We are on the verge of launching what I feel is the most significant thing I have done in more than twenty-five years of pastoral ministry. The countdown starts now.
For years I have felt convicted about the biblical mandate for the home to be the primary place where Christian discipleship happens. While texts like Deuteronomy 6:4-7, Psalm 78, and Ephesians 6:4 drive this truth home, the current culture of the Christian church doesn't reflect it. Most of us have come to believe that the best thing we can do for our kids is to get them involved in church activity. This has become our benchmark for how we are doing as a Christian parent. But while a meaningful connection to the Body of Christ is important, we have made it more that it was meant to be.
From even a practical perspective, discipleship in the home makes sense. Kids are at church just a few hours a week, so the influence they get there is limited. In contrast, the bulk of their time is spent living life with family. Why would God NOT use the home as the primary place for spiritual growth and training to happen? It just makes sense. It also reminds us of how important parents are.
But there is a void. Families can know that they have a God-given responsibility to disciple their kids but still not do it simply because they feel inadequate. It wasn't modeled for them. They don't know where to start. Because the task seems overwhelming, they never get started. They don't have the tools to be successful.
Two years ago I was made aware of an extraordinary model that enables the church to come alongside families in providing resources to make it more likely that they will be spiritually intentional in their home lives. Now utilized by more than 150 churches across America, it provides ideas, resources, tools, and campaigns to address the spiritual needs of the Christian family. In the context of Johnson Ferry, we're calling it the HomeLife Center. Parents, grandparents, married and single adults will all find help there. The grand opening happens on Sunday, November 18 and I could not be more excited.
For the next ten days, I'm going to count down ten ways that the HomeLife Center is going to help build stronger families in our church and community. Come back to the blog for the next ten days to get a sneak preview of some of the resources we will offer.
Thrilled beyond words...