From the beginning of creation God’s mission has never wavered, it has never been influenced by popular opinion, it has never been changed to be politically correct, it has never changed because of what is going on in the world. It has stayed the same from the beginning and will until the earth and all people pass away. As long as we have breath in our lungs His mission must be woven into every part of our lives. His mission is a command and that command is to “Make disciples for the sake of His name.” God is about the business of making His name great by drawing unto Himself worshipers of every tribe, people and nation. God has charged His Church to join Him in that mission by making disciples.
Disciples make disciples. As believers, we must think of ourselves as disciples of Jesus. Discipleship is not a “second step” in our journey with Christ. We don’t first become a believer in Jesus and then if we choose become a person that disciples others. All who profess to be a believer in Jesus should embrace the truth that discipleship pertains to them. Discipleship is not a distinct category or activity or separate ministry in the church but discipleship is a synonym for Christian living.
Everything in the church must be viewed through the lens of making disciples. Every ministry must be a discipling ministry. Discipling is not limited to just Connect groups or Young Adult groups, but it includes the younger generation. I am referring to the Nursery, the Guppies, the Fireflies, the Camp Grizzly, the Flip 180, the Youth. But there is another place where discipleship is to ultimately take place. Discipleship at home with your children. Yes, we are commanded to disciple our own children. It is not the ultimate responsibility of the church to disciple your children.
When discipling our children at home we help them recognize concrete ways of how God relates to absolutely everything in life. We must help them see that God’s ultimate purpose in everything is His glory. Children must learn to love and fear the Lord. Deuteronomy 6:2. “so that you and your sons and your grandsons might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you..” God has ordained that parents bear the responsibility of acquainting their children with the Word of God and the life of faith. When we teach our children we must aim for their hearts as well as their heads. Parents should be teaching their children to honor them and those in authority. It is very difficult for children to learn to honor God if they defy their parents and resist their authority. When children treat their parents and those in authority with disrespect it is difficult to nurture a reverence for God. The permissiveness that is encouraged and taught in our culture not only makes life miserable for those who have to be with our children but can lead our children to destruction. Proverbs 19:18. “Discipline your children while there is hope. If you don’t, you will ruin their lives.”
When discipling your children the following 5 things will impart a fear of God and love for Him and His word:
- Formal teaching. Teach them diligently. Children need purposeful, intentional, formal instruction in the Word of God. If we use a “hit or miss” approach there will be gaps in their knowledge. This will limit their faith in God or there will be a misunderstanding of God because of an incomplete picture of who He is.
- Challenge what they have learned. When children respond to the Word of God, there is the conviction and confirmation in their hearts that God is real, He can be trusted, and His word is truth.
- Memorize scripture. The memorized Word of God provides a counselor to our children as well as a weapon against spiritual attacks for the enemy. If memorization is not intentional, it is less likely to happen.
- Meditate on the Word daily. We need to teach them to discern truth from error and to use the Bible as the measuring standard for everything else in life.
- Modeling. Parents must spend time with their children. Spending time opens the door for the greatest opportunity for role modeling to take place.
You may be thinking at this point I cant afford to add anything else to my already hectic schedule. Let me be blunt and say, “you can’t afford not to!” If you don’t take on the command of discipling your children, the world will gladly do it for you. When your children come to church we have them for 2.5 hrs and we take on the responsibility for discipling your children in that short amount of time. The other 165.5 hrs are for you to seize the privilege to disciple the precious gifts that God has given to you.
Children’s Ministry Director