"Family discipleship is the important and mostly ordinary spiritual leadership of your home. Put simply, family discipleship is leading your home by doing whatever you can whenever you can to help your family become friends and followers of Jesus Christ. Christians not only ought to disciple but they must disciple if they are to truly follow Christ. This is the quintessential role of every Christian parent. You cannot be a Christian family if you are not a disciple-making family, because your family can't truly follow Christ if you are not doing what Christ commanded--trying to become more like him and leading others to do the same." (Family Discipleship by Matt Chandler & Adam Griffin, p.30)
Authors, Matt Chandler & Adam Griffin are voices crying out in the wilderness of Christendom. As the central role of family has been diminished by the influx of media influence through movies and social forums, as church has become the default center of spiritual instruction, and as outside activities have all but bankrupted time spent as a family, it is time for Christian families to rise to the challenge of discipling their children.
It is not the church's responsibility, not the Christian school's responsibility, not the youth pastor's responsiblity but the privilege and duty of parents. Family Discipleship provides not only the Biblical mandate for discipling one's own children but also provides the tools necessary to begin this important process.
The book opens up with a lengthy Introduction to parents. I heartily recommend you not skip this chapter. It provides encouragement and an overview and call to arms for parents to take up the charge to oversee their child's spiritual formation. I love the quotes from spiritual role models such as Billy Graham, Charles Spurgeon, and Elisabeth Elliot that are sprinkled throughout the book.
Four key elements are communicated throughout the book:
- The first is the importance of Modeling--that is the overarching idea that a parent must model a growing spiritual life--being in the Word and continually growing in spiritual knowledge and growing in their faith.
- The second element is Time--making an intentional effort to schedule Family Discipleship (not just squeezing in where you have leftover time, but making it of first priority as a daily or weekly commitment).
- The third element involves Moments: using events and every day opportunities to have gospel-centered conversations with your kids.
- And the final element involves Milestones: finding ways to commemorate and celebrate spiritual milestones of God's work in your family and within each child.