The Essential Guide to Family Ministry: A practical guide for church-based family workers

The Essential Guide to Family Ministry: A practical guide for church-based family workers

Author : Gail Adcock
£8.99

A comprehensive foundation for those working in the increasingly complex and diverse area of ministry with families, The Essential Guide to Family Ministry presents an overview of contemporary family life, sets out the principles that underpin this work and offers strategic and practical approaches to working with families.

An essential read for all who are involved in this field and passionate about seeing God’s kingdom come in families, churches and communities.

Title The Essential Guide to Family Ministry: A practical guide for church-based family workers
Author Gail Adcock
Description

A comprehensive foundation for those working in the increasingly complex and diverse area of ministry with families, The Essential Guide to Family Ministry presents an overview of contemporary family life, sets out the principles that underpin this work and offers strategic and practical approaches to working with families.

An essential read for all who are involved in this field and passionate about seeing God’s kingdom come in families, churches and communities.

Details
  • Product code: 9780857465788
  • Published: 24 January 2020
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • Dimensions: 148mm wide and 210mm high

A comprehensive foundation for those working in the increasingly complex and diverse area of ministry with families, The Essential Guide to Family Ministry presents an overview of contemporary family life, sets out the principles that underpin this work and offers strategic and practical approaches to working with families.

An essential read for all who are involved in this field and passionate about seeing God’s kingdom come in families, churches and communities.

Gail Adcock is Family Ministry Development Officer with the Methodist Church GB, equipping and resourcing those working with families across the UK. She has a primary education background, was family pastor at Stopsley Baptist Church for ten years and completed an MA in Children and Family Ministry in 2013.

Gail Adcock's The Essential Guide to Family Ministry is just that. it is grounded in research, personal practitioning experience, deep listening and reflection and this is expressed in the content and structure of the book. The seven habits for highly successful family ministry are born out of insight and experience and are realistic and achievable. The book has reflective questions and theological reflections and can be used both as an exploration tool and a mirror to existing ministry. It is ideal for a  book group, pastoral group, church, or leadership team to read and explore together to help develop new ministry with and among families or to review existing ministry. It is essential for those who want to understand context and where to start in family ministry as well as those who are already on the journey.
Penny Fuller, Children, Youth and Family Co-ordinator The Connexional Team

Families don’t come in one size – nor does family ministry. In this much-needed book, Adcock lifts the lid on the theological underpinning and practical outworking of ministry with families of all shapes, stages and sizes. She lays out the map of family ministry and invites churches to explore theology and practice before planning their journey of ministry with families of all shapes, stages and sizes. Whether your church is just starting this journey, or has been on it for some time, there is plenty here to refresh your vision, understanding, strategy and practice.
Mary Hawes, National Children and Youth Adviser, Church of England

Gail Adcock’s work is timely in a country facing uncertainty and turbulence, when we need to nurture unity. Scratch the surface, and we find that creating and building family remains of utmost importance to most people across all ages. The author’s emphasis on adopting a family-style intergenerational approach as a priority is prophetic and life-giving, not only for the flourishing of church community, but for the health of society as a whole.
Caroline Dollard, Marriage and Family Life Adviser, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

Whether you’re starting out working with families or you’ve been working in the field for a while, this well-researched book of cultural and theological reflection combined with practical wisdom will help you develop impactful ministry with families.
Victoria Beech, creator of GodVenture

Family ministry can be such a nebulous concept for churches to grapple with. What are it’s boundaries? Is there even anything left for the rest of the church leadership to focus on once we’ve listed everything we think the family ministry worker should be doing? In this clear and concise book, Gail Adcock helps churches think theologically and strategically to define family ministry for their setting. A must read for all church leaders as well as their family ministry teams.
Sue Price, Hand in Hand Children’s and Family Ministry Conference Director, Kingsway CLC Trust

Gail’s extensive knowledge and experience offers strong foundational principles and examples of good working practice to resource family ministry. Covering aspects such as the changes within family life and its impact on church life and ministry is helpful to set a base from which the reader would be able to apply the material in a way that is relevant to their context. Whether a leader or church is just starting out or has years of experience, this book will be a valuable addition for use now and to be revisited as it offers such a wealth of material that can be referred back to, enabling family ministry to be reviewed and adapted to ensure it remains effective and relevant whatever the setting.
Jane Butcher, Children and Families Pioneer, BRF

 

 

 

Irish Methodist Newsletter Feb/Mar 2020. Review by Revd Stephen Skuce

It’s always a brave move to call your book ‘The Essential …’. You are saying that basically everything that is needed is in this book. And fair play to Gail Adcock. This excellent book covers the broad range of issues, is very readable and works really well as a one book resource for family ministry.

The book helpfully begins with a consideration of the changing shape of the family. The last 50 years have witnessed an increasing pace of change and as we reach out to all families, we engage with the myriad of family contexts. There is a good theological foundation laid, and then an overview chapter highlighting the variety of family ministry found in Britain today.

The bulk of the book is given to seven chapters that cover habits for highly effective family ministry. Some may react against this approach as the subtitle implies a formulaic ‘do this and excellent ministry will result’. But, once you get into the chapters you quickly recognise the importance of the habits or practices across a range of family ministry settings. Indeed, they are much more widely applicable than just family ministry. We are challenged to be strategic, be supportive, be collaborative, be intergenerational, be missional, be holy at home, and be reflective. Quite a bit of the insight in this book is drawn out of the influential ‘We are Family’ research project into family ministry from 2014. This helps to give a very objective and solid basis to the insights that are developed. There are very helpful ‘questions for reflection’ and ‘further reading section’ at the end of each chapter, with both books and easily accessible online material.

In the chapter titled ‘Be Strategic’ the author argues for developing priorities that are focused on achieving what has been discerned as the key objectives. Most of us don’t, as ‘we’re keen to just get on and do the work of family ministry’ (p75). However, ‘by adopting a plan for our ministry, we can avoid the danger of jumping in too quickly before having a clear sense of what the goals are or how these might be accomplished’ (p76). This is clearly important in family ministry, but of course is much more widely applicable and stands as a good challenge to the activism of Irish Methodism where we are keen to do stuff, but often don’t develop strategy and consequently don’t always (or even usually?) see the results we are hoping for.

Perhaps two final things to note here. Gail Adcock is Family Ministry Development Officer for the British Methodist church and it’s good to see a British Methodist colleague leading the way in family ministry. And this excellent book is just £8.99. BRF are producing an increasingly significant range of resources for the Church, and are managing to keep these are a fairly low cost.

Revd Dr Stephen Skuce,District Superintendent, the North Western Methodist District