I have recently finished reading the book Collaborate Family + Church and thought I should throw up a quick review. If you are involved in ministry to children, youth, and/or their families, you NEED this book. As the front cover explains this a collaboration of 35 different authors from different denominations and traditions, all working "in the trenches" trying to figure out how family and church fit together. The topic of family + church is attacked from different sides with different areas of focus. The outcome, a great resource!
What I liked
1. Short chapters I have a very short attention span (like most of the students I work with), so short chapters give me a great sense of accomplishment. While they are short, they are PACKED with creative ideas. The reason this review is coming so late in the game is because I could only digest one or two chapters at a time. I wrestled with what to do with the information, and how it could be used in my context. That process takes me time.
2. Conclusions I loved that the book brought me to the some of the same conclusions that I have arrived at on my own. They say it different (better?) than I would, but I'm glad I'm not that far off base.
What I disliked This is not a harsh criticism by any means, but I think someone just starting off in children's, youth, and/or family ministry could look at a book like this and try to apply it all in their context. Very few authors in the book come right out as say, "this is the way we do, it may or may not work for you." While that should go without saying, some people find themselves in over their heads and want the next "new, big thing/fix".
Knowing your context, your city, and your people, will shape your ministry. Knowing those things will also help a reader of this book grow what they already have in positive ways.
In the end ... I was encouraged and challenged by this book. Like I said in the beginning, if you are involved with children's, youth, and/or family ministry this book can help you make what you are doing better. I would encourage you to pick it up and read it.