The impact of full-time Christian ministry on the spiritual well-being of the ministering family's children : a pastoral study
This research focuses on the problem field of those called to full-time Christian work and specifically how the interpretation and implementation thereof has an impact on the spiritual well-being of the adolescents growing up in this context. The purpose of the study is to identify the challenges parents and adolescents experience and to minimise the negative impact thereof through praxis theoretical guidelines for spiritual nurturing. A Biblical perspective on calling to full-time Christian ministry as well as an understanding of the God-given mandate to parents to nurture the spiritual well-being of their family, forms the basis of this research. Insight into the problem field was gained through empirical research conducted by means of structured and unstructured interviews. Adolescents whose parents are presently in full-time Christian work were interviewed by means of a questionnaire as well as an in-depth conversation. Interviews with adults who had grown up in context of full-time Christian work during the 1970's and 1980's gave insight into the long-term impact on spiritual well-being. Parents in full-time Christian work, who are raising adolescents, shared their perspectives and challenges in interviews. Research in the social sciences confirmed the Biblical perspective that the family is the best environment for both adults and children to grow to maturity. Integration of all the dimensions of life is essential for the process growth within the family and is an ongoing dynamic process which continually requires observation, evaluation and change. This study concludes by offering guidelines to parents in full-time Christian work on spiritual nurturing of their family as the primary focus of their ministry. The result of this approach is that the family is restored to its God-ordained position as the epicentre of ministry. Just as Abraham's family was chosen by God to reveal Him to the nations, so, the family in full-time Christian work is called, as a unit, to participate in God's redemption the world.
- Theology