I dreamed of going to Freed-Hardeman and majoring in youth and family ministry. I was so thankful that I was able to pursue that dream. While I was there, new dreams began to develop, specifically when I was sitting in Fundamentals of Youth and Family Ministry with Kirk Brothers. This was one of my favorite classes, but it was challenging to give Dr. Brothers the attention he deserved because of all the ideas for youth ministry and dreams that were stirred up in my mind during class. 

I remember this idea from that class, “be who you needed as a teenager.” This idea was brought up at least a couple of times through the semester, by various people in various places, not just in that one class, but each time I thought back to who I needed when I was a teenager. It was extraordinarily clear to me that I didn’t just need any one person. I certainly didn’t think of my youth minister, though I was so grateful for his influence in my life. There were no coaches that came to mind, though I had several great coaches. Not even my church family came to mind, in spite of being blessed with a remarkable church. 

The only people I could think of were my parents. I was and am proud of who I am, and I know that my life wouldn’t have turned out the way that it has if it hadn’t been for my parents. From my own experience and other principles I learned, in that class, parents are crucial in youth ministry. I became fully convinced to be the best youth minister I could possibly be,  I didn’t need to try to be who I needed when I was a teenager, but that I needed to try to be who my parents needed when I was a teenager. 

In fundamentals of youth and family ministry you learn that Youth Ministry done properly is family ministry. In order for churches to produce faithful adolescents, they must first strive to produce faithful parents. More often than not, adolescents develop the faith of their parents. Fortunately, this isn’t a 100% true but it is a common trend.

There are things that parents can do to really help increase the odds of their children being faithful like having spiritual conversations at home or having family Bible studies, but these things aren’t easy for everyone to do. Rarely is anyone ever trained how to conduct a family Bible study. Which is what motivated me to create Family Team. 

It is the mission of Family Team to strengthen families so that God’s family can be strengthened.  We will strive to do this by providing families first and foremost with family devotional materials. These will be great for families to read while also being great for individuals to go through on their own. The goal is to keep these brief but allow the truth of God’s word to be presented and discussed among family members.  

Family Team will also strive to strengthen families through providing parents with other resources they have long needed. As a 24-year-old I know that I am the least qualified to address the challenges involved in parenting. I do not believe I hold any answers, nor do I think that I can attain all the answers to the questions that parents ask. But I will promise to be a 24-year-old striving to learn how to lead a family and I will share what I learn with parents, who are eager to learn. One of the most exciting ways that I hope to prepare to lead a family is by interviewing experienced parents. I look forward to all that I will be able to learn from the parents that I interview, and I look forward to being able to share that information with you through the Family Team Podcast. 

Family Team began to develop as a dream of mine while I was a student at Freed-Hardeman. Since the dream developed, I have graduate from FHU with a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies emphasizing in Youth and Family Ministry, and I was blessed to leave Freed-Hardeman with not only a diploma, but with a new dream.  Once my dream was to graduate from FHU but now my dream is to help families pursue God. 

My family’s influence was so great, I want to help strengthen families, so that families for generations might find it easier and easier to develop a sincere faith in their children. My parents were by far my biggest influencers, but I imagine a resource like Family Team would have empowered them with tools and information to be even better parents. 

Family Team seeks to help parents fulfill their calling to raise children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

In Him, 
Chris Elrod