resources we hope you take advantage of this year include:
All of these resources are available TODAY to you with many more resources and opportunities for your family in the development stages. The only question that remains is how will you seek to utilize these resources to strengthen your family in the coming days, weeks and months? We pray that you will take full advantage of all that God wants you to take advantage of, that He will use these things to grow you as a parent, to strengthen your home, and, subsequently, to strengthen His church.