Pastoring Our Own Children – Part Three

by Lee Buford on September 23, 2010

 

God’s divine plan for us, as parents, is well-defined in scripture. As we’ve looked at in Part One and Part Two of this series, He has commanded each of us to be the first and primary pastors in the lives of our children, and if we are to honor Him in this area we must be willing to seek Him first and be obedient to His calling.

I am consistently reminded just how great a responsibility we have as parents in the teaching and training of our children. But I truly believe, despite any fears or insecurities we may have with the thought of teaching our children, we must appreciate the larger blessing we receive in doing so. God’s plan for you and me as parents is truly a blessing, and I’m thankful that I “get to” fill this role in the lives of my children.

Once we understand and accept this role, the question is then, “How do I do that?” In my pursuit to better equip myself for this process I went on a search for the answer to that question; a quest for ideas, resources, advice, and best practices. And while my list of ideas and resources is by no means comprehensive or all-conclusive, I do want to share a few with you in hopes that you may benefit from them. Here’s a sampling…

Key Components for Every Family

Personal Maturity – How’s your personal relationship with Christ? In order to teach and disciple our children we must first be disciples ourselves.

Gameplan – What is your gameplan for teaching and discipling your children? Daily devotional times are a must. Do them as a family. It won’t just happen. Have a plan and execute.

Routine – How will you go about the process on a daily basis? Much like having a gameplan for the entire process itself, you need to have an established routine that makes knowing God the top priority in your family. Establish a time each day that will be devoted to reading God’s Word, discussing the text, and praying.

Establish Trust – Aside from the “leader by title” aspect of parenthood, do you have a relationship grounded in trust with your children. It’s essential, and they will spot your sincerity, or lack thereof, a mile away. Walk the talk.

Pace and Purpose – How can you effectively meet your child where he/she is at? Every child, as is every adult, is uniquely gifted by God for His purposes. We all have different personalities, learning habits, and “buttons to push”. Know your child, and work in a manner and at a pace that maximizes their potential to learn and absorb. Encourage, shepherd, and love them along the way.

Minister Together – How can you apply what you’re reading and learning as a family? Take the opportunity to serve with your child. Create and use opportunities in your church and community to show them the gospel in action.

Pray Together – How can you teach your child the importance of prayer, or even how to pray? Do it with them. Model prayer for them. If it’s important to you it will be important to them.

As I stated, there are certainly other things you could add to this list. But these are a few that seem to be critical to the process in most of the places I’ve looked, and they are the ones that have been extremely helpful for me and my family. In addition, there are many great resources that are helpful in getting the most out of the process. Here are a few suggestions (with links):

Bibles

Jesus Storybook Bible
Adventure Bible – NIV
ESV Seek and Find Bible (due out November, 2010)

Books

Big Truths for Young Hearts – Bruce Ware
Shepherding a Child’s Heart – Tedd Tripp
Pastor Dad – Driscoll (Re:Lit Library) Free .pdf download
The Lamb – John Cross
A Faith to Grow On – John MacArthur 

Websites

Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) – Ministries include Good News Club in schools
Children Desiring God
Shepherding the Heart Ministries

The Resurgence (Mars Hill Church, Mark Driscoll) – Family/Children/Education
The Resurgence Featured Media: Biblical Parenting (Tedd Tripp)
LifeChurch.tvLifeKids
Village Church

As parents our mission is clear. We are to go make disciples (Matthew 28:19), and that starts in our own homes. Our children are our most prized blessings from God, and it should be our top priority to see them know and love God. The foundations we set and build upon in their early years will matter greatly as the get older.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. 
– Proverbs 22:6 – ESV

I pray that this series has been of encouragement and value to you, and I pray that we all would truly seek to pastor our own children well.

Any thoughts, suggestions, resources, or best practices you could share?

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