I began reading Alan Melton and Paul Dean’s book – Disciple like Jesus two weeks ago and every page I found my head shaking yes, yes, yes.
Then I began to pray that God would touch the hearts of others to begin reading this book and get it into the hands of leaders of every church. We must not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ – it is life! It is freedom! It is breath to our bones! It is a love story from beginning to end. We must stop looking for feel good solutions to our problems and look to God who is greater than anything in our life! That means the good and the bad.
Something missing in other parenting books
I’ve read so many parenting books in the last 5 years since coming to Christ. Sure some were good and even helpful. Yet, there always seems to be a hole in each one – and for the first time I think these men did it right. They touch on the real issue and it comes to down to one thing – FOLLOW CHRIST and His every example. NOT one of us can go wrong if we treat our children like Jesus did His disciples.
You see, “God gave His only Son, so that whomever shall believe will not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
We must live like we believe. You believe Jesus is God’s only Son. You believe God raise Him on the 3rd day! You believe His death on the cross paid for all of your sins – past, present and future! You believe that He is the only way to God in heaven. You believe that Jesus is sitting at the right hand of His Father speaking good things about you. You believe He is The Life, The Truth and The Way!
Yet, most of us don’t disciple our children in our own beliefs.
Sure we take them to church each week. Sure they attend Sunday School. Yet, that isn’t enough as far as God is concerned.
We have given our lives over to the world – too busy for real time discipling our children. We have bought into the worlds ideas – our children need to be involved in “x” number of activities to be socialized and prepared for life – more time away from us – more time out of the house, more time driving here and there. I often read blogs and see how busy they are going here and there – the moms are simply losing steam by keeping up with their children’s too full schedules. I ask myself each time, “is it worth it? Why are they so concerned about their children’s happiness?” Sure team sports can be a great tool to build character in a child and prepare them for many things in life – but when do we ask – at what cost? Some facts that inspire our family to keep on His path:
The Losses We are Experiencing
“Independent research groups indicate that 75% to 90% of our young people walk away from the church upon graduating high school. Every MINUTE we lose four youth, every HOUR we lose over 200, every DAY we lose over 5,000 and every year over 2,000,000. Our children are walking out the doors of church never to return.
Think about the enormity of losing two million children to the world every year. Something is definitely wrong. Parents are truly blindsided. Of the Americans who call themselves born again Christians, only about 9% have a biblical worldview. The majority lose their virginity by their second year of college. With more than 50% of Christian marriages ending in divorce, the church’s divorce rate is slightly worse than that of secular society.”
Chapter One starts with this fact: “If we think about the fact that almost 90% of our young people walk away from the church every year, we must consider that part of the problem is a faulty process. In fact, it does not go too far to say that the root cause of our losses is a faulty discipleship process that has been used by most Christian parents for decades.
In the average Christian home the total time spent on biblical training is less than five hours a week. With less than five hours of biblical training a week and more than eighty hours (80) of non-biblical training/influence per week from various sources, the non-biblical influence easily wins out shortly after our children leave home. As a result, our children and future generations are lost to the world.”
A Faulty Discipleship Process
I love what it says on the very next page: “The world training system we have bought into (as designed by Satan) is the opposite of what Jesus Christ did in making disciples. Jesus imparted biblical knowledge and wisdom, but more importantly, He cultivated deep trust from, heart relationships with, and a lifelong commitment to His disciples.”
Jesus said, “For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” Luke 16:15
And what comes next you have to read for yourself – sorry but it is worth the time because our children deserve all that Jesus gave us – His life!
I highly recommend you checking out their blog and purchasing a copy of their book!
Back to Sunday school and why it isn’t enough? Because Jesus is the example.
Jesus is the Example to Follow
Jesus spent 3 years one on one with His disciples. He gave all He had to them. Pouring into them everything the Father told Him to. He loved them. He taught them. He feed them. He performed miracles before them. He prayed for them and with them. He gave them wisdom and taught them how to use it. He didn’t want anyone else teaching them the things of His Father. He did it!
I began reading through the gospels again myself to see all that Jesus spoke. I want to know the words He said so well that they become life inside of me. Because in order to disciple our children like Him – I must know what He asked of each of His disciples.
Jesus Had Much to Say
His words are pretty clear and His commands truly not a burden – love each other, as I love you. Serve others before yourself. Listen more than you speak. Speak in love and truth. Always forgive as you have been forgiven. Lay down your life for your brother. Follow Me and deny yourself. Everywhere you go – tell someone about Me. Share the good news. Give hope to others. If you need anything, ask My Father in My name and it will be given to you. Trust Me. Obey Me. Listen to what I say and then do as I ask because I love you.
Now I really shortened all the wisdom Jesus gives to us – but these words ring in my ears daily and they are the message loud and clear through Disciple like Jesus.
Our goal as parents is to help our children know that they know that they know Great is You Lord! That everything the world has to offer is nothing in comparison to the blessings He will give to them without end!
Walking in His amazing grace!
Jill Samter, Forever n Always