Friday, February 28, 2014

Grandparents dream or nightmare?

The day Julie revealed her pregnancy to my family
The last two weeks I have been asking grandparents to dream an exciting dream. I’ve been asking you to dream that one day your great-great grandchildren will gather somewhere to recount how their distant relatives were God-fearing and authentic examples of being Jesus’ devoted disciples. I’ve ask you to dream how they will describe how without their great-great grandparents, their children, and their grandchildren, and their children had faith that impacted the world. Is this dream too far fetched?
Psalm 78:1-8 My people, hear my instruction; listen to what I say. 2 I will declare wise sayings; I will speak mysteries from the past— 3 things we have heard and known and that our fathers have passed down to us. 4 We must not hide them from their children, but must tell a future generation the praises of the Lord,
 His might, and the wonderful works He has performed. 5 He established a testimony in Jacob and set up a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers to teach to their children 6 so that a future generation— children yet to be born—might know. They were to rise and tell their children 7 so that they might put their confidence in God and not forget God’s works, but keep His commands. 8 Then they would not be like their fathers, 
a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not loyal and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
The purpose of Family Ministry at New Beginnings Church is clear.

New Beginnings Church is realigning it proclamation and practices so that parents—especially fathers—are acknowledged, trained, and held accountable as persons primarily responsible for their kid’s discipleship.

When it comes to family ministry, the question is not “What?” or “Why?” The question is “How?” How do we become a family that lives the devoted-disciple-of-Jesus legacy? Michelle Anthony said in her book, Spiritual Parenting, “If we want faith to endure for all generations, we must become increasingly confident and focused about the kind of faith we are trying to pass to our children.” (Spiritual Parenting, p. 27) Today we will seek to direct our focus where is belongs.

Effective discipleship is more about “Being” than about “Doing,” but both aspects are necessary. Jesus told us that the focus was to stay on the disciple’s relationship with Jesus rather than the results of the disciple’s actions or behaviors. Jesus warned that the focal point should not be on the fruit. Instead, the focal point must be on “remaining or abiding” in Jesus. He instructed His disciples, in the metaphor of the Vine, that if we “remain or abide” in the Vine, then and only then, will we bear fruit. So there is a link in between “Being” a disciple and “Doing” things that a disciple does.

John 15:5 [Jesus said] “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.

Faith is a blend of engaging our minds and our hearts in knowing Jesus.
  1. Our minds must engage in learning critical discipleship truths (bible facts, scriptural precepts, bible memory, sound doctrine, solid theology. etc.).
  2. Our hearts must engage in experiencing essential discipleship relationships (with God through Jesus [Reach Up], with other disciples – mentors, leaders, accountability partners, nuclear and extended family, Christian friends [Reach In], and with people who have yet to begin their relationship with Jesus [Reach Out])

There is a constant mix between “Doing discipleship” and “Being a disciple.”

“Doing” Focused Discipleship “Being” Focused Discipleship
Intellectual goals Holy Spirit’s leading
Legalistic works Vibrant faith
Academic Relational
Perform Live
Danger: Work’s with no faith Danger: Faith with no works

Genuine vibrant faith is a blend of Holy Spirit enlightenment and the missional life focus that naturally and spiritually flows from that faith. Our faith is exercised in between the extremes of knowing discipleship facts without doing the works of a disciple and performing legalistic works of a disciple apart from faith and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Authentic discipleship is a life long process. It is a mashing of the heart (passion, desire, emotion) and the head (knowledge, scripture, experience). Though a 13 week discipleship class maybe helpful, it is not enough. If you wish to see generational disciples in your family, your family will need to see Jesus in you.

The day Julie revealed her pregnancy to Carol's family
  • Obedience is empowered by the Holy Spirit not through our own efforts and trying harder.
  • Obedience without relationship cause a dangerous disconnect.
  • Disconnect turns into disengagement.
  • Regret turns into rebellion.
When we have a sincere relationship with Jesus, we develop a supernatural yearning to abide in Him.

As we abide in Jesus, as we love and worship Him, obedience instinctively gushes out of us. This is transcendent disciple obedience which gives authority to making generational disciples. This is where disciples and made, lives are changed, and family’s faith is influential.

Now that is an exciting dream!

Dr. Phil Sallee, Pastor

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