day 8 blog tour: shift by brian haynes

41o4tKRX1lL-thumb._SL160_i’m thrilled to be posting my review on day 8 of the shift blog tour organized by henry zonio and the lovely folks at group publishing.

shift: what it takes to finally reach families today is the newest book from group and author brian haynes. in the book, the author outlines a detailed plan for connecting families to 7 spiritual milestones in the lives of their children, students and young adults. this plan, based on the shema found in deuteronomy 6 is the model in which spiritual formation at kingsland baptist church in texas is shaped around.

the milestones are carefully mapped out in the first few chapters of the book based on children and students’ ages. they include:

  • the birth of a baby
  • faith commitment
  • preparing for adolescence
  • commitment to purity
  • passage to adulthood
  • high school graduation
  • life in christ

while i liked the logically mapped out approach, and it was written in a way easy enough to understand, i didn’t necessarily think the book lived up to the title “what it takes to finally reach families today.” to me, it seemed like a great approach for traditional christian families eager to elevate the faith in their own homes, which of course, is desperately needed. there are so many christian parents who feel ill-equipped and insecure about raising spiritually minded children. this model provides a great encouragement and spiritual map for parents who are already connected to a church and ready to become fully invested in the spiritual responsibility and leadership in their children’s lives.

but, to me, the majority of families today do not fit into this category. today’s family is complicated, and while most would probably say they desire to raise spiritually minded and highly moral children, it seems as if very few are able or willing to do the work it requires to accomplish this.

today’s family looks radically different than it ever has – with gay and lesbian parents raising children, single parents raising children completely on their own, emotionally absent parents where children are raising themselves, and grandparents raising grandchildren they never intended to be responsible for. as i read the book, i wondered how all of these families would fit into the milestone model. i’m not sure the model would be completely applicable.

i’m grateful for the contribution this book makes in the ever important conversation about how to practically reach families in the church – but i dream about the day when we’ll have additional voices sharing models and opinions around what it takes to reach all families.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Great review, Amy! I think one of the things that needs to be addressed with “family ministry” is to widen that definition. It takes more than the church professionals AND it takes more than a family AND it takes more than a mix of family and church professionals… it takes the ENTIRE community (village, ahem) to do this. Brian somewhat alludes to it in his book, but still is too family-centric. Anyway, I’ll share all those thoughts when the book arrives at my blog 🙂

    Thanks for participating in the book blog tour.


  2. […] October 8 – Amy Dolan […]


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