Family of Families

Brad M. Griffin | Oct 15, 2009

Photo by Marco Ceschi

The theme of David Fraze’s guest blogs this week has been intergenerational ministry. One of David’s arguments is that we really have to rethink how we view the church, or our ecclesiology.

In a past article, we’ve also argued for a new ecclesiology of youth ministry where we recast the church as a family of families. This ecclesiology grows out of the biblical metaphor of “the family of God,” expanded by the thinking of our colleague Chap Clark as well as past Fuller colleagues Dennis Guernsey and Ray Anderson.

In that article we quote Guernsey:

I am suggesting that the church redefine itself in system terms as the whole but with the parts being its families rather than the individuals in those families. Even where there are no families… I am suggesting that the parts which make up the whole be construed as those clusters of primary relationships which function as family. The church according to this redefinition becomes a family of families.13

How have you seen this kind of understanding of the church come alive? How do you think your context would look different if this kind of ecclesiology was embraced?

Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, writer, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of over a dozen books, including 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager, Faith in an Anxious World, Growing Young, several Sticky Faith books, Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating Our Digital World, and Can I Ask That? Brad and his family live in Southern California, where he serves as Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries at Mountainside Communion.


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