Offsite Review: Family Ministries: A Comprehensive Review

Looks interesting for pastors and church staff


Our families are either a source of great joy or great pain for us. Probably both. Families are the context in which we learn to trust and love and grow and where we learn to be human. Churches and family ministry are resources for families which help nurture families and help them grow. But what is the purpose of family ministry? What is the nature of family and how do churches support families and help them fulfill their calling?

Diana R. Garland, dean of the Baylor School of Social Work, wrote Family Ministry: A Comprehensive Guide to help family ministries support Christians as they live out their faith through their families. She draws on her own experience as a social work educator, researcher, family ministry consultant, congregant and family member (17).  The  first edition of this book won the 1999 Academy of Parish Clergy book of the year to Family Ministry. This edition substantially reorganizes the original material, integrating the biblical content with the social sciences and the theoretical with the practical (this edition also provides indexes which were missing). These changes make this book slightly longer than the first edition (656 pages). Having not read the first edition, I can’t say whether this edition improves upon Garland’s earlier  effort. However I can tell you that this is hands down the  most helpful book on ministry to families. Period.

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