The joys of parenting. I can only begin to imagine. The hundreds of dirty diapers, the lost pacifiers, data usage, new clothes, homework, sports, friends, and a few chaotic vacations all mixed together. Like I said, I can only imagine. I am confident that words can not fully capture what it's like parenting in your home.
Although today I write to you openly and with much intensity. As you have entrusted me with faithfully serving your students weekly, I find it necessary to open up conversation with you as we seek the spiritual growth of your students together.
As a Disciple Making Church family, we recognize the scriptural call to discipleship in the home. In Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse 7 we see this instruction:
"Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."
We know this charge and have accepted it in many ways. We discuss the love of God, we pray before our meals, we pray before we sleep and we make sure they start practicing devotionals. To me, what is so profound about this text is its simplicity. Here we have God calling the family unit to simply keep Him in the conversation as we sit, walk, lie down and get up. Paul continued to instruct the church regarding our conversations with each other:
"Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." - Colossians 3:16, 17
Our complex routines, schedules and programs are making it more difficult to do as we are called. We must begin to see the spiritual as God does: always. Everywhere you go and everything you do falls under the umbrella of discipleship.
Before we all agree and move on to the next post- please take a moment to consider the instructions given to us prior to our talking, conversing and discipling:
“This is the command—the statutes and ordinances—the LORD your God has instructed me to teach you, so that you may follow ⌊them in the land you are about to enter and possess.
Do this so that you may fear the LORD your God all the days of your life by keeping all His statutes and commands I am giving you, your son, and your grandson, and so that you may have a long life. Listen, Israel, and be careful to follow them, so that you may prosper and multiply greatly, because Yahweh, the God of your fathers, has promised you a land flowing with milk and honey. “Listen, Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. -Deuteronomy 6:1-6
We must acknowledge the call on our lives as parents, as leaders, and as shepherds.
We are called to be discipled.
We are called to follow.
We are called to listen.
We are called to love.
We are called to speak.
Discipleship begins with you.
This semester we will begin sending out a weekly email giving you conversation starters regarding the things we are teaching at the Well. This will begin as we kick off a September series called "Even When It Hurts" where we will be calling the students to the discipline of loving, cherishing and following God even when it hurts.
Our team is praying for you as you fulfill your God given roles as parents and we also pray that you personally will experience the Lord in a fresh and an exciting way this semester.
As we journey,
Ryan Forson, Student Pastor