JDFM Forum: Inspiring Parents To Disciple Their Families -- By: Rob Rienow
JDFM 3:1 (Fall 2012) p. 72
JDFM Forum: Inspiring Parents To Disciple Their Families
Rob Rienow (D.Min., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is the co-founder of a ministry called Visionary Parenting along with his wife Amy. He served as youth and family pastor at Wheaton Bible Church for eighteen years before becoming part of a church planting team in the Chicago area. He is the author of God’s Grand Vision for the Home (AWANA) and Visionary Parenting (Randall House).
Andrew Hedges (M.Div., Columbia International University) is a family pastor in Dayton, Ohio. He is the author of three volumes in the Creative Bible Lessons series (Zondervan). Andrew blogs at FaithAwakening.com.
I was recently honored to spend an hour talking with Rob Rienow. Rob married Amy in 1994 and they have been blessed with six children. His most important ministry is loving his wife and leading his children to know God.
ANDREW: What was the driving motivation to found Visionary Family Ministries?
ROB: Well, it started with a chapter of brokenness and repentance in my own life. In Summer 2004, I was the youth pastor at a church. Amy and I had been married for ten years and had four children. Basically, my heart and my passion were at work. I was discipling everybody else’s kids. I was nurturing wholeness in everybody else’s marriage. But I was not in any way the spiritual leader of my family. I was not praying and teaching the Bible to my children. I was praying and teaching the Bible to other people’s children, but not mine.
Again, God needed to get me to a place of repentance. As in the book of Malachi, God really turned my heart to ministry to my children and a few years later turned my heart to minister to my wife–engaging my whole family in the Great Commission. Up until then, I really just saw the Great Commission as what we do with our neighbors and what we do in regard to missions. I never connected the family with the Great Commission at all.
ANDREW: How did you get VFM off the ground?
ROB: I didn’t have anything to do with it. The Lord changed my heart toward my family, and I started to share what God was teaching me at my church. I taught an eight-week Sunday morning class called Visionary Parenting to people in my church, and God used the Scriptures to impact the people who were there. They would say, “You need to do this again so we can invite our friends.” So, we did it again. Then people said, “You need to record this so we can share it with other people.” Then other churches started calling and asked if we could do Visionary Parentin...
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