Mature Parents & Saints teach

Current Blog Series : Biblical Vision Explanation

Mature Parents teaching children - Deuteronomy 6:7-9 
Mature saints training younger - Titus 2 

“Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.” – Dietriech Bonhoeffer (martyr 1945)

Why do we think churches should exist without proper discipleship? Discipleship is not a program it is the life of an obedient Christian. Yet we think parenting permits us to yield discipleship to a youth pastor, Sunday school teacher or a children’s minister. The misunderstanding of discipleship in the home is due to American ideology of church. Throughout the whole of Scripture we see believers called to minister to their children, and the adults are called to minister to younger, in faith, believers. Discipleship in the simplest terminology is teaching someone the things of God so they mature.

All over America churches put millions of dollars into building a “cool youth group” or an “awesome children’s ministry.” Our focus should be on building obedient parents who teach their children the Word at home. In Deut. 6:4-9 Moses taught the parents, who then lived the Gospel so their children could learn of the Lord. The Gospel transformation in your life should lead you to desire transformation in your family, friends and congregation. In my walk recently I have begun to feel like Jeremiah for “there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in.”

So what are we to teach people we disciple? We’re to teach them to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18) to grow by speaking the truth in love to one another (Eph. 4:15) We should sum up these two aspects as teach knowledge and teach action. Spiritual knowledge without action yields legalism; action without spiritual knowledge yields liberalism.

We are to model mature Christianity to everyone (Phil. 4:9; Heb. 13:7). Parents should bring their children into worship to hear the Word of God, and then through the week ensure the child has grasped the points from Sunday. In Scripture any time the Word was read the children were to be present (Joel 2:16, 2 Chr. 20:1-13, Exodus 19, Neh. 8, Deut. 6, Mat. 5-7). In modern times we separate the children because, “they can’t understand the preacher.” If your students can’t understand the preacher then that is the fault of the preacher, for we are to teach till all are mature (Ephesians 4). You child will grasp the Gospel if you believe that “His word never returns void.” After all, you child grasps TV sitcoms, so why don’t you think they’ll grasp the creator’s Word?

So why should we teach our children or younger bretheren?

(1)All Christians will struggle against sin, and we need all the help we can get in this fight. Christ died for the whole church, not just you! It is time we quit thinking what we can get from our church, and start thinking what we can contribute. (Rom. 12:3-8)

(2) If a church neglects discipleship, or teaches a skewed, unbiblical version of it, it will wrongly assure false practices, and squelch the potential growth of young believers.

My current job title is Discipleship Pastor, so this topic is first working on my heart and will hopefully spill into our church. If we follow Scripture as listed above and foster a culture of Christian discipleship, we will see true maturation of all believers regardless of their age. This spiritual fervor will lead believers to share their faith with others thus leading to a growing congregation. “A church that is not growing in the faith will ultimately yield an unhealthy witness to the world.” 

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