My husband Nathan and I recently returned to the area after a three year stint living in the Front Range of Colorado. We homeschool our three children ages 8, 6 and 2. Nathan has attended Mountain Christian church since he was 4 or 5 years old and I joined him not long after we married 13 years ago.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received about being a mother was:
"The best way to love your children, is to love their father."
And the best piece of advice I have for you today is this:
"The best way to DISCIPLE your children is to love their HEAVENLY father."
Have you ever noticed how much your children are like you? How they do the things you do and say the things you say?
Irritating, isn't it?
I mean it can be irritating when you notice your bad character traits coming out in them. It's frustrating and humbling.
However, when they imitate you praising the Lord, or praying aloud to Him, or loving His word, or sharing their faith with others? There's nothing like it.
I am a lover of books so mostly what this looks like in our home is reading THE BOOK together, studying and discussing it. Our history curriculum makes this easy. We are currently working through 2 Kings together and started in Genesis back when my oldest was in Kindergarten.
If you want to give your kids a Biblical world view and disciple them, you have to start with the Bible. Build not only your day around it, build your life around it.
We read and enjoy other great books too. I love Lamplighter books particularly, but there are plenty of great books around. We recently finished Farmer Boy, from the Laura Ingalls Wilder series and sharing that experience led to so many teachable moments.
You see, in order to disciple someone, you have to spend time with them. Jesus did. He ate with His disciples and slept with them, travelled with them, fished with them and talked with them.
We also involve our kids in serving others because Jesus didn't stop with spending time with His disciples. He also healed others and fed others and taught others and loved others and prayed for others with them.
Love Jesus, spend time with Him and spend time with your kids. Introduce them to each other. Be what you want your kids to be. And pray a lot.
And when you fail, because you will fail, because you are human, be like Jesus and offer yourself lots of grace. Apologize to your kids, let them see that you don't have all the answers, but that you know the one Who does. Because that's discipling too.
In Europe, there are great cathedrals that once housed thousands of fervent Christ-worshippers every week. Some were even the sites of revivals and mighty works of God just a century or two ago. Now, many are closed. One, in the Netherlands, is even used as a skate park.
Some have said that Christianity is always one generation away from extinction. These empty cathedrals are a stark reminder of that.
So, every generation of believers must take up the task of passing on their faith to the next generation, because no one is born a Christian. One of the ways that we do this is to train our children in knowing the Lord. We are charged to guide them in how to be His disciples.
Scripture tells us to disciple our children throughout our days, not just by taking them to church once a week (Dt. 6:1-9). It also tells us that parents have a distinct and God-given role in nurturing faith in their children (Eph. 6:4, Col. 3:21, Ps. 78:4).
Now who doesn't hear this, and immediately feel the weight of it?! None of us is perfect; and all of us could certainly learn in this area!
Here at MCC, we'd like to take this opportunity to share some encouragement and some ideas with one another. Over the next few days, we will be posting blogs from several different families - each in different places in life - that discuss how they help encourage their children to be disciples of Christ.
We're in this together. We want every family to be faithful in making disciples. Be assured that even through our shortcomings and our imperfect efforts, the Lord is glorified.
May you be encouraged, challenged, and helped, brothers and sisters. I know that I will be!
With you for passing on the life-changing gospel in every home,
Andy, Levi, and Ajay have attended Mountain Christian Church with their parents for their entire lives (9 years, 6 years, and 5 years, respectively) and have been to about as many Vacation Bible School’s as there are candles on their birthday cakes! Here are their candid views about this year’s VBS.
Q: Guys, what was your favorite part of VBS this year?
Ajay (5): “I LOVED the singing. It was really cool that all the kids and adults were worshiping God together. And I liked the hand motions and dancing.”
Levi(6): “Face painting and games.” (Levi is a man of few words)
Andy(9): “I liked the market, because we actually got to use the economy. I liked how everyone working in the market found a way to ask us about the future. I also liked how you could see Brutus (the Roman centurion guarding Paul) changing, and reflect his change back on yourself. Some people looked like they were not really interested or didn’t think it was cool, but I think they learned. They’re still able to see the truth in themselves, that they need Jesus and that He changes them. They might not say it out loud, but they know it in their hearts. I also liked the decorations. “ (Andy is a man of MANY words)
Q: What was one thing you learned this week at VBS?
