Suburban Bethlehem Lutheran Church & School has made the concept of family one of its priorities. Being a family encompasses many aspects of ministry, not the least of which is to discipline future generations of Christians.
Each and every one of our ministries at SBL involves aspects of being a family. Our day school invites and encourages families to grow in the knowledge of God and his creation. Our youth ministry connects young Christians together, and encourages them in their walk with their Redeemer. Our senior adult ministry reminds an older generation that they are not only to be honored, but to remain vibrant and involved mentors of future generations.
Family ministry seeks to change the notion that the church is the primary influence in the faith formation of children. Instead, we shift the focus from the church to the home as the “faith formation centers”. In this way, the church is to support the home – parents, grandparents, and families of all types and descriptions. This aim is certainly biblical; we read in Deuteronomy 6:5-9:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Mothers and fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and God-parents alike are to structure their homes in such a way that the love of God cannot be ignored by children who live under that roof. Here at SBL, we have instituted a family ministry that supports parents with this noble responsibility through regular Bible study, classes on marriage and parenting, events that foster a godly relationship between spouses, parents and children and fellowship events to provide connection and support with other families. Ultimately, our prayer is that homes might pass on faith in Christ to this generation and those that follow.