The Weakness of the Family-Integrated Church

"Fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."  Ephesians 6:4
I'm a big fan of the family-integrated church.  But it has a weakness.  It depends on the faithfulness of parents to disciple their children at home.  Without this, the plan breaks down.  It is sort of like the weakness of a free society.  For liberty to work, people must be responsible and respectful; otherwise liberty leads to chaos and dysfunction.  To effectively reach their children for Christ, parents must be faithful to sit down with their children during the week to disciple them. 

Let me give you a glimpse into what that looks like at my house.  On Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights, right after dinner, I sit down with the children for what we call "Bible Time."  We start with a song, and then a prayer.  Then we work on the catechism -- just a few questions each night.  And then we have a lesson.  The lessons have varied greatly.  Sometimes we read the Bible together.  Sometimes I read a book to them.  When they were little we read through Bible Story books for children.  There are countless options.  This is my part in their discipleship.

Lydia also helps to disciple the kids.  Each morning before school they have a time of group prayer together.  Then they each go their separate ways for 20 minutes to have a quiet time with the Lord.  Then they come back together and begin their schoolwork.

It is my hope and prayer that the preaching and teaching ministry of the church makes a big impact on your children.  But if the only Bible they get is a thirty-minute sermon once a week, it is not going to be enough. 

Take some time to develop a plan for home-discipleship.  Choose a time and a place.  Decide what you are going to teach or read together.  And then be consistent.  Small habits practiced consistently over a long period of time pay huge dividends.


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