Over the past decade, Christian churches in the United States have been paying more attention than ever to attendance numbers. The numbers tell us that young people are disappearing in droves, droves so large that churches in the U.S. might well look like the many abandoned church building in Europe before long.
Kurt Bruner and Steve Stroope point to the home as the primary place where spiritual formation needs to occur, while encouraging churches to shift their focus toward helping parents and grandparents reclaim their responsibility to both model and teach a Christian worldview that includes active church participation and to help inculcate this into their children and grandchildren.
The engines for these efforts are “120-day intentionality plans”—specific strategies for couples, parents, grandparents, and churches to follow to achieve this goal. The book is divided into sections addressing couples, parents, grandparents, and churches since strategies and goals are different for each of these groups. Couples are addressed first since healthy marriages are a prerequisite for healthy families. Parents receive the most attention since they should be providing the bulk of faith formation for their own children. I especially appreciate the authors’ recognition of the vital role that grandparents can and should play in the spiritual lives of their grandchildren, even if they live a distance away from them. Couples, parents and grandparents can begin on their own to implement an intentionality plan. They need not wait for their church to get on board.
This book is not about a one-time program, but rather about an attitude shift. Any of the aforementioned groups would find it valuable to reassess where they are at every few years and renew their intentionality if needed with a fresh 120-day plan.
Kurt Bruner and Steve Stroope are both pastors at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, Texas where they developed this model. They have also created what they call the HomePointe model that is available for churches.