It takes a Church to Raise a Parent
IT TAKES A CHURCH TO RAISE A PARENT
Creating a culture where parenting for faith can flourish
Rachel TurnerWhy parenting for faith is a ‘whole church’ task and how to encourage those who do not think they have a part to play
The title is a twist on the old adage ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, but the twist is key to the book. Parents spend 2,000 to 3,000 hours a year with their children compared with the 100 hours a Church youth worker might have. So, it makes more sense to focus on serving the parents than the children if you want to disciple the children. The next key message is that there is no one right way to parent for faith. Turner does not offer a formula but writes from distilled experience. Dividing the book into three sections, Vision, Skills, Church Culture, her advice is well structured and easy to follow. Just when you think she is stating common sense you recognise a pitfall you might well have fallen in. Her points are grounded in topical, relevant and humorous comparisons – M&S adverts, IKEA, the station helpdesk, sports coaching. She constantly reminds us to offer rather than instruct; to suggest and draw on existing skills; to build rather than set up for a fall. Some of what she says might apply to other areas of ministry but in the section on Church Culture she makes a useful distinction between children’s and youth ministry. This book is for church leaders and is a pretty comprehensive, though compact, volume to accompany prayer and planning around this particular ministry, before perhaps using BRF’s www.parentingforfaith.org.uk website and course. The book itself explains why parenting for faith is a ‘whole church’ task and suggests how to encourage those who do not think they have a part to play, as well as how to work with families where only the children have faith.
Reviewed by Susanne Mitchell
The Christian Life
Parents and Children
Are available from the CRC Office.