I mentioned in my post on Tuesday that I’m hungry to know more about grace, and one of the reasons for my renewed interest as of late is a fantastic book I just finished.

Tim Kimmel is well-known for his book Grace-Based Parenting, which is sitting on my shelf waiting to be read {but has moved up significantly on my to-read list}. His newest book takes a look a bridging the gap between families and church ministry programs and finding a way to partner together.

You know my heart for families. I want to see families better connected to God and to one another. This is exactly the heart Kimmel shares in Connecting Church & Home, adding the church as another piece to the connection puzzle.

My passion for encouraging families developed in part from seeing so many parents leaving the spiritual growth of their children up to the church. Many parents don’t feel “qualified” and look to the church to do the spiritual teaching and discipleship for them. Kimmel addresses this very thing in the beginning of this book, so of course I was hooked on his every word from there on out…

Typical parents not only don’t feel they know what they’re doing when it comes to leading their kids spiritually, but they also assume the job it too complicated for it to ever be intuitive.

This quote made me so sad because I see it all over the place, as The Hubby and I spent many years as youth volunteers, in raising children alongside others, and even expressed by people I come in contact with here in the world of social media and blogging. Kimmel talks about this mindset creating a harmful dependency on the church to do the “heavy-lifting” of bringing kids to spiritual maturity. Dad & Mom assume they have nothing to offer their children in which the church wouldn’t do a better job. And in return, churches stop encouraging those same parents to be major players in the development of their own children’s faith, but instead “spoon-feed” them with just enough to go along with what the kids are learning in the children’s programming on Sundays.

There’s a lot of finger-pointing that could break out in all of this, but Kimmel wants to unite families and churches in the common goal of raising generations to love the Lord and live out grace {see, there’s that word again!}. This definition lays it all out…

A family is supposed to be “the domestic church.”…Dads and moms are supposed to be the pastors and pastorettes of a full-blown, albeit tiny, freestanding ecclesia. Their job is to do the work of the ministry throughout the week in their children’s lives and then make sure they bring their family to church on full rather than empty when Sunday comes around. The church (“a collection of domestic churches is supposed to come alongside mom and dad as an ally, mentor, and cheerleader…it’s supposed to be there to help families through the tougher seasons of life. So, the church does its normal teaching and training, but it’s supposed to be in complement to what’s happening at home, not in place of.

Okay, so I know that was a really long quote, but THAT is the heart of this book and I underlined that over and over and said, “AMEN!” out loud when I read it.

And as Kimmel goes on in the book about how to make this partnership work with grace as the unifying theme, I underlined probably half of the book. I love how he lays out WHY it needs to work and a basic framework of HOW to make it happen, including real-life examples of parents and churches living it out.

Parents and ministry leaders alike are in need of this message – it’s meant for a wide audience because the issue impacts a LOT of people! The book isn’t very long so you can read through it pretty quickly, but there is a lot of meat that you will want to go back over once you finish, from the role of grace in families and churches to an awesome “paper napkin family ministry” layout you will want to reread many times.

Connecting Church & Home was released in partnership with two great ministries focused on families – Family Matters and D6 Family. Make sure you check them both out for tons of great resources on this same topic!

I’ll leave you with one last favorite quote from the book…

Strong Churches Graphic Tim Kimmel


How do you see your church coming alongside families right now? How would you like to see that family-church partnership grow or change?

*I was provided this book to review. I was not compensated in any way for this review and all opinions are 100% my own.

**This post contains affiliate links.