Jones: Equipping Families to Do Discipleship

UncategorizedJared Kennedy7 Comments

Children Desiring God Breakout Session 2Equipping Families to Do Discipleship Timothy Paul Jones

Download the slides for this presentation. We have a responsibility for being the primary disciple-makers in our homes. God wants families to engage in cosmic warfare.  Our families are not equipped to do so.

The testimony of Scripture: (1) God has called parents to serve as primary disciple makers of their children (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:18-21; Psalm 78:5; Proverbs 1:8-9; Ephesians 6:4) (2)    The church is responsible to look after “spiritual orphans” while passionately seeking to disciple their parents (On God’s compassion for the fatherless, see James 1:27; Isaiah 1:17). (3)    Where God’s kingdom is present, generations are drawn together, not driven apart (Malachi 4:6; Luke 1:17; cf. Isaiah 3:5) (4)    What you do for God beyond your home will typically never be greater than what you practice with God within your home (1 Timothy 3:4-5; 5:1, 8).

The testimony of history: “You husbands, work with your wives to train your children in the fear of God.”—Polycarp of Smyrna, To the Philippians 4.2

“To each of you fathers and others, I speak:  Just as we see artists fashioning their paintings and statues with great precision, so we must care for these wondrous statues [children] of ours.”—John Chrysostom

“If we would re-instate Christianity in its former glory, we must improve and elevate the children, as was done in the days of old.”—Martin Luther

“You are not likely to see any general reformation, till you see family reformation.”—Richard Baxter

“Every Christian family ought to be as it were a little church, consecrated to Christ, and wholly influenced and governed by his rules.”—Jonathan Edwards

The present predicament: (1)    Parents, and especially fathers have become disengaged from the practice fo actively discipling children. 85% of parents recognize they bear primary responsibility, but most think all they need to do is take their children to church. (2)    Most churches have not consistently expected or prepared their parents to disciple their children. (3)    In God’s creation order, the basic context for human development is the family and the basic distinction between human beings is male and female.  In contemporary culture, the primary context for development has become age-clustered groups. (4)    We don’t know how to be with our families.

Be together—Teach families how to sit together and have a family meal.  Teach them how to have a discussion at the table together.

Serve and play together—The discipleship of the child is more important than the efficiency of the accomplishment.  Individualized entertainment has replaced celebration of community in our culture.  In our home, we don’t watch videos or play video games by ourselves.  We do these things together and celebrate as a family.  You may have to teach families to work together and play together.   When families serve together, they see themselves as a unit of mission together

Learn together—We must train our families to teach their children and have family devotions together. “Family ministry is the process of intentionally and persistently realigning a congregations proclamation and practices so that parents—and especially fathers—are acknowledged, trained, and held accountable as person primarily responsible for their children’s discipleship.

How does your church make certain that parents are acknowledged, equipped, and held accountable as persons primarily responsible for their children’s discipleship?

BE—This must be worked into the DNA.  It starts in the family room of the pastor. ACKNOWLEDGE—This must be worked into the church’s proclamation and new member training SYNCHRONIZE—We must resource, train, and involve parents. EQUIP the parents to disciple their children.  It must be memorable, missional, and multi-generational.

Download the slides for Tim's other breakout presentation, Equipping Churches to Equip Families