Michelle Anthony, the Family Pastor at ROCKHARBOR Church (Costa Mesa, California), is passionate about parents. She often asks potential staff members a simple question during interviews: “From a ministry perspective, where is your heart drawn? To parents or children?” If the answer is “children,” she knows this person could make a fine volunteer in children’s ministry. If the answer is “parents,” she knows this person could make a great staff member. Michelle’s hiring scenario is reflective of her core ministry philosophy: parents are entrusted with the spiritual nurturing of children and the church should inspire, equip, and support parents as spiritual leaders.
Michelle’s philosophy of family ministry may sound unusual (even shocking) to some church leaders, but her credentials and experience demand a hearing. Michelle earned a B.A. in Christian Education (minor in Bible) at Biola University and an M.A. in Christian Education (emphasis in Theology) at Talbot School of Theology. She earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Southern Seminary and has served as a professor at Biola University and Talbot School of Theology. With more than 20 years of practical church ministry and leadership experience to her credit (including her role as Pastor of Family Ministries at ROCKHARBOR Church since 2005), Michelle is in demand as a speaker at ministry conferences around the country including Children’s Pastors Conferences, The Orange Conference and The Northwest Ministry Conference.
Michelle Anthony has written more than a dozen Christian education resources, ranging from youth curriculum and children’s books to parenting and ministry theology (A Theology for Family Ministry, B&H Publishing Group). In 2008 Michelle became the Family Ministry Architect for David C. Cook Publishing where she began to design a new philosophy and product line to empower churches to invest in today’s parents. In partnership with ROCKHARBOR Church and David C. Cook, Michelle has helped write a new children’s curriculum entitled Tru (www.tru.davidccook.com). Tru is a spiritually-forming, family-empowered digital curriculum (available now) which highlights God’s redemptive story throughout Scripture. Michelle’s first trade book releases from David C. Cook in June 2010: Spiritual Parenting: An Awakening for Today’s Families. In this book Michelle encourages parents to embrace their roles as spiritual leaders and empowers readers to create practical home environments for the purpose of spiritual growth. Also releasing from David C. Cook in 2010 is an illustrated children’s book entitled God’s Big Story (August 2010), which is complementary to both Tru and Spiritual Parenting.
Michelle is a native Californian and has lived in Southern Orange County for the past 20 years with her husband Michael and their children (Chantel, 19, and Brendon, 17). The Anthony family has embarked on many foreign mission trips, including ministering in Kenya, Dominican Republic, Spain, Belize, Russia, Haiti, Romania, Panama, and Mexico. Michelle loves being with her family while boating, bowling, or playing the game of LIFE … as well as enjoying a cup of coffee with a good book.