D6 Recap: Mark Holmen

Mark Holman was recently the Sr Pastor of Ventura Missionary Church in Ventura, California where he pioneered the strategy and published the book called “Faith@Home”.   The focus of Mark’s conversation at D6 was,

“What steps do I need to take to be a more Faith@Home focused church?”

The fact, is faith is not being lived out in homes today.  Less than 10% of Christian households pray together, read the bible together, or worship together (according to Barna).  What impact is it having?  At least 60% of kids enrolled in church programs today will walk away from the church as an adult.  Why?

Because young adults see Christianity as hypocricy.  It’s seen as something you do at church and not at home.  We act, live and behave one way at church and another way at home.  Christian faith is a program that is church-centered and not a lifestyle to be lived.  Young adults walk away from church still searching for true spiritually.

Greatest challenge for the church today…

How do we equip the home where faith is lived, expressed and nurtured?

How do we do it through our existing ministry structures?

There are two potential approaches: silos or integration.

The silo approach simply adds more to what the church is doing and nothing to what the family is doing at home.  But the Integrated approach is where we become a faith@home focused church.  Every ministry of the church is trying to figure out how to drive faith at home.

What does Faith@Home integration look like practically?  Mark focused on two areas of ministry for the sake of time.

Ministry area #1:  Kidmin

How do we leverage Sunday School?  Implement a strategy called ‘Take it Home Events’ to teach specific faith skills for families to integrate into their everyday life.

  • Identify what faith skills do we want to see happening in the home?
    • Prayer, bible study, service, etc
  • At what age do we want to see these faith skills begin?  Teach one faith skill per year.
  • Parents are required to attend Sunday School with their kids once per year.
    • At that event you’ll Motivate, Model, Practice, & Provide

You might be tempted to ask…

Is one faith skill a year effective?

Even if a family only adopts one faith skill (i.e. the blessing skill) we’ve changed one family from one generation to the next.

Ministry area #2:  Student Ministry

How do we lead kids to own and live out their faith while leading the parents to remain involved.  How do we integrate parents into the significant decisions students make as teens.  Youth pastors need to “engage us as parents”.

The ongoing questions:  “How can our ministries have an at-home component?”

Keys to becoming a Faith@Home Focused church

  • Recognize the critical role of the Sr Pastor -How do we approach our leadership?  Approach from the angle of where you are as a church.  Is your church vision to be missional?  Then how does the Faith@Home philosophy make your church more missional?
  • Language matters.  Don’t use the word ‘family’.  Too exclusive.  This is not a ‘family focused’ strategy.  It’s a strategy that leads people to live out their faith in their home/neighborhood.
  • Faith@Home must be a part of the strategy of the church.  For example, Ventura Missionary’s strategy is to:
    • Reach the lost (Evangelism)
    • Faith@Home (Lifestyle)
    • Connect to the church (Community)
    • Go Make a Difference (Missionality)
  • Long Term commitment:  it’s so tempting to implement this for a few years then look for the latest, newest thing.  Beware of that.  It’s critical to see this strategy through for the long haul.

There you have it.  The synopsis of Mark Holmen’s vision of Faith@Home.  Personally I love the approach.  Much like the Orange philosophy, Faith@Home is about one generation pouring into the next.  Focused in its simplicity.  Challenging in its execution.