My official responsibilities as one of the associate pastors of Westminster Baptist Church are all children’s ministries, family discipleship, and young adult ministries. In addition I provide oversight over local evangelism, frequently counsel others, try to run our social media, and preach several times a year. As you can see, my week is divided by more responsibilites than I could name. For this reason I try to run a tight schedule and I often have to make decisions based upon priorities of importance. One might wonder than what is the most important task that I seek to accomplish every week.
Most weeks I work on Young Adult LifeGroup discussion material, though that is certainly important it is not the most important part of my week. On Mondays I visit members of our church and that is a great joy but that is not my chief priority. Every Tuesday I write our children’s curiculum which is vital to my ministry but even that is not the most important slot in my schedule. The most important part of my schedule occurs at home with Danielle and the kids. It happens when Danielle and I do our nightly devotions together, when we pray with the kids each night, when I review the Sunday School lesson that night with J, but most of all it happens on Thursdays at the dinner table.
Every Thursday night when we finish dinner we stay a little while at the dinner table and have our family worship time. When the kids are older we hope to do a brief family devotion each day, at the kids’ age we have decided we will have a 30 minute family worship time every Thursday. We always begin by singing a few worship songs together (J always asks for The Rizers), next we study our NorthStar Points (though we review them other days as well), after J has sufficiently said her points I lead a short Bible study, next we do another worship song picked by Danielle before closing in prayer for each of the family members.
J has throughly enjoyed the habit and is always excited for our little family worship service. We don’t do this with the kids because we are a ministry family, but because we are a Christian family and this mentality is a biblical mandate. I can make far more of an impact through those Thursday eveneings than I ever could in any other ministry responsibility. Even more than a pastor over our church, I am the primary pastor of my family just as every Christian father is the primary pastor of his family. What the kids get on Sundays from their Sunday School teachers or even one day from the sermon though vitally important will make less of an impact than those Thurday evenings. Further, our family devotions prepare our children to better benefit from both Sunday School and equip them to one day become part of our worship service at a young age.
All of us can disciple our children and I know men who are infitely more intentional about discipling their kids than I am. How we disciple our kids will take different forms but if it is assumed it will always be neglected. Discipling our kids is far more than doing family devotions, but certainly is no less than doing family devotions. I want to challenge every Christian parent to be intentional and start doing family devotions at least once a week.
Family discipleship is a forgetten discipline and frankly it is the biggest solution to the problem of our kids dropping out even if it is hard. I pray that our church at WBC grows in passion for family discipleship and so I pray the same happens at your church. In keeping with this passion we are offering a class on family discipleship that will help us all grow in all areas of family discipleship and especially family devotions. This class is called Big Gospel for Little Ears and will be next Tuesday at 7pm. Please come and invite your friends, childcare will be provided and we will have some great giveaways.