Sunday, September 6, 2020

Family Discipleship by Matt Chandler & Adam Griffin


"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.
The authors provide Biblical rationale for these elements as well as personal examples from their own families and ideas for how to work on each area.  One family has elementary age children and the other has teen kids offering a great spectrum of ideas for all ages. It's never too late to begin discipling your children and Family Discipleship is the perfect book to guide you through that process.

This book would be an excellent topic for a Sunday School class for parents of children at any age. Even grandparents can utilize the ideas to help be a support and encouragement to the parents of their grandchildren. This would be a wonderful resource for every parent who has newly come to Christ and wants to learn how to raise their children in the Lord.  Expectant parents should have a copy to be ready and equipped to disciple their children from an early age. A new school year is a great time to evaluate your commitments as a family and consider how you can make a concerted effort to lead by example and weave spiritual instruction into the Time, Moments, and Milestones of your child's life. This book could be one of the most life-transforming books you will ever read as a parent.  If ever our world needed strong believers, it is now and the formation of that faith begins in the home.  

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of Family Discipleship from NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

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