This book comes at a timely moment for me, as pastor of a church that is concerned about continuing a pattern of godly, biblical training for all ages. For the last 15 years, we’ve attempted (not without struggles, mind you) to create a more favorable multi-generational approach to Christian Education. We don’t want our children to feel isolated. This is the problem that so often leads to teens abandoning the church once they’ve left home––they’ve never been made to feel like they belong there in the first place. We also want our parents to realize that what we offer at the church is not to be the frontline of discipleship for their children: they are!
Trained in the Fear of God might not be the easiest book to read, at least in the opening portion, as the authors lay out some of the historical background, but if you’re willing to dig deep here, it lays a good foundation for where we need to go next. The practical sections will give the most help, but don’t neglect the foundational building blocks of the theological reasons “why” we should be involved in family-equipping ministry. If you just jump to the “how to’s” you’ll simply be adding programs to your church––something you don’t need to do.
I would recommend this book to leaders within churches, both vocational and lay leaders. I’m convinced the future demands that we take this approach. I recommend it for parents as well, but my initial thought is they may need encouragement to stick with the reading. It almost comes across as more of an academic, college-class-type of approach and most moms and dads aren’t going to tackle something on that level, especially if they’re feeling “desperate.”
About the Book: Trained in the Fear of God encourages the church and its leaders and pastors to shift away from the current “silos” paradigm of age-specific youth ministries to a more holistic approach rooted in ministry to and by families. Stinson and Jones draw upon the expertise of seventeen scholars and practitioners to provide the biblical and theological foundation for doing so, followed by practical steps in implementing foundational insights. Among the seventeen contributors are Albert Mohler, Robert Plummer, Bruce Ware, and James Hamilton.
About the Authors/Editors: Randy Stinson (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is dean of the School of Church Ministries at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville and serves as president of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
Timothy Paul Jones (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of leadership and church ministry at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has written a number of books, including Misquoting Truth and Perspectives on Family Ministry.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.
I was born in central Iowa, raised in a godly home with two first generation Christian parents. The Evangelical Free Church of Madrid, Iowa was where I heard the teaching of the Word of God all my “growing up” years. There were some of the most dear and faithful servants of our Lord serving there, who will never be known around the world, but will hear (or, as is the case for some already, have heard) their Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into your rest.”
When I was between the ages of 12 & 13, I attended Bible camp at Twin Lakesin northwest Iowa. Pastor Don Stover (another of those saints who has entered God’s rest) was telling us the story of Pilgrim’s Progress using blacklight flannel graph (really cool high-tech in 1970!). When Christian gets to the foot of the cross and his burden of sin rolls away into the empty tomb, God had me. I was gloriously converted to Jesus Christ, my Savior.
God’s call to the ministry was a long, gradual process through which He used many people to lead me and confirm within me His will to be a minister. He also used one or two key people to bring me to the doctrines of grace. I had been in ministry for about 6 years when the light of these truths were shown so brightly to me. I trust that I have grown in my understanding of them and have caused others to rejoice in the absolute free sovereign grace of our God.
I have been married for 29 years and have three children.I have earned a B.A. from Trinity College (now Trinity International University)in Biblical Studies, and later earneda MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, have served four Evangelical Free churches since 1986, and am currently the Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Rochester, MN since 1997.
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