Family Discipleship – Do you have a plan?
This post is a collection of thoughts that have been rattling around in my head. Disclaimer: This is in no way a final product! This is merely me typing out loud about the things to come. The next post will be a simplified version of this post and an outline for future writings on the subject.
Like me, there are many Pastors, Youth Pastors and ministers starting the conversation of family ministry. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a new topic; however it is a growing subject in the church today! Family ministry is, I believe, the next step for those who train future pastors and ministers. Please leave comments and thoughts. Again, the following are thoughts that have been jumbled around in my head and in no way a final product.
First, there must be a plan for your family’s spiritual growth. Without a plan, you are planning to fail. Secondly, there are “must-have” elements that should be integrated into your plan. Lastly, there are some obstacles to address with family discipleship.
Everyone needs a plan, however, we must be careful to understand God’s plan for our family. This plan is Biblically based and Parent driven with a Great Commission focus.
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
I believe the basic plan for family discipleship comes from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and the Great Commission –Matthew 28:18-20. Families are called to teach the way of God to their children and make disciples who reach others for the sake of the Gospel.
Your family plan is also determined by your family make-up. For instance, single-parent homes will look different in the way discipleship is done. The content is not different, but the context might be different. Here are some elements to build into your family discipleship plan:
First, Discipleship must be modeled to your children. This means that the parent/parents must lead your family in discipleship. Some reading this will say, I have never been discipled, so how am I going to disciple my family? The easiest way to fix this is to find and learn from a mature believer, who has discipled others, and then teach your family what you learn. In order to lead your family, you must be lead.
Second, when it comes to discipling your family, you must teach Scripture. Most parents would say, I want my children to grow up to be good Christians, responsible people, and contributors to society. Most parents should want this for our children. However, just to have children who are good Christians is not enough. We must base our discipleship on the Word of God. As we become doers of the Word, so will our children.
Here are some ideas for more elements to include in your family discipleship plan: (not exhaustive) Scripture Memorization, Prayer, Journaling, family devotions, family mission trips, home church in your neighborhood for the whole family, etc.
The idea of discipling my family sounds great! But how do I disciple my family when my schedule is so busy?
The first step to discipling your family will be to understand the obstacles that will come up throughout the process. Let’s look at a few:
Time. Families today are more strained when it comes to time than any generation before. Parents who are committed to discipling their children will prioritize their family’s time in order to accomplish the goal of discipleship. Remember: you can’t make time, you can only take time from other “things” in your life and re-prioritize for discipleship.
Satan. Families must understand that as soon as you attempt to re-focus your family’s priorities, Satan will do everything he can to dismantle your family. Saturate your family in prayer every minute of every day. Put on the Armor of God – Ephesians 6:10-18. Satan tempted Adam and Eve, Jesus, and he will tempt you.
Rebellion. If you have children who are self-determined or who are going through the teenage phase, you may experience rebellion. NEVER give up. Parents should continue to disciple their children, even if it means your children sit and watch you lead. As parents, we plant the seed. The church does the watering, and God does the rest. Be ready and have an idea of how you will handle each situation as it arises.
There are many elements and obstacles to be written about, so leave a comment and keep the conversation going!