I am a treasure hunter by nature.  In fact, I used to spend my childhood walking around playgrounds, while everyone else played red rover or some similarly inappropriate game for the 21st Century, with my head down searching for lost valuables.  I still love searching the classifieds for bargains and have watched my fill of Storage Wars, but there is nothing that delights me more than finding hidden treasures in ministry.  Sometimes they are books that no one talks about anymore, or ministry methods shared by experienced saints.  Sometimes they are potent leaders who haven’t yet had the opportunity to spread their wings.  My latest discovery is that the PAONL has a fantastic team called “Family Ministries” with a vision that is much bigger than the next event or resource.

The reason you may not have heard about Family Ministries is that unlike most ministry departments (eg. Youth, Kids, Women’s, Prime Time), they don’t have a point person or gathering in a majority of PAONL Churches.  Family ministries is a little enigmatic in a similar way to Formission.  It is a culture-shaping ministry, mainly working directly with lead pastors and planning events unseen by the average congregant:  Pastor-Spouse Retreat (Thrive), and PK Retreat (Pastor’s Kids, not Promise Keepers).  In the past, family ministries has been centred on ministry families.

So why begin to raise awareness now?  Why promote family ministry to the average congregant or lay leader? We believe that we are at a strategic time in our movement’s history, and that the Christian family is one of the largest targets for the enemy of our souls.  One of the keys to advancing the kingdom of God in the 21st Century will be doing effective ministry in our churches to families: Equipping parents to disciple their children well, providing resources to facilitate growth in family discipleship, and promoting cooperation between Kid’s, Youth, Young Adult, Women’s, Men’s, and Prime Time Ministries to develop a holistic approach to ministering to the family.  Above all, we believe that it is essential to model healthy family relationship and discipleship, beginning with the pastor’s family.

Our message is: “People Care – Find Your Person – Grow Together.”

Family Ministries is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered to the benefit of all of our churches  Over the course of the next few months, we will be launching a series of articles here in the Good Tidings and through Formission to introduce you to the Family Ministries Team and give you a sense of their heartbeat for ministry to families in churches across our province.  It begins with our Core Values:

  1. “We celebrate the wins and own the losses of others” (authenticity). That means that we will be quick to spotlight churches and leaders who are taking family ministries to the next level.

  2. “We cut the small talk” (transparency). When we gather, we will not shy away from the big issues.   We will foster relationships where we can have real accountability.

  3. “We connect ministry families” (relational leadership). We will help pastors and their families to not feel alone in ministry.

  4. “We create resources that people actually want to use” (discipleship).   With excellence.

We are so excited for this “re-launch” and would welcome your feedback.  Also, if your family or church is doing something to promote healthy family discipleship, we would love to hear from you. Stay tuned for more information and resources for families.

Check our webpage and follow PAONL Family Ministries on Social Media!

https://www.paonl.ca/ministries/church-ministries/family-ministries/

https://www.facebook.com/PAONLfamilies/

 

About Jeremy Nippard

Jeremy Nippard is the Director of Formission with the PAONL. He has been in full time ministry for 11 years and lives in Paradise, NL with his wife Cheryl and kids Christyn (9) and Carter (7). He is passionate about discipleship and loves to see leaders and churches becoming healthy and missionally engaged.