Families of the Future

Summary of Insights, Challenges and Experiments from Mission Summit Conversations (June 2013)

  • Insights
    • God is at work with families of all ages and descriptions and shapes through conventional and unconventional ministries both in and outside the church walls.
    • In order to minister to families of the future, we need to create “safe spaces” for “families”……to meet them where they are and value them for who they are.
    • It’s not about us, or about our congregations or our institutions….it is rather about seeking the heart and mind of God toward those who are brought before us in our community or ministry context.
  • Challenges
    • How does the family of God change from structural to functional and invitational?
    • a clear recognition that we have to meet the needs of families in our cultural and context because Jesus would call us to care and NOT for the fulfillment of the self-serving desire to have them fund our institution.
  • Experiments
    • What TV show best characterizes your family?
    • Churches need helpful resources to address the various issues around family.  The group felt strongly that the MSC resources could be used in their local church settings to aide in conversation around this and other topics, and they were hopeful that ABCUSA would make such resources available online in the future.

Summary of Insights, Challenges and Experiments from the Mission Table (November 2013)

  • Insights
    • There are significant “sandwich” generational demands
    • Congregations need to develop strategies and ministries to deal with our present reality.  The future is now and we need to address these opportunities within the next five years.
  • Challenges
    • The families of the future is a bad title.  It should be listed as families of now.  “The Families of the Future should be retooled to focus on the “Families of the now” being equipped for the future.
    • Congregations are not properly prepared to deal with the complexities of the various types of families that are currently in our midst (i.e., mixed cultures, gay communities, religiously diverse families, cross cultural families, interracial families, absentee fathers etc.)
  • Experiments/Projects
    • Congregations can design ministries that provide respite for caregivers.
    • We need to explore Collaborative opportunities with both non-profit and for profit organization that have the resources, qualifications, and expertise to help strengthen and support the myriad of family structures within our congregations.

Read the full notes:

Mission Summit Conversations:

Mission Table:

Views expressed are the sole opinion of conversation participants. They do not express the views of American Baptist Churches USA, or individual American Baptist churches. Conversation notes and summaries are shared to allow American Baptists and friends to easily review and use these Mission Summit Conversations and the Mission Table learnings as they wish.