SojournKids

Pastor Daddy

Thursday Book Club: Dads as Shepherd Leaders

UncategorizedJared Kennedy1 Comment

The Shepherd Leader: Achieving Effective Shepherding in Your Church by Timothy Z. Witmer, (P & R Publishing, 2010) I just recently finished reading Timothy Witmer's book for pastors on faithful shepherding.  One passage that stood out to me was a discussion of Richard Baxter's model for "feeding the sheep," that is faithfully and personally teaching the members of his congregation, by feeding and equipping fathers.  I found the passage personally convicting and challenging.  I wanted to share this passage with you.  It can be found on pages 150-151:

What better way to multiply the personal ministry of the word than by equipping dads to pray and read the Scriptures with their families.  Note that Baxter suggests that we "give them an example."  How many of our families would be well fed if we merely gave some simple suggestions to their shepherds?

"Get masters of families to do their duty, and they will not only spare you a great deal of labour, but will much further the success of your labours.  If a captain can get the officers under him to do their duty, he may rule the soldiers with much less trouble, than if all lay upon his own shoulders.  You are not like to see any general reformation, till you procure family reformation" (Richard Baxter, Reformed Pastor (1656; repr., Carslisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1997), 102).

In doing this you are not only multiplying the ministry of the Word among your people but helping fathers fulfill their God-given responsibilities.  Undoubtedly, many elders will have to repent of their neglecting this duty themselves in order to proceed with a clear conscience.  This is progress, too, and a great place to start!

Justin Hyde: How do you pastor your family?

UncategorizedJared KennedyComment

Here is a great article by Justin Hyde, an Acts 29 pastor in Brenham, Texas, on how he leads his family.  This is his outline and a few of the gems from his article:

1.  Routine

2. Intentional Evenings

I get home from work between 5:30PM and 5:45PM each night. But I have to prepare myself before 5:30PM so that I can hit the ground running when I walk in the door. Though I am invariably tired from my day's work, I have to remind myself that the most important part of my vocation happens after 5:30PM, not before. This takes prayer, practice, and intentionality. It's easy to fail.

Husbands/dads, don't clock-out on your way home; be ready to be present and engaged; don't let your kids or wife expect to hear your formulaic: "I'm tired;" turn your phone off (I recently read something like this: "If you touched your wife as much as you touch your iPhone your marriage would be in a much better spot."); cancel your cable TV; repent of your addiction to new projects, hobbies, and distractions.

Wives, be gracious; be forgiving; learn and grow with your husband; make your home inviting and pleasing; manage the stress level (for you and the kids) before dad gets home (i.e. don't let the water boil all day so that it's boiling over the top right when dad's car pulls up).

3. Time to Play

We eat dinner at 6:00PM. So I walk in the door and devote myself to the kids for 20-30 minutes. Rarely do I take 5 steps into the house before having a 5 year old around my left leg and a 3 year old around my right leg (and now, often, a baby in my arms). Dads, your kids are ready to see you. Ready to punch you. Ready to kiss you. Ready to play. Ready to build. Ready to read. And of course your wife needs this from you too if she's making dinner or just needing a break after her long day. Husbands, remind yourself daily that your wife is likely more exhausted than you are by 5:30PM. Serve her well. This is also a good time to teach the kids about setting the table, helping to pick up the living room, honoring mom, serving a younger sibling, etc. But mainly this is a good time to play.

4. Mealtime

5. Cleanup

6. Bible Time

7. Questions & Answers

8. Family Prayer

9. Bedtime

10.  Explicit vs. Implicit

Most of the above routine is explicit training and devotion. Yet each of those elements fit into the larger mosaic of what it means to be a part of our family. These explicit elements would only go so far (but not far enough) if not paired with the implicit aspects of the daily spiritual development that are more subtle and mundane.

The implicit aspects are the constant opportunities to listen to your kids, to talk to them, to tell them about Jesus, to tell them about something you read in Scripture, something you've wondered about God, to connect the dots between dinner and worship, to live a life of celebration and sacrifice.

Please know, I fail often. I need much grace. God has given me a forgiving wife and patient kids. Husbands/dads, this is the most important work you'll ever do, and it will have more impact than anything you could imagine. Wives/moms, encourage your man to lead; create conditions in which he can succeed. Couples, be patient and forgiving. Don't be short-sighted. Love well. And savor your time together.

Sojourn's first published book!

UncategorizedJared Kennedy5 Comments

Sojourn’s first children’s book, Our Home is like a Little Church, (formerly titled Pastor Daddy), written by Lindsey Blair and Bobby Gilles with illustrations by Tessa Janes, is now available to pre-order from Amazon.com.  The book has been published by Christian Focus Publications.  There will be lots more information to come both here and at http://ministry-to-children.com as we head toward a more official release.  And the book will be available at the book table on Sundays soon as well.  We're excited!  Teaching the truth that the church is like the home is one of our top priorities as a children's ministry, and we think this will be a useful tool both for our own church and for other churches. “Our Home is like a Little Church was written to teach preschool children the Christian truth evident in its title--that the home is a "little church" where the father teaches his family God's commands and leads them to worship the one true God.”

