Bring it Home: What Is Family Discipleship?

Do you know what Family Discipleship is? Have you heard that term thrown around and are hoping for someone to give you a good definition?

Well here is it, the definition that you have been waiting for.

We know what family means. The dictionary defines family as

A group consisting of one or more parents usually containing one or more children.

The question then with Family discipleship is not with the word family, but the word discipleship. What do you think of when you hear the word discipleship?

You were probably able to pulled out the root word; disciple. What is a disciple? If you are like me, you thought of Jesus’ twelve disciples. These men certainly were disciples and had a special relationship with Jesus to boot. But they were not the only disciples Jesus had. In fact he had many more.

Luke 14:25-27 broadens the discipleship conversation;

25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

so then…

What is a Disciple?

By definition a disciple is;

A person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; a follower:

By this definition and historically, Jesus’ followers are not the only ones to bear the title of disciple. Anyone who identifies themselves as a student of a certain teacher, would be considered that teacher’s disciple. Which actually became a problem for the early church in 1 Corinthians 3 (We’ll address this below)

Jesus quickly gathered a large following. He had many who followed him before he died. Many of those followers witnessed his resurrection and ascension. And after Jesus rose from the dead, the number of his disciples grew exponentially. Now he has millions of followers all around the globe, and each one who follows the true teaching of Christ bears the title of Jesus’ disciple.

Discipleship is then defined by the church as;

The making or training of disciples of Jesus

As Matthew 28:18-20 says;

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

What is Family Discipleship?

Discipleship within the family could be defined as;

The act of training and teaching your your family (spouse and children) to follow Jesus.

Making disciples within your family.

If we believe the gospel to be true, them Family Discipleship must become our greatest endeavor. We we believe that without the gospel our children will be lost, then we should make it our daily work to share the gospel with them. If God is honored when His people worship him, then our greatest joy should be to lead our families to worship.

The question should never be, “should we disciple our families?” The question is only “how should we disciple our families?”.

5 Important Ingredients to Family Discipleship

1) Dynamic Personal Faith: You will not pass on vibrant faith if your faith is lacking. Work on your own faith while teaching your family to love God. Family discipleship should be a passing on of the faith that you are ready possess.

2) Prayer: 1 Samuel 12:23 says;

Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.

Family shepherds should be praying for those in their care. Our main request of God should be on behalf of our family faith.

3) Singular Focus: There are so many voices to listen to right now that it is easy to lose course. The Corinthian Church did. They began to argue with each other which of the teachers who taught the gospel was worthy to be followed. They essentially were debating who the best preacher was. As 1 Corinthians 3:3 details;

for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?

Paul answers them simply by saying. It is not about who has taught you the gospel, only that in the gospel you belong to Christ! (1 Corinthians 3:21-23)

21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

So we as leaders in our home need to learn from this. There are many voices that teach us in life, but what really matters is that we belong to Christ.

4) Family Togetherness: You will have very little influence with you family if you are not there and if they perceive that you do not care. As parents, make choices to be together as often as you can. Make dinner together a priority, and plan family outing often. Fathers, when you are home focus on your family. Mothers, make you husband and children your priority and don’t allow your children to get overly busy. This is much more important than any of us realize. The more time we give our family to other things and other people, the more influence we give away.

5) Family Worship Time: Plan, prioritize and protect a specific time for family worship. My family has chosen dinner time because we are all sitting together at the table almost every night. Your family might find that there is a better time, but what is important is that we set the time aside.

These family worship times will look different in every home. The main point is to make sure that God is being proclaimed to your children, and that they are learning what it means to respond in worship. The graph below is a short list of normal elements that you could find in family worship. Families can mix and match these elements into a God honoring time of Family worship. (Not an exhaustive list)

Elements of Family Worship

Bring it Home

God holds the leaders of families responsible for teaching their children about Him. Because of this, family discipleship is of the utmost importance for Christian families. We must teach our children about the faith that we possess.

This is where the rubber meets the road for a faithful Christians. We go to church every Sunday. We listen to sermons and sing the songs. Now we just need to Bring it Home!

Dig Deep

We are Christians.

That means that we have heard the story of Jesus as it is told in scripture. We have believed that it is true, and we have placed our hope in the outcome of the gospel. We have come to see our need for the forgiveness of OUR sins and the savior who has paid the penalty that WE deserve. This is the most basic understanding of what it means to be a Christian.

Have you ever dared to go deeper?

