FAMILY

Family Education ·  Family Ministry Coordination  youth   children ·  Family Formation Ministry ·  Family Restoration Ministries ·  Family Bible Study ·  Family Understanding ·  Family Resources ·  Premarital Counseling ·  Marital Counseling

Click below to hear the audio clip. 1.8 mb size.

Family Clip (1.8 mb-MP3)

"So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man separate."

Matthew 19: 6

The evangelical Christian family is in a genuine crisis. In a ground-breaking and widely-known 1999 study, George Barna, the foremost Christian demographer, released a study that established what many in the Christian ministry knew to be true, the evangelical family is more prone to divorce than the family in the general population. 27% of born-again Christian adults were found to be divorced in the study versus 24% of people who did not identify themselves as born-again. For the full text of this study, please click the word study in the previous sentence. Manna church will not ignore this problem and pretend it doesn't exist, which seems to be the majority response. Nor will Manna find external scape-goats, i.e. Hollywood, the ACLU, the teacher's unions, and "family political battles" like possible civil homosexual marriages. Nor, will Manna try to "psychologize" the problem, i.e. better communication and so forth. I have not seen that Christian spouses are worse or harder to live with than spouses in the general society. No the fault in our replacing the value of family by with phony "family values". We have instituted a "picture morality" and ignored God's Word. If the marriage doesn't fit our "Christian picture", it is faulty. The family needs counseling. If counseling can't fix it, we throw the marriage and the family on the garbage heap. Oh, I forgot. We have a divorce recovery group for you. Now, you shouldn't conclude that we are going to waste time condemning people who divorce. Condemning those with broken families is just erecting another external scapegoat closer to home. It doesn't help present families. Our goal is to help all people in whatever family circumstance they find themselves in to move forward to Christian family maturity. That includes the myriad of "family situations" that people find themselves in. However, that does not mean we will shrink from real problems, because someone might be offended. Confessing sin can be offensive. Sorry.

At Manna we have a philosophy that what God has put together, man shouldn't pull apart. Therefore, we value family.

That means we see each family as unique. If God put the family together, it was meant to work. God does not intend to build failure in families. We try to nurture every family to discover their unique journey. One family was not meant to look like another family. Listen to the audio clip. I don't have time to draw out the implications of how profoundly the evangelical family has been hurt by the "family values" industry, but you must know that we intend to swim upstream. EVERY FAMILY IS PRECIOUS IN GOD'S SIGHT. NO FAMILY SHOULD FAIL. We don't care what the advice books or the Christain "family industry" might say. Ultimately, the only failed family is the one that actually fractures. The rest of the families are under construction, some slower than others. God has a unique plan for every family. No family should be judged by another family but by its journey to being a "godly" family. Our goal is to help you along that path, not to judge or condemn your family.

Family Education

 

The ministry is concerned with a Biblical education concerning the nature of family and its role. This will be an important ministry that must cut through the fog of misinformation to understand and educate families in our true present culture, not some idealized and idolized past. If you are interested in such a ministry, please click below to contact us.

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Family Ministry Coordination

This ministry will coordinate the various family ministries with a role to not monopolizing family time. Events must be sparse with an eye toward uniting families. We have too many families separated and alway going to separate seminars and conferences learning to be families together. It is one of the problems with evangelical family ministries. At Manna family events will keep families together whenever possible. This will include common worship servies. This will be a creative and challenging ministry. For further information and/or if you are interested in such a ministry, please click below.

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Youth

Click below to hear the audio clip. 2.0 mb size.

Youth Clip (2.0 mb-MP3)

Are you interested in youth ministry? Ready for an adventure? At Manna Youth means High School and Junior High people. College age people are adults, although some special events will be planned. Since we have a focus on the greater university community, we can not and will not treat college age people as youth. College age people will be encouraged and expected to take a full part in the life of the church.

As with all ministries at Manna, youth will be trained to serve. We will not run an entertainment youth program, i.e. camps, choir trips, and mission trips that do some manual labor and then go to theme parks. Also, we believe in youth taking full part in worship services. There will not be special worship times for youth. Youth will be encouraged and given responsibility.

The special focus and emphasis on youth will be on training and dealing with serious issues. And, yes, there will be plenty of fun. Youth will be encouraged to learn Christian doctrine, develop Christian lifestyles, engage in Christian service, and engage in Christian mission projects. Additionally, youth will be taken seriously by the rest of the church.

When measuring our ministry to both youth and children, attendance and satisfaction will not be our primary measure of the success of lack of success of our ministry programs. Rather, the measure shall be the evidence of the instilling of orthodox Christian belief and practice. The greatest measuring rod will be the love our youth and children have for each other, the church, and those beyond the church.If you are interested in Manna youth work, please contact us by clicking below.

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Children


"But Jesus called for them, saying, "Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it all."

Luke 18:16-17

This ministry will be closely coordinated with the chidren's education ministry. In particular, children will be educated about "Godly" families. This will be done practically by allowing them to be a part of God's family in worship. Our children and youth will not be herded into "kid's reservations" that we call "children's church". The result of this evangelical movement and misadventure has been a generation of evangelical youth who do not intend to stay in the church once their special groups end. This must stop.