Here is what others are saying!

Our Home is like a Little Church beautifully illustrates the Biblical role that each father is called to play  in the lives of his children.  The apostle Paul states in 1 Thessalonians 2 that he has dealt with the Thessalonian church the same way that a father deals with his children….”encouraging, comforting and urging [them], to live lives worthy of God.”  I pray that every father that reads this powerful  little book will have the courage to lead his family to live life for the  Glory of God and nothing less.  I LOVE the book because it provides a  beautiful picture of what it looks like for a father to be the spiritual leader in the home.  It simplifies this profound truth in a way that can be easily understood by everyone in the family.–Jason Houser, Seeds Family Worship, Nashville, TN

One of the most  important features of a father’s leadership in his home is his responsibility to train his children in the Scriptures and the Christian faith, and to  nurture them in knowing and loving God.  In this sense, fathers are  pastors (i.e., shepherds) to their  children, and they would do well to embrace this truth as their own.  Our Home is like a Little Church helps both children and fathers see some of the beauty and richness of this relationship.  How good it will be when an increasing number of Christian fathers own their roles as their family’s pastors.  May this little book  be used by God to serve that end–Bruce A. Ware, Professor of  Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY

Check out more commendations here!

For Dads on Thanksgiving

UncategorizedJared Kennedy1 Comment

Darrin Patrick (via Twitter):

Fathers…be the chief memory maker, CEO of fun, legacy creator and tradition starter for your family this holiday season.

A good word.  Here is an even better one from Psalm 100:

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs

Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

What friends are saying about Pastor Daddy!

UncategorizedJared Kennedy1 Comment

pastor-daddyCheck out what friends are saying (below) about Sojourn's first little children's book, Pastor Daddy, and grab a copy for only $5.00 at the Sojourn Music Store!

One of the most  important features of a father's leadership in his home is his responsibility to train his children in the Scriptures and the Christian faith, and to  nurture them in knowing and loving God.  In this sense, fathers are  pastors (i.e., shepherds) to their  children, and they would do well to embrace this truth as their own.  Pastor Daddy helps both children and fathers see some of the beauty and richness of this relationship.  How good it will be when an increasing number of Christian fathers own their roles as their family's pastors.  May this little book  be used by God to serve that end --Bruce A. Ware, Professor of  Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY

This is an excellent book and I have sought to get a copy into the hands of every family at our church. It is a story about fathers leading their families at home as the pastor leads the church. The great old concept of “every father  the pastor of the church meeting in his house” is portrayed here in an engaging and compelling way. The left hand pages comment on what the pastor  does at church. The right hand pages then comment on how the dad does a  similar thing in leading his family at home. Reading this then will urge fathers forward and give them some built-in accountability as children will  look to see that the things read about are actually done!  The book is  simply written in a nice rhyme with nice illustrations. This little book has the potential to accomplish much good.  I encourage you to get a copy for  yourself and then get copies for families you could give it to. --Ray Van Neste, Director, R. C. Ryan Center for Biblical Studies, Union University, Jackson, TN

Pastor Daddy beautifully illustrates the Biblical role that each father is called to play  in the lives of his children.  The apostle Paul states in 1 Thessalonians 2 that he has dealt with the Thessalonian church the same way that a father deals with his children...."encouraging, comforting and urging [them], to live lives worthy of God."  I pray that every father that reads this powerful  little book will have the courage to lead his family to live life for the  Glory of God and nothing less.  I LOVE the book because it provides a  beautiful picture of what it looks like for a father to be the spiritual leader in the home.  It simplifies this profound truth in a way that can be easily understood by everyone in the family. --Jason Houser, Seeds Family Worship, Nashville, TN

[This book’s] stated aim is to teach preschool  children the Christian doctrine of the home as a "little church" where the  father teaches his family God's commands and leads them to worship the one  true God through his Son Jesus Christ.  This grand truth seems so far removed from the common Christian worldview that a book like this is necessary not just to introduce 3-year-olds to the idea, but their dads as well. --Brent Nelson, The Council of Biblical Manhood & Womanhood’s Genderblog

This book is a great introduction to the  practice of family worship and how the church and the home are interrelated.   This has become an important direction that many in the church are  beginning to move toward.  There has become an emphasis on family worship and its importance to the health of the church in recent years.  If you are involved in children’s ministry, this is an excellent resource to own.   It is also a way in which you can introduce family worship to the  parents through the children. --Terry Delaney, Ministry-to-Children.com