Why "Family-Equipping Discipleship" Is Needed Now More Than Ever (And Is Better Than What We Grew Up With)
Our church has been making the long shift from a family-based or programmatic ministry model to a family-equipping model over the past few years. It is difficult to understand why for man, but here is another reason...
From Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof's book Parenting Beyond Your Capacity. (We give this to every parent during parent dedication services.)
A dad was concerned as his daughter cooled toward the faith in her early teen years. She began to date a boy the dad described as "bad news," started to dress differently, and showed a general disdain for church. He confided to a pastor, "I just don't know what I am doing wrong! We have always been faithful at church, making it a priority. We've had her memorize the verses. We've sent her on the youth activities."
"What ministries is your family involved in?" replied the pastor. The father couldn't name any. "That might be your problem," said the pastor.
"The world is offering your daughter a more compelling story than you are. In the world she sees adventure and purpose. Here at church you have treated her as a receptacle of information."
The story goes on about how the father found a small orphanage in Central America that his family could adopt. It's a great story of living out the gospel, rather than simply gathering information about the gospel. It's also a good reminder that discipleship cannot be outsourced. It begins at home.