- Jeff Klick
Almost every major church survey screams that the church is in trouble regarding marriage and faith retention in the next generation. Most churches will hire family, youth and children's pastors in an effort to stem this tidal wave of destruction. Perhaps it is time to rethink or expand the titles for our next hire. Since the bulk of the trouble in the church seems to be connected to dysfunctional families, why not consider some of these staff positions: 1. Pre-Marriage Preparation Pastor Since so many couples end up divorced, perhaps better training before marriage might help. Training young people to not find the perfect mate, but to attempt to become one, could help in the future. 2. Pastor in Charge of Strengthening the Father in His Leadership Role in the Home An on-fire, spiritually active father is a cure for many problems in the home and church. Men's meetings, Promise Keepers and retreats can help, but wouldn't it be wonderful if men could be trained to lovingly serve and lead their homes? Can you imagine having a church full of men that would sit each night with their family and lead them in discussing the pastor's sermon and its application to their daily lives? 3. Marriage Stability and Longevity Pastor Studies show that half (more or less) of Christian marriages end in divorce. The resulting dysfunction caused to the children, finances and ministry is huge. What would happen in our churches if that divorce rate was cut in half? 4. Reducer of Hypocrisy in the Home Pastor One huge reason young people state for walking away from their faith is Christ made no noticeable difference in their parents' home or marriage. Children can smell a fake a mile away. What would happen to the church if parents actually lived out everyday what was being taught on Sundays? 5. Helping Young People Make Wise Decisions Under Their Parent's Authority Pastor As the children mature and become young adults, both parents and teens need assistance to adjust to the new relationship. Parenting older teens is not a natural skill, but can be learned. Recent studies show that young people's brains are not fully developed until sometime in their early 20s. Perhaps that is why parents are older than their children—to help them make good decisions until they can think straight. 6. Giving Single Adults a Purpose in Life by Serving Others Pastor Paul said that being single means you can be wholly devoted to serving the Lord. Many young adults simply need an outlet and direction rather than solely being adsorbed with mate seeking. What would happen to our churches if the single adults purposefully invested in those teens coming up behind them or the older saints nearing death, or the homeless, orphans, etc.? 7. Grandparents as Pillars and Support to Parents Instead of Undermining and Spoiling Pastor Every young couple would benefit from having older, wiser, loving, supportive parents around. Many grandparents overstep, interfere, undermine or ignore the previous generation. What a waste of resources. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the older generation invested wisely and purposefully in the following one? How much time and energy could be saved by not reinventing that wheel all the time. If we are to turn the tables on the destruction of the family, we should begin to rethink what our goals are and how to go about implementing change. What specifically am I doing, or willing to do, to stem the tide of destruction? Every destroyed family unleashes generational destruction; what will every restored one produce? If we keep doing the same things we are doing, we will most likely keep getting the same results we have been getting. We also will be labeled insane and ineffective by future generations. These titles may not fit nicely on letterhead, but these hires need to be accomplished, or at least considered.