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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Family Ministry, part 3- Roots

What is "family ministry"? 

Since I am a Christian, I will defer to God's Word (aka-The Bible) for some tips. 

Point 1- Parents have a primary faith influence (even if they are absent), either positively or negatively.  They leave a legacy whether they like it or not.

A brief overview of the first few books of the Bible will show us that things are passed down from parent to child. 
  • Cain likely learned about bitterness and anger from his parents, Adam and Eve.  No doubt, they spent many a day arguing and blaming one another about their former residence: the Garden of Eden.
  • Noah's sons learned to build an altar from him after the Flood.
  • Abram tried to pass his wife Sarai off as his sister, which would later be repeated by his son Isaac.
Point 2- This spiritual legacy is God's plan.
  • Deuteronomy 6:6-9- "Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.
    • Understanding this verse is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL.  There are two types of conversations commanded here: informal and formal (More on this tomorrow).
  • Psalm 78:5-8- "He planted a witness in Jacob, set his Word firmly in Israel, Then commanded our parents to teach it to their children So the next generation would know, and all the generations to come—Know the truth and tell the stories so their children can trust in God, Never forget the works of God but keep his commands to the letter. Heaven forbid they should be like their parents, bullheaded and bad, A fickle and faithless bunch who never stayed true to God."
    • Notice the word "COMMANDED".
  • Proverbs 22:6- "Point your kids in the right direction—when they're old they won't be lost."
    • This implies consistent effort and engagement by parents.  
  • Ephesians 6:4- "Fathers, don't exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master."

So, here you go:

Parents, you are leaving a legacy.
You are called to do so.

Here are two questions worth asking:

"What kind of legacy will you leave?"

"What does it mean for how a church practices ministry if the church and family are to partner together to make disciples through spiritual formation?"

Join the conversation!  Leave comments, questions and concerns below.

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