7 Family Ministry Essentials

7 Family Ministry Essentials

7 Family Ministry Essentials: A Strategy for Culture Change in Children’s and Student Ministries (David C. Cook, June 2015)

With decades of ministry experience, Michelle Anthony and Megan Marshman capture the guiding essentials of life-changing family ministry.

These seven essentials for children and student leaders emphasize:

1. Empowering families to take spiritual leadership in the home
2. Forming lifetime faith that transcends childhood beliefs
3. Teaching Scripture as the ultimate authority of truth
4. Understanding the role of the Holy Spirit to teach and transform
5. Engaging every generation in the gospel of God’s redemptive story
6. Making God central in every biblical narrative and daily living
7. Participating in community with like-minded ministry leaders

7 Family Ministry Essentials will energize and equip you with the practical steps, inspirational stories, and biblical foundation you need as you lead those in your ministry.

Learn more and purchase a copy.


  • The authors were careful to provide not only strategy but also assessments to help with this process. The elements listed therein are very clear and concise. They provide ways for you to get involved locally as well as globally. As well as how to do it as a family.

  • 7 Family Ministry Essentials is a rich book that will not only help you to transform the way you approach family ministry, but will also help you evaluate your ministry at each step of the way.

    Written in response to the fresh movement within the church to transform how we approach family ministry, this book helps everyone in the family to not just learn an intellectual faith, but to live out their faith in a context within their homes, communities and churches!


  • This book is such a fitting book for what is needed in the church today. This book really deals with ways to strengthen the family in this day and age and I know that is something that is desperately needed as you can clearly see when you look around. this book deals with some very basic truths that are needed to be stressed in families, like making God the center of ones daily life, this is one I struggle with but with being a new Mom it is something I want to do. This is a great resource and would make a great addition to ones personal or church library, I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  • This is a book that is valuable for helping your children and students’ teams in equipping parents to disciple their children, listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit and teaching the Bible as a continuous story of God’s redemptive plan. This is a book that I’m going to directly give to my husband for his feedback and recommend to the children’s ministers I know.

  • I really like where this book is coming from. One thing I’ve struggled with is the idea that parents are commanded to be responsible for raising their children in spiritual matters, but too often they don’t step forward to do that — and the church has been more than happy to step into that vacuum and assume responsibility.

    But that isn’t an entirely bad thing either, where parents simply will not do any of that training.

  • I would recommend this wonderful book to anyone who is seeking a resource to improve and transform their family ministry. I strongly believe if church leaders would apply these seven principles to both their home life and their church we would dramatically reach more people for Christ and they would have a deeper relationship with their Creator. I liked how each chapter included a ministry assignment and had tons of questions to assist readers into comprehending the material.

  • I appreciate that the book doesn’t give a bunch of lists and formulas for supposed success in the area of spiritual formation. What it does give is clear direction beginning with God’s Word and helpful suggestions for applying God’s Word in the right ways.

  • I found this book to be a wonderfully beneficial book to anyone involved in student or children’s ministry. It is quite a heavy read, which makes it difficult to put down and return to later, but I don’t think that necessarily reflects on the quality of the book. Also, I felt that these two authors really did their research for this book.

  • I found “7 Family Ministry Essentials: A Strategy for Culture Change in Children’s and Student Ministries” to be a greatly beneficial book to anyone involved with student or children’s ministry.

  • In my time at summer camp I have seen good and bad ways to teach faith to children. One of the best is when children are encouraged in their walk with Christ. In that sense this book does a good job of encouraging the parents to be involved first hand with the faith formation of their children within the church.

    Overall this book has a very scripture based take on building up your family while not totally relying on the church to do all the work for you. Just like point 6 states; “Making God central in every biblical narrative and daily living” and this book does a great job of that. While still not being a parent, I found this very informative and useful for children’s ministries and even schools where teachers are allowed to take a faith based approach to learning.

  • I have been putting a lot of thought lately into how to raise my children to have a faith of their own, since a lot of young people leave the church when they are old enough to make their own choice about what to do on Sunday mornings. This book came along at the perfect time for me! I appreciate the authors thoughts on empowering parents to take spiritual leadership of their own and chapter 2 was just what I needed to read. This article (which is mentioned in part) is an amazing companion to the book!
    I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

  • This practical advice comes from two ladies who share their triumphs and struggles throughout their years of work in ministry. I found myself nodding along with several of the things they pointed out (we are teaching our children moral development instead of spiritual development, we need to empower our parents) and marveling at some of the ideas they brought up (acting out the Bible chronologically, teaching the children how to be still and listen to God).