Ajay: “God’s love sticks with us. A lot of people don’t know that, so we have to teach them.”
Levi: “God’s love is a gift worth sharing. I believe, and some people don’t. So maybe they’ll believe if I talk to them.”
Andy: “Things were really hard for Christians in Rome when Paul lived. Paul was chained to his guard when he was under house arrest. Paul was in Rome, but he wrote to the church, to believers, everywhere. Paul was very talkative about Christ. It seems like he would talk about Him any opportunity he got.”
Q: Would you recommend VBS to your friends?
Ajay: “Yes. God is there and it’s really fun and it’s honoring and praising Him.”
Levi: “Yes, because God loves them and doesn’t want them to miss it!”
Andy: “Well…it depends on who I’m talking to.”
….Uh….What do you mean?
Andy: “Well, if they would be reckless, then I would first suggest a private school that would help them understand who God is and how they should act.”
…..Hmmm….er….uh….Well Andy, don’t you think that even a kid who has a hard time behaving well should be able to come and have fun praising and learning about God? Don’t you think they need Him just as much as we do? What if, because we are willing to extend grace to them, they become more willing to listen to the gospel that saves them?
Andy: “Well….I see your point (this was a small miracle, and I’m glad it’s recorded). They should be with a group leader that can handle them and extend grace like you say. That’s kind of hard. But they do need to hear about Jesus. And I think when they do, it starts to sink in, little by little. I think kids who are having trouble believing in Jesus should come too. VBS helps you understand more about who God is, make new friends, and maybe your family even learns more about Christ.”
VBS presented a lot of opportunities for us to encounter our sin and our Savior last week! My kids were ministered to and challenged in so many ways. It is easy, as a volunteer, to wonder if all we’ve done is exhaust ourselves and entertain the kids. However, you can see how the truth came to bear on each one of my boys, often in different ways, last week. While the kids may seem as though they’re just showing up for the fun and tolerating the teaching, the Holy Spirit uses our efforts to highlight our need for Jesus and His sufficiency to save us.
Last week, the kids saw themselves in the lost centurion. They saw the joy in Paul and marveled at his transformation. They tasted the sweetness of worshiping with believers. They spoke as witnesses of Jesus to the Roman messenger, and were challenged to extend compassion to the senator. They ran from soldiers as they headed toward the underground church, and found the fellowship and encouragement of fellow believers to be strengthening and life-giving. They were challenged to extend grace to one another. They talked with each other about how God’s love is a gift that changes us, never leaves us, and is worth sharing.
Each volunteer, each activity, every hour of work, was used by God for His eternal purposes in the hearts of precious children. I know of no other investment that returns such exponential gains.
If your kids attended VBS, ask them these questions! If not, please consider joining us next year!
On Sundays, we have three options for Worship & Praise! Please join us:
- Indoors at 8:45 & 10:45am (due to limited seating, please register in advance)
- Via live-stream at 8:45am on Facebook
For the Indoor Worship & Praise:
We are looking forward to seeing you! As you sign up, request one ticket per family member! Make sure that you also check out our updated Guidelines for Gathering to Worship at MCC below before you come.
Please read the Guidelines for Gathering to Worship Together at MCC in its entirety so that you know what to expect when you come to our outdoor service. This will help you and those around you navigate a very new situation, hopefully in a way that is as seamless as possible. We believe that our unity will be expressed and strengthened as we serve one another in Christ this week so join us in extending grace to each other, amid our differing perspectives, and different views about how to live in this time.
“... submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
“Outdo one another in showing honor.”
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
Please know that we are making every effort for this gathering to be in full compliance with the protocols given by authorities. No single plan for our meeting will ever be the perfect solution in any one person’s eyes. We will all be making compromises. But as we defer to these guidelines set up by our elders and leadership, we will be serving our fellow believers, honoring Christ as best we can, and providing for a beautiful expression of worship to happen together.
Please stay home if any of the following apply to you:
- You are immunocompromised.
- You are feeling ill (running a fever, coughing, or showing other signs of sickness)
Please don’t put yourself or others at risk. Thank you for staying home and staying safe, because we love you!