Family to Family

Family to Family is written by Victor Lee and Jerry Pipes.   The title gives a good indication what the book focuses on, the family. Lee and Pipes strive to make it clear what it means to be a biblical family on mission for God to minister inward to each other within the family, then ministering outward to the community as a family. They begin with helping the reader understand what it means to be a healthy family. They make the claim that it is not enough to simply have quality time, but it is “one that spends quantity and quality time together.”[1] Lee and Pipes explain that both are important to fulfill the biblical view of a family. This is a different picture of the average American family seen through their statistics of fathers spending only around 10 minutes with their children a day.[2]

Lee and Pipes then move into the creation of a family mission statement. They explain why it is important to have a mission statement; serving as a “centerline and guardrails for your family.”[3] They explain how to create one that will fit and influence each individual family. Once a family has a mission statement they look to; parents are instructed to pass the baton through mentoring and modeling Christ’s love and great commission to all people.[4] This is an important biblical principle Lee and Pipes discuss at length.

Lee and Pipes do not stop at the family unit living in faith, but go onto explaining how and why the family needs to get into the community and church and share God’s love with all people as a family unit. Then ending with ideas how to reach people.

Concrete Response

Family to Family was a wonderful read. As a husband and father of two small children I could not put this book down. Since I finished it I have asked my wife to read it and continue to talk about things I have learned from it.

Lee and Pipes discuss the myth of quality vs quantity time early in the book. This area hit me very hard. I had bought into this lie for many years. One example of this is from my last semester of my undergrad program. I completed the Biblical and Educational Studies program through Liberty. In my last semester, I was required to complete a sixteen-week student teaching at a high school. However, I work fulltime and could not work less hours, because my wife stays home. This meant I would spend about two hours at the school teaching in the morning; get home for lunch then spend every afternoon at my job. This was Monday through Friday schedule, then on Saturday I would work a shift. My only day off was Sunday. This time in my life I often told myself the hour I had with my kids was good enough, because I would attempt to make it as great as possible and establishing the quality time. However, I was missing so much of their growing they did. Family to Family has helped me realize I cannot just have a little time, but must make them a priority.

Reflection

Lee and Pipes’ Family to Family is very helpful to understand what it means to be a family led by God. At the end of each chapter there are questions, family application ideas, and activities to help the family grow in their relationships with each other. These are a great way to help the reader begin to use what they read and learned from the chapter. This is one of the things that stood out to me while reading through the book. However, one question that thought of is the amount of time spent doing things. Family to Family begins with explain how important it is to spend ample time with my family, but then in the end sections of the chapters about reaching the world and the church Lee and Pipes write some activities for reach out. These activities suggest to do them with the whole family, but having small children sometimes it is difficult to include them in service. With that being said; I found they were very easy to understand and I agreed with all of their conclusions.

Action

Changes in My Life

As a husband and father, I have come away with many things from Family to Family that I want to implement into my personal life. The first area I want to change in my life from this book is the family mission statement. This is a foundational aspect of the biblical family. What Lee and Pipes wrote in chapter two has stick with me and created the desire to create one with my wife and kids: “centerline and guardrails for your family.”[5] I believe this is will help my family and myself stay focused on where God wants to take us. Without this statement solidly planted into our hearts, minds, and in front of our eyes it is easy to lose heart when things are taking longer than expected or to simply forget about God’s plans in the business of life.

The next area of my personal life I want to change as a result of this book is through reaching out to others. Throughout this course, I have been attempting to step out more in ministering the Gospel to people, but Family to Family helped me realize it is not something I am called to do, but it is something my family is called to do. Letting them see my example of faith will help to grow their relationship with God and pass the baton of following the Great Commission in their own lives. One specific thing I am taking away from this book in this area is ministering to “person X.”[6] This coming weekend my family will be attending the Liberty University graduation and we will be staying in a hotel for two nights. I am planning on having my children draw pictures for the cleaning crew who will be cleaning our room over the weekend. I plan to leave a note about God’s love with their little pictures and a tip. In Family to Family, Lee and Pipes give the example of making a small gift for people like these while on a family trip and this is one way I plan on starting to minister to person x with my family.

Changes in my Ministry

There are many ways in which I minister through, but I think the most applicable to involve my whole family is through events. There are often events at my church and there are always areas where I able to serve. In these areas, sometimes I am able to bring my family with me. Last summer, I was able to go canvasing with my church for VBS. This was able to be a family event. I with my children with able to go door to door talking to people about VBS and about Jesus. These are the kind of ministry opportunities that I will intentionally seek out in order to include my whole family in ministry.

 

Bibliography

Pipes, Jerry, and Victor Lee. Family to Family. Alpharetta, GA: North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1999.

[1] Jerry Pipes and Victor Lee, Family to Family (Alpharetta, GA: North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1999) 11.

[2] Ibid,. (6).

[3] Ibid,. (25).

[4] Ibid,. (49).

[5] Ibid,. (25).

[6] Ibid,. (83).

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