Discipleship and the Home
- Sheldon Clowdus
That is a word that brings with it a great deal of imagery, emotions, and, sometimes, baggage. From the very specifically focused man to man, life on life mindset of groups like the Navigators to the more traditional model of "Discipleship Training" on Sunday nights at your local Southern Baptist Church, chances are you have run across the term and the concept of discipleship. If you are a man in the church, then chances are probably a little greater that this idea has been brought to your attention, and rightfully so.
Jesus Himself commanded His disciples, and us, before ascending into heaven to "make disciples of all nations". It is an inescapable fact of the life of the Christ follower that as we live our life to His glory, we are to be about the business of disciple making. There about as many methods and theories as to the best way to accomplish this task as their are churches and organizations involved in disciple making. Some emphasize personal one to one teaching and training. Some place great importance on church programs and educational opportunities. Some tout small groups as the place to make disciples. I think there are some benefits to each of those ideas, but today I want to speak to something different than the methods we should or shouldn't be using.
I want to speak to you about who you should be making disciples of. Specifically to the husbands and fathers out there. It is really easy to get caught up in trying to disciple other men (and there is no doubt that men need this) and forget that God has already given you the most important disciple making ministry you will ever have:
It is our job as husbands and fathers to first and foremost, humbly and prayerfully make disciples of our families. Nothing is more important than teaching and training our own household what it means to live a life that glorifies the King of Kings. If we fail at this task, we fail at the most important task God has set before us.
Ephesians 5 tells husband to love our wives as Christ loves the church. Part of that love is helping them grow into Christ. Our job is to cultivate our wives affections for Christ and to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to give them every opportunity to mature and grow spiritually.
As fathers, we are told to raise our children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
Maybe you haven't been doing this or don't know how to do this. The great news is that it is not too late. Go before the throne of grace and ask God for the wisdom, strength, and humility to begin. Find men in your church or small group who do this and ask them to teach you. If you are here in Rome, contact me at The Church at Northside. (I certainly am no expert and still have a long way to go but I would love to help you in any way I can.)
Just find someone and get started.
It isn't too late.
It is too important to wait any longer.