Under the surface of elemental Christian doctrine, there are mines of valuable riches to be discovered. Declarations of a God who is far more valuable than anything we have ever imagined (Philippians 3:8). The new identity for all who believe (2 Corinthians 5:17). Adoption into the Family of God (Galatians 4:5). Constant access to God our adoptive father (Psalms 34:15). Total satisfaction and fullness of joy in our relationship with God (Psalm 16:11). All these and more can be found in scripture and are worthy of our attention and time.

Sadly we tend to shy away from things that take effort and work. Because of this many Christians never consider depth of pleasure that is to be found in the knowledge of God.

Christian, dig deeper in the works of God. Dig deeper into the depths of the riches of the Gospel. Dig deeper into the scriptures and learn of your Lord, your Savior and your King. If you do this, you will be content with Him as your everything!

The Bible Project

the bible project

 

I am very excited about the Youtube group that has set the goal of working through the entirety of the Bible in 5 min video. This seems very simple, but in order to be faithful to the full Biblical narrative, the authors of the project must break books up in to more detailed and manageable portions.

For instance, Genesis is too long and has too many important stories and element to relegate it to one 5 min video. In the project is it broken into two parts.

The also are taking opportunities to address different themes that can be traced through the entire cannon of scripture. The video I have post is a video that is in this vein. The theme of covenant is all over scripture and we need help understanding it. This is very good video to help young ones to understand the covenants of the OT and NT.

Please check it out and then visit the website http://www.jointhebibleproject.com/ to help fund the project.

 

2015 #Youcantstopme Challenge

 

If you have known me for any amount of time, than you know that I like challenges. I am a huge fan of doing things when someone thinks you can’t. I once carried a box of 200 books for a 10 mins walk from my house to work. When someone asked me “why?”, all I could say was “I just wanted to see if I could…”

So when Andy Mineo offered a “#youcantstopme” challenge for 2015, there was no way that I was going to pass up a challenge from my favorite rapper to do something in 2015.

Here is how it works:

“The #YouCantStopMe challenge is a way to face your fears and doubts. And you won’t have to do it alone. Thinking about getting healthy? Do it. Want to raise your grades? Go for it. Commitment is scary, but it forces us to grow. To become responsible, accountable, and better stewards of our time and lives. I want to see us all committed to growth and to becoming what we were made for. Don’t let fear of failure keep you from that. Don’t let doubt imposed by yourself or others keep you from that! Hopefully, this will be a motivator to inspire that change and growth. It’s a New Year! What will you do with 2015? Make moves or make excuses!”

So I thought about the thing in life that I make the most excuses.

My eating lifestyle. I snack a lot and I have “run” away from workouts. I am out of shape and not very healthy right now. I am excited to change that. My challege is:

30 DAYS “NO” SNACKTIME/30 DAYS “YES” WORKOUT-TIME

Andy Mineo

 

If you would ask me about the picture I made, I would tell you that it is a way of inspiring me to finish my challenge. My daughter’s birthday was yesterday and she is an inspiration to me. This picture was taken 9 months after she fought for life in the NICU. Seeing her picture will remind me how trivial of a challenge that I gave myself and it will remind me to push through, cause she did. And lastly it will remind me that being healthy for my family is more important than all of the bad eating habits that I have.

 

#Youcan'tstopme (1)

 

You can do a #youcantstopme challenge of your own by visiting http://www.andymineo.com/ycsm. Read the instructions and then sign up!

 

Family Worship through Advent: Messiah Vines

In our home, Christmas is a very special time of year. Like many of you, we pull out all of our decorations and make the house look and smell like Christmas. This year we even put up a fireplace. Smile

 

Fireplace

 

 

I like to  joke that Christmas tries to creep in to Thanksgivings holiday space and that we need to let Thanksgiving breathe (I refuse to listen to Christmas music until after thanksgiving in our house), but one thing that makes Christmas such a special holiday it the length of time that families spend celebrating it.  The advent season is even more special because it offers families the opportunity to share about Jesus with their children and family in multiple ways. One of the best ways to engage your children with the gospel story over Christmas is through an advent daily reading.

Sarah and I have tried many advent calendars and devotionals to help us be consistent with sharing the Christmas story throughout the advent season. Our favorite advent devotional is called Messiah Vine. (After reading this go order your Messiah Vine)

It is not just a Christmas reading, it’s a Bible reading!

Messiah Vine

Here is how it works:

The package comes with a devotional booklet containing a page for each day of advent and a group of beautiful handmade ornaments that serve as memory markers, helping children remember the daily readings.

