Friday, April 23, 2010

Discipleship - Connection (Part 2)

Find Part 1 Here.

Our connection to God should naturally lead us to be connected with other believers in a local body of believers, the church. (1 Corinthians 12) As we study the New Testament church we find that gathering together with other believers was a priority. (Acts 2) How do we teach our children that this connection to other believers is part of being a follower of Christ?

  • Set the example. Much of our life is intertwined with other believers, our church. Both Mish and I are involved in Connection groups where we meet weekly to connect with others from the church. We are connected through serving with others in the church.
  • The Church is a Priority - In our home church attendance isn't optional. It is a priority in our home just as it was with the early church in Acts 2 (they met daily so perhaps not as much as them). Our children will grow up knowing that involvement with and in the church is not an option but a priority. This is how I grew up. Sleeping in on Sunday morning wasn't a choice in our family growing up. I was forced to go to church my whole life. Guess where I am at every Sunday morning? Why? I was taught connection with the church is vital to spiritual health and growth. I was required to go to church but at the same time taught the reason why I should be involved in the church.
  • Fellowship with other believers is important. Why? We belong to each other. Romans 12:5 There is a connection to each other. Christ died for you and Christ died for me. Our connection came at the high price of redemption. The church is where we find our "belonging". Life as a believer is meant to be lived out in fellowship with other believers. My desire is for my children to realize that their family is more than just their physical family. Their family is much larger because the church is their family as well.
My prayer is that our children, as they grow, will connect first with God through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Second I pray that they will learn by our example and teaching as their parents the importance of being connected with a local body of believers. Not just be church attenders but to live our life in fellowship with the church.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Discipleship - Connecting (part 1)

As a dad one the thing I hope most for is that my children will be connected. No one is meant to live this life alone and to attempt to do so is utter foolishness. We need each other because that is the way God designed us.

First I want to see my children connected to God. How will they learn about the most important connection in life? (John 14:6)

  • Modeled in my life - Do they see in me that a relationship with God is important? I must display through my life that I have an ongoing and growing relationship with him. One of my memories as a child is of my dad sitting down in a chair with his Bible and a legal pad reading God's Word and taking notes. He showed me that his relationship with God was serious to him. This is teaching by example.
  • Placed in the right environment - I think that hauling our three young'uns to church every Sunday morning is the beginning of teaching them the importance of this relationship. During the week we are planting lessons about God in their lives. Sunday at Kids' Zone what they are learning is being watered and fertilized to help them grow in God. There is a reinforcement there at church in what they are learning at home. This is a priority in our family. Disciple your kids at home, don't be dependent on the church to do this for you.
  • Focusing their minds - each night when our three children are prayed with before we go to bed. Not the scary prayer "Now I lay me down to sleep . . . " type of prayer (scary? Yes! "If I should die before I wake". In my mind I hear it in the voice of Vincent Price) I pray with my oldest son that God would grow him to know God and to live for God above all else. The prayer with the baby twins is shorter but includes God's protection and direction in their lives. They are learning at 15 months old the importance of talking to God and that communication is vital in connection. They don't grasp the concept but they are learning. My children will grow up with this as a part of normal every day life effecting their life now and in the future.

Your Summer Ministry Checklist

Welcome to summer, everyone! For most of us, summer is a super busy season filled with camps, mission trips, amusement park days, retreats,...