Monday, January 21, 2008

Discipling your kids

Whenever the topic of discipling your own children comes up people seem to always have some kind of extreme reaction. Some people break out in hives because they are scared to death. Some people could care less so they don't do anything. Some people plan out an entire detailed worship service (and their kids are scared to death).

A passion of mine is my kids becoming disciples of Jesus. Beyond
being commanded to do this in Scripture, for me, it's personal. I want my children to be life long Jesus followers. So for some reason I feel the need to share some thoughts about the subject and some of what Liz and I do.

First, discipleship is more caught than taught. I do believe that we need to be intentional about discipling our kids, but if we, as parents, are growing as followers of Jesus then three hours of family devotion on Saturday are going to have much effect.

Second, I don't think things have to be elaborate. I think discipleship flows out of us knowing and doing God's word. We need to know what Scripture says and then we need to do it. It's both/and not either/or. There doesn't have to be a craft involved, unless you like crafts and are artistically gifted (that's just not me). It doesn't have to take an hour (we usually spend 5-10 minutes a night doing what we do).

With that in mind here's what we're doing this year. We got our kids Bibles for Christmas. It's not like they didn'
t have a kids Bible. I'm a pastor for crying out loud. I've got more Bibles than half of the Chinese Christian population. But even though my kids have Bibles and devotion books galore we know that there's something special about getting something new. So we got them new Bibles. We got Nathan The One Year Children's Bible. It has a reading for each day of the year and over the course of the year Nathan will get an overview of all of Scripture. That's pretty cool. He's a great reader so it's right on his level. He enjoys reading each day's section and he feels like he's fitting in with mom and dad who are reading through the Chronological Bible this year.

The reason this is so important to us is that we believe that the best habit our
kids can develop is the daily habit of spending time with God.

For Matthew we got My First Message. It has 50 stories from Scripture. It is well illustrated. The cool thing is that it is interactive. There are questions, prayers, projects to do and a little grasshopper-type guy that you can search for in the pictures (aka: where's waldo). He's loving it. He asks for it most nights. Actually, he's adamant that we read most nights, even when his parents are tired and just want to put the boys to bed!

This is what we're doing now. We're not experts. I don't think I could write a book on the subject, but we're trying to grow a love for and knowledge of Scripture in our kids. And I only share this to encourage other parents to "man up" and help their kids develop the habit of spending time with God and a love of his Word.

Anybody out there have any other ideas they want to contribute to the discussion?



At 9:20 PM, January 21, 2008 , Blogger pat gillen said...

These are awesome! I was looking at stuff today wondering how and when we would start with Shay!


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