  • Each devotional page gives verses to read and details on how to talk about the passage with your children. The page also reminds you to hang the ornament that corresponds with the reading.
  • The ornament is the key for the children. As they listen to you read the scripture their mind is looking and listening for mental hooks to hang their memory on. When you give them a visual representation of the reading, their minds gladly hangs their memory there. Every time they see the ornament it will trigger their memory.
  • One of our favorite thing about Messiah Vines, is that it is not just a Christmas reading, it is a Bible reading. This may seem like I am mincing words, but let me explain. The daily reading are not confined to Luke chapter 2. You will begin with creation and walk through major moments of scripture leading up to the incarnation of God at Christmas. But that is not the only way that this devotional goes beyond the just Christmas. If you read the description on the Etsy page you will see that there are “39 unique ornaments.” That is too many for any advent calendar. The reason for the extra ornaments is that the devotional does not stop at Christmas, it continues (at a slower pace) until we reach Easter. The reading culminate at the Resurrection of Christ!  It is not just a Christmas reading, it’s a Bible reading.

Kids

I could not recommend this resource for families more highly. It has been a wonderful reminder for us of the love that God displays throughout scripture and has helped our children to understand the story of our King!

Please go like the Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/MessiahVine

and purchase the Messiah Vine today!

Messiah Vine Etsy Store

 

 

 

Caption Contest Winner

Thank you all for giving your thoughts and offering ideas for the caption of my daughter picture. There were many good one, but I chose based first on which caption made me laugh. Read the chosen caption while looking at the picture. It really will make you chuckle!

And the Winner is!!!!!

Stevens Caption

IMG_0926

Steven the Warman Wright I need an address from you.

Caption Contest!

I was looking through some pictures on my computer at work today, and stumbled across this gem…

It needs a captions!

IMG_0926

Winner gets a free Korean treat sent to them!

 

Understanding Holy Week (1)

I hope this is a helpful series of post that will cause you to reflect on the savior whom we celebrate every April.

Maundy Thursday:

This day commemorates the Passover meal that Christ shared with His disciples. At this meal Jesus reflects on the coming days as he loves, serves and enjoys the men that who have walked with Him over the past few years. This would be the last moment of peace in the midst of the growing tension surrounding Jesus

 Luke 22:14-15

And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.  For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

As he reclined at the table with the Disciples, Jesus teaches them the meaning of this and future Passover meals.  When Jesus presents the wine and the bread, He describes the suffering the Son of man is to endure.

This rest with His disciples would be short lived as the man who would betray Jesus sat at the same table.

 Luke 22:21-23

But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.

Jesus would conclude the meal by leading the disciples to the Mount of Olives to pray. Here Jesus poured out His heart and soul to the Father; crying out in His heartache over what was to happen next.

Jesus would soon be betrayed in the garden and dragged to the dwelling of the High Priest. As Jesus was being accused and mocked Peter stood by watching it all unfold. The night ends with Peter denying Jesus three times before an interested crowd, fulfilling what Jesus had said to him at supper.

Luke 22:61

And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.”

Why do we Observe this Day?

The purpose of setting aside Maundy Thursday is to begin reflecting on the suffering that the savior endured over the next few days. Just as Jesus looked forward at the last supper and during His evening of prayer, so Christians can use Maundy Thursday to look forward and remember what Jesus was going to be experiencing for us.

I pray that we can all use this Maundy Thursday  to help us reflect on the suffering Savior.

Crossway ESV Reader’s Bible

Tell me if you can relate…

When I sit down to read the bible, I pick up where I left off and begin reading. After I read for a little bit I will stop and wait for tomorrow to read some more. The problem is that if we look back on how much we read each day, we see that we usually cover 1 or 2 chapters at a time. Now this is good, if we give the text the right amount of meditation and apply…But the problem is that more often then not, we stop reading because we have been trained that reading 2 Chapter is enough. If you consider the time spend in reading 2 chapters of Gods word, excluding some OT books, we are spending a very short amount of time reading from the bible.

In an applaued attempt to get God’s people reading more of God’s word, Crossway has started to advertise a new kind of Bible.

ESV Readers Bible

The Reader’s Bible has removed all verse numbers and section headings. And have also made chapter breaks and number less noticeable.  I am going to order one as soon as I can.

You can pre-order this Bible now, but the expected release is May, 2014.  Check it out!  http://www.crossway.org/bibles/esv-readers-bible-none-tru/