In order to obey Christ and make disciples of all nations, we have to start in our own homes. Before you disciple the nations, you must disciple your own children. Parents, not the Church, are responsible for the discipling their children. God made this priority incredibly clear to the Israelites thousands of years ago. In Deuteronomy 6:6-7, God told His people: “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
The point God is getting at in Deuteronomy is that discipling your children is a 24/7 responsibility. A parent’s job of teaching his or her child to love God and walk with Him never stops. A parent is called to spend twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week modeling and instructing his or her children in what it looks like to obey God. Discipleship begins at home!
I remember when the realization of discipling my children hit home with me personally. I was a pastor in a new church, and spending a lot of my time discipling people. We had a lot of new and young Christians in our church, and there was no shortage of people needing to be discipled. I led several small discipleship groups each week, and was very committed to helping people grow.
One day, I was standing on a football field coaching my nine-year-old son’s football team. I had a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit. Right in the middle of the team doing exercises, the Holy Spirit asked me why I had time to be at football practice three nights a week, but no time to invest in my son’s spiritual growth through discipleship. I could not believe the Holy Spirit was interrupting football practice, but He did.
I left that practice on a hot August afternoon committed to making time to disciple my son. Two years later, I had developed a father/son discipleship curriculum and led my son and several other father/son combinations through a discipleship environment called Impact Partners. To this day, these groups, as well as the groups I have led with my younger son, are some of the best disciple making environments I have ever been a part of.
If you are a parent, I highly encourage you to invest in your child’s spiritual growth. Be part of, or lead a group with your child. If you need a resource guide, try Impact Partners. We offer that course for fathers and sons, and we also offer a course for mothers and daughters called Impact Partners for Girls. If you need help making disciples at home, contact impactdisciples.com for resources and more information. We are here to help you.