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Family Ministry Moments - June 2024

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Discipleship is an important topic, especially in conjunction with raising our children. Recently we finished our AWANA year on May 15th.  AWANA is our children’s discipleship program where we teach children the Word of God.  It is a great program, but it has its limitations.  AWANA is only successful if the church and parents take the mandate to disciple children seriously. Discipleship only happens when loving parents and caring adults teach God’s Word to children so their lives can be changed by it.  As parents, and as a church, we must make discipleship a priority. I recently read a Family Life article and thought I would share some of the insights from it (https://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/parenting/foundations/spiritual-development/4-reasons-you-should-intentionally-disciple-your-children/).

4 Reasons We Should Prioritize Discipleship in Our Homes and Church?

1. We are Commanded to Disciple Our Children
There is no better example of this than in Mark 10. People were bringing their children to Jesus and the disciples thought it was a waste of Jesus' time, but He rebuked them and said, “Let the children come to me.” (Mark 10:14-15) Discipleship helps provide an avenue for children to experience Jesus.  We are helping to bring the children to Jesus when we show them God’s Word and we share the gospel with them. Paul takes it one step further in Ephesians 6:4, “...bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” We are commanded to bring our children up in the instruction of the Lord.  Where will they learn it if not from us?  We must be vigilant in teaching them the truth from God’s Word.

2. Your Child will be Discipled by Someone
The reality is someone will disciple your child.  It will either be by you or the world. Culture backed by Satan has no qualms about teaching your children to think and do what they deem as right. Much of what the world wants to teach your child is contrary to God’s Word, especially in the moral arena. We must realize that our children are vessels that will be filled with something.  As a Christian, I want to fill my children with God’s Word. We must take this call seriously.  At our church we use AWANA, it is a tool to help aid in discipleship. The system or program doesn’t really matter so long as it points to God’s Word and seeks to instill that Word in the children. Considering the way the world is going they will need it; there is no sign of our culture letting up any time soon.  However, discipleship is not just for our children, we need it as well.

3. You Need to Grow in Your Faith as Well
Discipleship is not easy.  When my son and I sit down and do the weekly AWANA study together, sometimes he doesn’t want to do it, and sometimes neither do I, but we do it and through that process we both grow. Discipleship can be mundane sometimes, just like working out.  You don’t go to the gym because you see immediate results but over time you build muscle and get stronger.  The same is true in your faith. Sometimes it seems like nothing is happening, but if you persevere and keep trusting the Lord you will grow in your faith. This is true for our children, but it is also true for us – we adults need to grow in our faith as well.  If we commit ourselves to learning and implementing God’s Word in our lives, we will all grow. This is the only way to grow, and it is the only way to fulfill the Great Commission.

4. We Need True Christ Followers to Fulfill the Great Commission
In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus gave His followers their mission.  They are to go all over the world and make disciples. We need families and churches to rally around this calling.  We need to be making disciples and it starts with our families. Remember this world is not getting any better, we need people who will stand up for the truth of God’s Word in every facet of life. We need Christians in every job, every place, and every country committed to the Great Commission. Children are meant to be trained up in the Lord and shot into the world to make an impact for the Kingdom (Psalm 127:3-4).  This is our calling as parents and as a church; to raise our children in the Lord to make disciples so they can make a difference in this world.

Posted by Bryan Gotcher with