---image003One of the most wonderful parent educators I know and with whom I have worked is Marilyn Sharpe. (Marilyn Sharpe Ministries, LLC contact at marilynsharpeministries@comcast.net) Her articles are excellent. She models everything that she teaches. I suggest you receive her email articles. They are filled with great theological content, but most importantly practical activities that parents and extended families can do to nurture faith and values. She also has a section on activities that congregational leaders can do to strengthen and equip families to nurture faith.

Back in 1996 Marjorie J. Thompson wrote a book entitled Family, The Forming Center, that introduced a vision of the role of family in spiritual formation. Marjorie was one of the first keynote speakers at the early “Child In Our Hands” Conferences of The Youth & Family Institute. Since then much more research and work has been done to communicate the importance of strong, faithful, and faith-filled Christian parenting.

The research report by Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton in their book, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers was powerful in stressing the importance of the parents and extended family in faith formation. The research shows how each generation has slowly slipped away from a solid Christian faith foundation to a moralistic therapeutic deism. It describes how little parents have been involved in the faith formation and spiritual formation of their children.

Para Church organizations like Rich Melheim’s Faith Inkubators continue to stretch congregations to work with parents and families in faith formation (www.faithink.com) He has been diligently working with intergenerational worship and faith formation.

LifelongFaith Associates’ book Families at the Center of Faith Formation, (2016) features John Roberto, Leif Kehrwald, Gene Roehlkepartain and Jolene Roehlkepartain. From research and practical experience they share on topics like: “Understanding Twenty-first Century Parents and Families,” “Reimagining Family Faith Formation: Family at the Center,” “Growing in Faith as a Family,” and more.

In this section are some tools to help parents and extended families to assess their ministries in the home and to check with parents and their teenagers how well they really know each other.

My book Blest Be The Pie That Binds (no longer in book form, but a download version used in the confirmation at home ministry can be purchased and printed from our shop) is filled with familying stories and faith formation activities to do together as a family.

Free Resources