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Friday, May 19, 2017
Christ-centered parenting focus of ERLC efforts
By Tom Strode
Christ-centered parenting will be the focus of a two-pronged effort in August by the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
The ERLC's 2017 national conference -- "Parenting: Christ-centered Parenting in a Complex World" -- will be held Aug. 24-26 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville.
At the conference, the ERLC will unveil a new, small group study in collaboration with LifeWay Christian Resources -- "Christ-centered Parenting: Gospel Conversations on Complex Cultural Issues."
ERLC President Russell Moore expressed his excitement about both projects.
"Many Christian parents feel lost in a rapidly transforming culture," Moore said in written comments for Baptist Press. "Our aim for this parenting focus is to encourage and empower parents to shepherd their children in the Gospel, within the context of the local church. It takes more than a village to raise children; it takes the church of Jesus Christ.
"My hope and prayer is that these new resources would point us toward becoming cross-shaped, kingdom-oriented families," Moore said.
The commission's fourth annual national conference will seek to help Christian parents apply the Gospel in rearing counter-cultural children by addressing such issues as sexuality, pornography, technology, media, sports, school, adoption and foster care.
In addition to Moore, the keynote speakers will be:
-- Sally Lloyd-Jones, author of The Jesus Storybook Bible.
-- Crawford Loritts, senior pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Ga., and author.
-- Andrew Peterson, musician and author.
-- Jen Wilkin, Bible teacher and author.
-- J.D. Greear, senior pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and author.
-- Dennis Rainey, president of FamilyLife and author.
The conference's speakers will address topics in plenary addresses, short talks, panel discussions and breakout sessions.
The first ERLC National Conference, which was held in 2014, focused on applying the Gospel to homosexuality and marriage. The 2015 conference was about the Gospel and politics, while last year's event was on Gospel-centered cultural engagement.
'Christ-centered Parenting' study
The ERLC's "Christ-centered Parenting" study is designed to equip parents to guide their children of various ages in facing today's difficult cultural challenges. It will address the following topics in six sessions: Gospel-shaped parenting; human dignity; identity; sexuality; relationships; and technology.
Each session will include a 30-minute panel discussion on video hosted by an ERLC staff member to be followed by a group conversation. The panelists -- all parents -- will be Moore; Wilkin; Ray Ortlund, lead pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville; Trillia Newbell, the ERLC's director of community outreach; Ben Stuart, Passion City Church planter in Washington, D.C.; Jackie Hill Perry, poet and rapper; and David Prince, pastor of preaching and vision at Ashland Avenue Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky.
The study guide includes articles for participants to read between sessions, plus information sheets divided into six age categories of children. Moore and Phillip Bethancourt, the ERLC's executive vice president, are the authors of the study guide, with contributions from other ERLC staff members.
The guide, published by LifeWay Press, will be available for purchase through LifeWay.
Tom Strode is Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention's news service. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on... [Expand Bio]
Dr. Pat Ford became a Church Consultant for LifeWay Christian Resources in 2007 after 35 years of ministry in church, university, and seminary settings. He can be contacted at 832-725-4253 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed on Twitter at @patford.
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