The MOST Important Work

“The only way you can fail at the task of family discipleship is by not doing anything.” 
- Dr. Dan Burrell, John Rawlings School of Divinity, Liberty University

Those were Dr. B’s departing words as we wrapped up our class focusing on family discipleship. While we may be able to take some issue with his statement, Dr. B was on target. As parents, our call is to be the primary disciple-makers in our homes with our kids. This is the work of establishing the next generation of the Church. It is a task we cannot leave undone. If we do, then we will sail into old age while we watch our kids walk away from Jesus. And while that may seem harsh, currently, 80%+ of kids raised in the church leave. We cannot control our children’s hearts and we cannot provide them with salvation. That is the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit. What we can do is show them who Jesus is and invite them to know him. 

We recently wrapped up a class that was focused on the topic of family discipleship. It was based on the book, Family Discipleship, by Matt Chandler and Adam Griffin. They proposed a four-pillar model for family discipleship: Modeling, Time, Moments, and Milestones. Modeling is ensuring that we are following Christ in our own lives so that we can provide a healthy model for our kids. Time is ensuring that we are setting aside focused, intentional discipleship time with our families each week. Moments is focused on capturing and leveraging the unexpected moments of God’s work in our lives for the purpose of discipleship. And milestones are focused on making and marking significant events in our lives that show us how God is working over the course of our family’s life. We really can’t recommend this book enough.
Even with a nicely constructed four-pillar model for discipleship, it can feel overwhelming and difficult to get started. A few weeks back, I wrote a blog post about idols. In it, I specifically talked about adult smartphone use and youth sports. These are two major barriers to discipleship for most families among many others. With those barriers in mind, we recently launched a Family Resources page on our website. You can access it on the Beacon Kids and Beacon Students web pages or by clicking HERE. This page is full of resources that the family ministries team feels will be helpful in approaching the work of discipleship in your homes. Our desire is to provide as many easy on-ramps to discipleship as possible. It is impossible for us to overstate the importance of this task. As a parent, it is THE most important work of your life. We must show our kids who Jesus is, we must share the gospel with them, and we must teach them what it means to pursue Jesus. We hope that the family resources page will be a helpful tool in that process.

Josh Cervone