    At first, as I was reading, I was excitedly telling things to my husband, who was relaying these things to our pastor. By the third or fourth chapter, though, I just started dog-earing every page that I wanted them to look at. Needless to say, the latter half of the book has tons of pages folded down!

  • My review: Michelle and Megan are both gifted writers…they write to inform and instruct parents and children’s ministry workers in helping children own their own faith. Their writing style makes it easy for all readers to understand and digest their message.
    With children walking away from their faith in record numbers parents and children’s ministry workers want to know what to do to turn this around. Michelle and Megan have years of experience with children and have learned a great deal about how to train the next generation to walk closely with the Lord.These two authors break it down and give practical ways to help implement these principles with our children. I would give this book five stars…excellent read.

  • 7 Family Ministry Essentials may be used as a tool for Ministry Leaders looking to add to their skills in teaching fundamental faith strengthening to people of faith and bringing people of non-faith closer to God.

  • This book isn’t just about ministry in the church but about making it in the home as well – there were several ideas that I’d like to implement in our home. One is writing prayer requests and hanging them for all to see and then as prayers are answered listing those praises. The church needs to recognize that they will be stronger when the family, as a whole, is included in the worship of our Lord and the learning about Him and His Word. I’d highly recommend this book to those who work with youth, whether in a youth program that seeks to lift up the Lord, those who work in their ministries at church and even just those who desire to create a more worshipful environment at home, this book has something for everyone so that the whole family can learn to love and serve the Lord.

  • 7 Family Ministry Essentials: A Strategy for Culture Change in Children’s and Student Ministries will change the way you work with, and listen to the children and youth you work with. I like the the book gives ways to work with the parents of the children you work with. Even if the parents don’t go to church themselves.

    While 7 Family Ministry Essentials: A Strategy for Culture Change in Children’s and Student Ministries is mainly for those in ministry, you will find many ideas and tips that you will be able to use in your home.

  • I thought that 7 Family Ministry Essentials was an excellent resource for those who are involved in a student or young teen ministry, or simply for parents in the home with young children or teens. There were great applications points at the end of each chapter to help incorporate the principles into ministry at home or elsewhere. There are nine chapters in this book. The first chapter discusses the intricacies of the family ministry movement and how to become involved. The second through eighth chapter go through the seven essentials listed above. The ninth chapter goes over how to be spiritually healthy leader in this current generation.

  • When I look at what should be integral in a children’s ministry or a student ministry, I land on these same points. The thing that I loved the most is that it goes back to families. For so many years, it’s been about taking the children away with activities. Now it’s more about doing ministry as a family.

    I found that this book is very applicable to parents, as well. It offers very helpful tips on being intentional in the home. I would recommend this book to even moms and dads.

  • I absolutely love this book and the point they are bringing across. It seems like it would be a book about ministry ideas to do with children and youth. However, it is more about ministering to them AWAY from church. If we make and live our lives completely in love with God, instead of sequestering God at church, we are well on our way to raising children that live their lives that way too.

  • Like everything I’ve read from Michelle Anthony, this book was both challenging and inspirational. Michelle does not beat around the bush when calling ministry leaders to the highest standards, but she also shows a clear path in how to transform your ministry into something that truly impacts lives. I’ve heard both Michelle and Megan speak at The Gathering conference, so I was delighted to see them team up together for this book. Megan gives great insight to the teen world (student ministry) while Michelle focuses mainly on Children’s Ministry (but also on ministry structure as a whole). I like how each chapter is broken up into the different essentials, allowing a ministry leader to work through the essentials slowly and deliberately (one essential a month perhaps)….

  • This is a great book to use to access your own Family Ministry. It is written for those in ministry and for parents. It encourages us to depend on the Holy Spirit to shape our own lives and the lives of those we minister to. It encourages us to stop trying so hard at being a moral compass and rather introduce others and embrace for ourselves a relationship with Christ.

    The ministry assessments at the end of each chapter are great tools. As the Director of Family Ministries at FPCEP.org I plan on passing this book around to my staff and volunteers.

  • Guys. This book. I’d say I love it but that wouldn’t be the truth. This book is a wonderful resource. It confirms what my husband and I believe about our family and how to spiritually teach our children. This book just gives you more ideas and ways to do that. It also gives you some information to use should someone not agree with your choices. Let’s all be honest. We don’t always have the best comebacks or answers sometimes when people ask us the difficult questions. I’ve found some wonderful answers here!

  • Overall this is an excellent book that reminds the reader that it it first and foremost the parents responsibility for the faith formation in their child, and, along with a great family ministry program, those children will be nurtured in this formation for a long time to come. Each chapter is completed with a ministry assessment and as well, there are many valuable tools to use on the authors website for the book.
    I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

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