The “traditional family” of the 19th and 20th Centuries, in which dad worked and mom stayed home with the kids, is all but gone. Studies vary, but research estimates that between four and seven percent of families today reflect that standard. In place of the “traditional family” are many alternatives: dual income families (both parents working), single parent families, step-families, extended families in which single parents live with their own parents, and even gay and lesbian families.
Forty percent of children today are born to single parents, and research clearly demonstrates the elevated social, academic, and legal challenges these kids face. Fifty percent of kids from two=parent families will witness the divorce of their parents by their 18th birthday. Institutions like daycare and latchkey have replaced what used to be normal parent/child chat-time after school. TV and the Internet have taken over evening time.
The church in the 21st Century faces radically different ministry challenges when it comes to “family ministries.” The American family is in crisis, and churches that ignore this issue must ask themselves what it means to apply the Word of God to the real issues of this era.
The Family Legacy Institute is deeply concerned about this issue, and therefore provides numerous tools for churches and parents. This article provides a condensed look at what comprehensive family ministries looks like in the 21st Century.
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