The true test of a Christian family is its fruit, not its look. A Christian family consists of a married mother and father who honor God and raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. A Godly Christian family realizes that God is at work forming and knitting that family together. The only thing that separates that family is the death, not the divorce, of either the mother or father. That is the result. Where we fail, we repent and move forward realizing that God is always a God of forgiveness and second chances. We move forward to success, not to justify our failures. We also realize that only God has a model of how our family will look. We will not force our children to feel their family is inferior if it is producing Godly fruit. Children will be taught to value the family they have as a gift from God, not the model we force upon them.

Also, our children will be taught that Christian children, families, and people are not striving for the same goals as the general people in our community. Kindness and love are to be hallmark of Christian children, not cruelty to just get ahead. In addition, children will be included and an important part of Manna's life. They will be included in Manna's liturgy. All children over third grade are expected to be in worship services. Under that age, they are encouraged to be in worship. Although we will maintain a nursery, We will encourage older people to be "child holders" for babies taken to our worship service. Noise from children will be tolerated.

When measuring our ministry to both youth and children, attendance and satisfaction will not be our primary measure of the success of lack of success of our ministry programs. Rather, the measure shall be the evidence of the instilling of orthodox Christian belief and practice. The greatest measuring rod will be the love our youth and children have for each other, the church, and those beyond the church.

I've probably spent too much time on this topic on this section of the page. If you are interested in a real innovative ministry and education for our children concerning Christian family, please click below.

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Family Formation Ministry

This ministry replaces much of what is called "family minstry" or "marital" counseling in most churches. We will deal with real problems and concerns that "real" families face in our area. Do you realize that money is the most popular reason to divorce. We will deal with those issues. What do we do with families where we are all so busy that we fly off in different directions: Dad commutes from Orange County to work, Mom works in Riverside and tries to get Junior to baseball and daughter to girl's soccer practice. What do we do with a family that can't afford the basketball shoes that the high school team is pressuring or even requiring your son to buy to be on the team. What do we do with a family where the husband is on "meth" and Mom is trying to bring the kids to church. These are real families. Manna is a "real" church for "real" people worshipping a "real" God with "real" power who loved "real" people who sent a "real" Jesus to die for our "real" sins. You want illusions, turn the dial to your closest "Christian" station. However, you should realize that you will miss the "real" transformation of lives and the "real" victory of the Spirit in your life and others. If you are interested in a ministry with real power to real families, please click below.

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Family Restoration Ministry

This is a ministry to fractured and fracturing families with a view to restoring families. As Jesus indicated above, the only true reason for ultimate family breakdown is one or more hard heart(s). Jesus does not want families to fail. We go into this ministry realizing that no matter how hard it is for us to believe, God brings people together. Our job is to help them stay together and discover God's will and plan for their marriage. Remember God brought them together. We are third parties and ultimately have no business to get between this family and God. If you have experience or are interested in such a ministry, please click below.

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Family Bible Study

There used to be a movement for Bible study called the "Family altar". I know that getting everybody together in this fast-paced world may be hard, if not impossible at times. However, it is very possible to have everyone in the family read or interact with their Bibles. It may even be possible for the family to read similar passages. We would like to explore modern ways to reconstruct this ministry. If you are interested, please click and contact us below.

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Family Understanding

This is a crucial ministry. We need to understand the modern Inland Empire family(s) in all their diversity. We need to understand how we got there. I have done quite a bit of study on this and realized we have been shovelled idealized picture of the past with phony prescriptions for present family problems. If this were harmless, I wouldn't be concerned about some idealizations of the past. We all do it, particularly as we get older. However, these idealizations are killing real families as we measure real families against past idealized fictional families. The lie is killing the truth. This may involve oral histories as well as research. This research will help us with real present ministries in our Inland Empire area. Also, we will make this research available to other ministries. If you are interested in such a ministry, please contact us.

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Family Resources

We need at least one person who will catalog all the resources currently available to families in our area. We need this person to interface with them to see if we can recommend that families use these resources. If you are interested in this ministry, please contact us below.

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Premarital Counseling

We will do premarital counseling. We will not attempt to pass judgment on compatibility. That is between God and the couple. However, we will try to bring up real issues that real families face or that arise from their circumstances, so that they enter the state of married life with a somewhat more realistic and sober view. Good luck. Can you ever get a couple in love to be realistic. Anyway, if you are willing to try and are interested in such a ministry, please contact us.

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Marital Counseling

We will do one on one marital counseling. We always view any marriage as salvagable. If God brought them together, He wants them together. Manna church will not be a fig leaf for people looking for the divorce out. We will only counsel people who are serious about family resoration. There is a game played by Christians. We want to get divorced, but it must be Christian. So, we go to the pastor and counsel. If we do that, then we tried everything (except forgiveness and sticking to it). We can tell our friends, "we even tried counselling". They will be impressed with our sincere efforts. Now, we can get divorced with a a clear conscience. We don't play that game here.

We will never take the view that if our efforts weren't helpful, they are hopeless. That is arrogance. We will simply take the view that our efforts weren't helpful. Period. If you are interested in such a ministry, please contact us.

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