Sunday, October 19, 2008

Evangelism... to our families: Diagnosing the problem in the family; Part 2

Now before you go out and work to destroy any Sunday school program at your church, let me make this clear. There is nothing wrong with Sunday school; it is the mindset of the parents that too often accompanies it. Sunday School can be a great outreach tool, but when Christian parents in the church use it to “get the kids off their hands” or to “have a break from all their questions,” it is being used wrongly. Every church should have a Sunday school program, but its emphasis should be outreach to the unbelievers, not a babysitting program for the believers.

My parents always had us kids in the adult Bible studies and in with them in the church services. Let me tell you, this really meant a lot to me. They had such a desire to teach me themselves, that they would take me with them, and be there to answer my questions as they came up.

Another thing that has been left by the wayside is prayer for our children. How often do you lift these young souls up to the Lord? How often have you prayed to the Lord to keep these little ones from the many spiritual dangers?

Now remember this is not to point fingers, or to accuse anyone. So often we do not even think about why we do these things, and we never even stop to consider our motives.

Again, the focus is not on the outward things, the focus is on the heart motive. Is it wrong for a Christian to send their children to Sunday school? No, but if it is only out of tradition, or to cop out of your parental responsibilities, then it is wrong.

Even in saying this, I still believe that it is far better to teach your children yourself. In saying this, am I advocating doing home church? That is a discussion for another day, but I think the fellowship of meeting with other believers is crucial and should not be overlooked. (See Heb. 10:24-25, and the example of the church in Acts 2:42)

In I Timothy, Paul often advised Timothy to follow his example. How can you follow the example of one you do not spend much time with? Paul tells how Timothy shared in his suffering, and in his joys. Timothy was with Paul, he shadowed Paul, Paul longed to be with Timothy, and when they were separated, out of necessity, Paul still desired to continue teaching and exhorting Timothy (I Tim. 3:14,15; II Tim. 1:3-12). Paul talks about Timothy as “my dear son in the faith.” I think this is an excellent example of how a father/child relationship should be.

Finally, although I think that home schooling is the best way to teach your children, I want to make it clear that even when home schooling you can still be lethargic about teaching your children. You still need to daily consider your motives, and refine your focus. If your only purpose is to keep your kids out of the influences of the public school, you have still missed half of your calling!

How do you view your calling as a parent?

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