Our vision for family ministry at Streatham Central Church is as a body, to partner with parents as the primary disciple makers in their children’s lives.
Led by the Children and Family Ministry Lead alongside our Home Church leaders and Children’s ministry teams, by example and action, we want to empower and support our families to follow the instruction of Deuteronomy 6:5-9 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” And in doing so interweave every aspect of life with who God is and who we are in Him.
We want to embody this biblical principle by following a family-equipping model which has two key parts:
1. Family as Church
Throughout the Bible we see that the family unit is God’s design (marriage being the analogy of Christ’s love for the Church) and that there is clear Biblical basis for discipleship to take place within individual family units with the Father as the spiritual lead (Deuteronomy 6:5-9, 1 Timothy 3:1-13). As Christians, we are called to live as witnesses to the Good News of Jesus’ death and resurrection. And so, we see the home as the training ground for both engaging in wider church as part of the body and going out into the world.
With this focus, we want to:
Foster a culture of openness amongst parents on the joys and struggles of discipling our children consistently and to encourage accountability for our marriages. We want to model a culture of accountability that is marked by grace, knowing that we are first and foremost children of God and so, our giftings are God-given and our individual weaknesses can only be redeemed and refined by God.
Share and promote parenting resources that are Biblically sound (starting with the Bible itself and how to apply this to parenting) and encourage us beyond the world’s expectation of “mediocre parenting”, remembering that we parent in God’s strength and not our own.
Keep our parents up to date on the Sunday kids work content to allow opportunities for ongoing discussion at home and connection between Sundays and our day-to-day.
2. Church as Family
As a whole church body, united in Christ, we want to come alongside parents in the discipleship of their children.
With this focus, we want to…
Through Home Churches and leadership, build an organic but intentional culture of coming alongside families in their day to day lives to support the parents in their discipleship and encourage mutual accountability in our daily walk of faith lived out.
Build intergenerational relationships and provide opportunities for mentorship between older and younger Christians
To approach our Sunday children’s provision as a ministry and not simply a rota. Our kids ministry teams are partnering with parents in pointing our children towards Jesus through building God-glorifying relationships with the children and their families and loving our children as the individuals that God has made them to be.
Provide opportunities to experience the enjoyment of family life on a bigger scale.
Care for the children and families without spiritual roots who come to be included in our church family through partnership of such families with “families of faith” who will embrace both the child and their family with the purpose of loving the whole family well.
Our heart behind this is ultimately to build up to pour out into Streatham in line with our church vision of being Shameless in Mission. From this foundation and culture we can receive from the Lord, blessings which will overflow into our communities and so invite those we encounter into these healthy, God-honouring environments of home and church.