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September 21, 2015, 10:00 AM

Growing Champions - Effective Discipleship is Life-Oriented


Parenting is one of the most challenging, humbling, rewarding endeavors you or I could ever under-take.  Raising godly kids who love the Lord and are serving Him takes a lot of work, grace and strength from the Lord.  This week we'll be looking at how we can capture and create teachable moments to nurture our kid's faith.

GROWING CHAMPIONS

Nugget:  Effective discipleship is life-oriented.              

If we want our children to follow God, we must make God a part of our everyday experiences. It's more natural and fits the way we really learn.  It helps our kids see the "big picture" as they see how God relates to every aspect of life, not just those that are church-related.

As Israel was in its infancy stage as a nation, God told Moses the most effective way to enjoy God's favor and blessing was to teach and train the children in the nation how to love God. As you read the passage below, listen to all the action verbs parents are instructed to do with their children: 

4 Attention, Israel! God, our God! God the one and only! 5 Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that's in you, love him with all you've got! 6-9 Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates. (Deut. 6:4-9, MSG)

I try to walk through every open door I find into my kids' hearts and seize the "teachable moments."  As a teenager, I remember the "bubble boy" that filled the news.  The young lad's immune system was so weak he had to live encapsulated or die. Unfortunately, many parents do the same thing with their children.  Afraid of the evil lurking outside, the danger is to focus more on protection than preparation. 

Our goal should be to prepare our children to think and act Christianly so they will be equipped to engage with culture and society.  As our kids mature, the emphasis on preparation and internalization of truth and one's relationship with God must be developed. Otherwise, they will be dependent upon us and will not learn how to "own" their faith and how to stand strong in the Lord when they are out of our sight and care.

Practically speaking:

         Discuss movies, shows, music, pop culture, current issues and ask what message/values are being communicated.  How would Christ respond?  What is the loving, merciful, right thing to do?  How can we make a bad situation better and be a part of the solution?

         Don't ignore or sidestep the real questions of life. Tough questions shouldn't be avoided. (evolution, sex, marriage)  In fact, they offer some of the best opportunities to teach a biblical worldview. You may not have all the answers and that's OK.  Tell them you'll learn together and then research or talk to someone and find the answer.

When we skirt the tough questions, we send the message to our kids that we do not have the truth, know the truth, or the answers to those real-life questions lie outside the Bible in some other belief system.  Message Sent:  Our faith is not relevant.  IF YOU DON'T ANSWER THE QUESTIONS SOMEONE ELSE WILL. 

Seize the opportunities afforded you to disciple your kids.  Your grandchildren will thank you one day! J

Shaping hearts and minds,

Dr. Chris


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