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AG Receives Grant to Foster Faith in Families

Lilly Endowment Inc. recently presented the Assemblies of God with a $1.25 million grant to establish the Fostering Faith in Families initiative.
The Assemblies of God has recently received a $1.25 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to establish the Fostering Faith in Families Initiative. This new AG Family Discipleship initiative focuses on equipping parents and caregivers with a biblical framework and resources to transmit their Christian faith and values. Additionally, the initiative seeks to strengthen ministries in local congregations, especially to pastors, children, youth ministry staff, and congregational volunteer leaders.

Lilly Endowment made the grant through its Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative, a national initiative designed to help organizations support parents and caregivers as they pass down their faith and values to their children.

“Today in the AG (USA), there are nearly 13,000 churches and 3 million constituents, of whom 31% are under the age of 18,” says Doug Clay, AG general superintendent. “The future of the Church is bright if we continue to follow the Holy Spirit and work together to disciple the next generation in the authentic faith. Supporting families as they raise children and youth to know how to follow Jesus, as revealed in Scripture, will create enduring faith through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

The Fostering Faith in Families Initiative will provide resources to parents and caregivers, merge current child development research with biblical principles, provide language for daily Christian practices, develop specialized content for diverse and vulnerable families, and create systems of support for churches in the area of family discipleship.

Furthermore, the initiative will design resources for parents to share about their relationship with God utilizing everyday moments to engage with their kids. It’s a partnership between the church and the home to support parents in transmitting their faith with practical faith-filled tools, as they disciple the next generation of disciples.

The initiative’s focus will also encompass equipping churches across the USA to implement regional parenting conferences and promote intergenerational family weekends for individual churches to implement in their annual ministry calendar. Calendar year 2024 will usher the release of resources and regional conferences.

As Rick Dubose, AG assistant general superintendent expresses, “The Bible clearly teaches that God’s design empowers parents to be the primary disciple makers for their children. Every generation is responsible to raise and disciple the next generation of disciples.”

Elly C. Marroquin serves as the national director for Christian Education and Discipleship and as the lead director for Adult and Family for the AG and will lead the grant efforts.

“I understand the importance of family discipleship and parents intentionally transmitting their faith,” Marroquin says. “Although my early childhood was marked by dysfunction and brokenness, I was blessed by a nurturing Christian mother who modeled her faith and handed down her biblical values.

“I am grateful that my husband, Sergio, and I have built a home where we have been able to transmit our Christian faith to our girls,” Marroquin continues. “A strong faith in our home, coupled with being part of a local church who embraced a disciple-making culture has made the difference for our family. This foundation has allowed me to serve in various areas such as church planting, co-pastor, youth ministries, discipleship, and Christian education. Today, my role affords me the privilege of supporting thousands of churches and homes to make disciples. The American family stands at a historical crossroads as this initiative impacts future generations.”

The Assemblies of God is one of 77 organizations that are receiving grants through this competitive round of the Lilly Endowment initiative. Reflecting the diversity of Christianity in the United States, the organizations are affiliated with mainline Protestant, evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox Christian, and Pentecostal faith communities. Many of the organizations are rooted in Black church, Hispanic, and Asian Christian traditions.

Lilly Endowment launched the Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative in 2022 because of its interest in supporting efforts to help individuals and families from diverse Christian communities draw more fully on the wisdom of Christian practices to live out their faith fully and well passing on a vibrant faith to a new generation.

For more information about Lilly Endowment Inc. — its history, philosophy, and entities it supports — click here.