Inside Out Families: Living the Faith Together

by Diana Garland. Baylor University Press, 2010.

Professor, researcher, and church consultant Diana Garland is all about Christian families and how they work. Here, Garland flips the traditional understanding of “family ministry” by defining family ministry as those experiences when family members unite to serve as “channels of ministry to others.” Garland interviewed numerous families, seeking to discover how these families embodied their faith, and in turn, discover the impact the ministry had on their faith development. She discovered that engaging in family ministry builds relationships and leads to theological questioning. These activities, in turn, help the family’s children have a “sticky faith” that lasts beyond their teen years. The family stories and research are compelling, and they give readers ideas for engaging in family ministry. Extensive notes, a bibliography, and a thorough index are also provided. Garland is Christian, but other traditions may also gain practical ideas and insights on ministry, building family relationships, and family faith.