Disciple-Making and the Home

How do parents incorporate Jesus’s model of disciple-making into their home? Various ministries have followed Jesus’s approach but when it comes to our families we are not quite sure what discipling our children should look like.

Christianity in the West has known for years that 80% of our children are not becoming followers of Jesus.[1] Vast resources are given to children and youth ministries because we were told that it was vital to get our kids into children’s ministry and youth group, only to have our children leave God when they leave home. Parents feel spiritually inadequate and it is easier to leave the spiritual formation of their children to the professionals.

Recently I read the account of Jesus’s last evening with his disciples and I realized that I had looked at the question of disciple-making and parenting the wrong way.[2] Rather than trying to figure out how to fit our families into Jesus’s approach to disciple-making I saw that Jesus had patterned his disciple-making on a familial model so that our homes are the optimal place to make disciples of Jesus.

Jesus’s approach to disciple-making was based on the familial nature of the Trinity. He says to his disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” (John 15:9) Jesus assures them that their heavenly father has a home and in that home each disciple will have a place to belong. (John 14:2) Jesus goes on to promise them that he will not leave them as orphans (John 14:18) and that the heavenly father and Jesus will make their home with them, all familial language.

In closing:

  • Making disciples of Jesus should be in a familial way. (Jesus and the apostle Paul both used familial language to describe disciple-making.)

 

  • Our families can reflect the nature of the Trinity to the world.

 

  • Our homes can be a picture of the gospel to the world.

 

  • The family is a place for children to experience the nature of God and the wonder of the gospel.
  • No matter the age, create a familial environment to which your disciples can belong.

 

[1] https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/08/24/why-americas-nones-left-religion-behind/

[2] Gospel of John Chapters 13-17

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