The Little Church in Every Home: Family

  • The Little Church in Every Home:  Family

The priesthood of parenthood

A genuine crisis is brewing in Christianity.  Too few parents are careful to disciple their children.  The discipleship of children and teens is largely viewed as the job of the institutional church.  Parents flock to churches with dynamic programs for children and cutting-edge youth groups.  In truth, these parents are indeed discipling their children—by their behavior.  It is this form of discipleship that has a long-lasting effect on children and teens.  Such discipleship is the reason many young adults abandon Christianity and the church.  Programs may be creative, fun and chock full of good biblical stuff, but if not reinforced at home, the impact proves to be minimal.

It is time for the church to train parents to be pastors and priests to their children:  conduits of God’s grace, love, joy and strength; knowledgeable about the Scriptures; and teachers through the Word and daily life.  Parents who walk with Christ themselves can show their children what that looks like.  The church on Sunday is meant to be preparation and training for being church in our homes Monday through Saturday!

Why family comes first:

As a pastor it is important for me to remember that my first congregation, my first charge, is my family.  If I lead a church into great growth while neglecting the spiritual health of my family, I have done God’s Kingdom no favors.  Truly, I have failed as a pastor, and as a father.  Titus 1:5-6

I believe this is true of every parent regardless of his or her occupation.  God has given you your spouse and children as your first charge of responsibility.  On the day God holds you to account for the life He gave you, do you think He will ask first about your job or your family?

Too many modern American families are busy these days, even in the church.  A shared meal with everyone present has become a rare phenomenon.  Being the church starts at home.  Our church ministries need to foster and encourage that truth.  Being busy, even doing good and churchy things, does not necessarily mean our families are healthy.

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