It was such a blessing to learn from Dr. Merton Strommen the importance of research in a ministry of faith formation. Dr. Strommen founded Search Institute in Minneapolis as well as The Youth & Family Institute (now called Vibrant Faith Ministries), where I served as Executive Director for many years. For congregations to strengthen families to nurture faith and pass on the faith from milestone to milestone, the leadership of the staff and within the congregation itself must be aware of God’s vision for them and what is needed to make disciples of Jesus in the 21st century. The diagram of the conceptual model of relationships in which the Holy Spirit is at work shaping faith was created for the book I was privileged to write with Dr. Strommen, Passing on the Faith. I have spent years studying research in the USA and also other countries to learn positive ways congregations can equip individuals and families to nurture faith and live well in Christ in home with family, in congregation, and in community.
In this section we have made some of that research available for you to download and use for individual study or for the various leadership teams of the congregation. There are PowerPoint presentations and articles to assist you: A Summary of Research on Vibrant Faith Formation; Search Institute Research on Building Assets, Strengthening Faith; Reality Check—The Asset-Building Strengths and Challenges of Diverse Congregations; Asset Presentation on “What Do Children Really Need?” Most recently the CASA Study on the importance of Family Dinners Together has been seen on television. I have included a download of that study. Other research downloads available for parish leadership are: “US Religious Landscape (2008) from the Pew Forum on Religious Life; a policy statement by the National Council of Churches—“The Church and Children—Vision & Goals for the 21st Century; and Search Institute’s “Teen Voice –the Untapped Voice of 15-Year-Olds” (2009).
The following resources are all PowerPoint presentations. You will need to have PowerPoint installed on your computer to be able to view them.