How do you model discipleship at home?
By Karen Blanchard
Special for the Baptist Beacon
I am a mom with two amazing kids. Nathan is 15 and Abigail is 9. Over the years, my role as a mother has felt different regardless of the season of their lives.
At each new stage of development, I learn to adapt to meet their needs.
When they were babies, they literally depended on me for food and survival.
As they grew up, they became more and more independent.
My 15 year old son likes to think he doesn’t need me at all, but he does… he may not realize it!
No matter what stage in our children’s lives, our greatest responsibility is to lead them to the heart of Jesus.
Discipleship begins when they are young.
The songs we sing and the books we read all help shape the hearts of our children. The church also plays an important role in the lives of our children.
It teaches them from an early age what matters most in life.
As the culture changes and more and more things compete for our attention, parents must make a choice about how to direct their children.
What is the message your children are getting from you?
Do you make it a point to be at church every Sunday no matter what? Do you choose to go to church only when it suits your schedule?
Do you consistently put sports or other activities above church?
In recent years, my heart has become heavy in the area of discipleship.
However, God showed me that I must first make disciples of my children.
“And you must commit yourself wholeheartedly to these commandments that I am giving you today.
“Repeat them over and over again to your children.
“Talk about it when you’re home and when you’re on the road, when you go to bed and when you get up.
“Tie them on your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders” (Deut. 6:6-8).
Life can get really busy, and that’s something we have to fight for.
Find a great, age-appropriate devotional for your kids and start teaching them what quiet time with God looks like.
Make time to pray regularly with your children.
Encourage them to commit their thoughts and feelings to God. It is also important for us as parents to model this for them.
Let them see you setting with God and reading the Bible.
Share with your children what God is teaching you and let it be part of your regular conversation.
About a month ago, my son was going through a tough time.
And I thought the early years were bad.
I learn that each step has its challenges; the challenges are simply greater as they get older.
As we went through those tough days with him, God gave me insight into what he was going through, and it allowed us to have some great conversations.
I was able to share with him how God helps me through difficult times and how he taught me to change my mindset when I feel bad about something.
My greatest desire for my children is not just to know God, but to really know him in their hearts. I want them to realize that there is nothing they can do to make God love them less.
When life seems overwhelming, I want my children to know that they can run to Jesus and not to the things of this world.
The only way to help our children reach this point in their relationship with God is to be intentional in how we discipline them and surround them with a community of believers who will pray for and uplift them.
Proverbs 22:6 says to “start children on the path they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn away from it.”
Never too late to start
You can start by reading a family devotional at night before bed and praying with your children. This can be a good time to let them share what they care about.
If we don’t teach our children how to do this, then who will?
Our children are always learning and growing.
Would you rather they learn to draw closer to Jesus or be influenced by the world?
Our first and most important role as parents is to train our children to know Jesus.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Karen Blanchard and originally appeared in the Baptist Beacon of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan.
Baptist Children’s Village
By Sean Milner
Baptist Children’s Village, Mississippi
If that dollar finds enough company to make a move, you’ll hear from me again.
These are the words of Lou Moore of Tillatoba in response to LS Foster’s inquiry as to whether Mississippi Baptists should provide a place to hurt children.
Its dollar has found “enough company to make a move” that has now lasted 125 years.
The Baptist Children’s Village was not an easy ministry to start or continue, but God has been, and continues to be, faithful, using much to accomplish His work.
When God called Foster, pastor of First Baptist Church Senatobia, to create a home for children in need, the Baptists showed up.
In July 1905, Mrs. Dora Greenlaw of Hazlehurst wrote: “But again and again, with ever increasing force, the question: Have we fulfilled the measure of our opportunities? No, no, not yet. But the future is full of promise. Behind the movement to provide for our children is the big Mississippi Baptist heart and the back of this God.
The first child entered the Baptist orphanage on May 12, 1897, and thousands of workers – house parents, case managers, campus directors and administrative staff – have served all the children and families ever since.
The number of children and families whose lives have been touched by the good news of Jesus Christ is incalculable.
It is a joy and an honor to serve with you.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Sean Milner is executive director and 18-year former resident of Baptist Children’s Village.
“He needs to get bigger; I have to become less. John 3:30
In an increasingly divided world, the local church should be a model of cooperation.
Pastor Bobby McKay
Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Brookhaven, Mississippi
“I personally know 20 pastors who have been killed and 2,000 churches destroyed in my country in the last 10 years,” explained Zamani Kafang from Nigeria, who spoke about the persecuted church in Nigeria. “We need America – the champion of freedom – to pressure our government to help us. … Christians are persecuted in jobs, admissions and promotions, and sometimes the enemy kills believers and destroyed entire villages.
“We fed everyone from homeless people to gutter punks, raised kids to millionaires who owned homes in the French Quarter,” he said. Dustin Taylorpastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Snead, Alabama, which has taken missionary teams to New Orleans to share Christ for more than two decades. “And when people asked why it was free, we told them that salvation is a free gift.”
“Our chaplains will offer a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, a word of encouragement and an offer of prayer,” said Mickey Lenamon, Texas Baptist Men Executive Director/CEO, regarding the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. “They remind the community that people care about them and God cares about them.”
“The songs and the way we design our set are designed to guide people through an experience that hopefully brings them closer to the Lord,” said Andrew Bergtholdsinger-songwriter with We the Kingdom.
Although we may be discouraged by events unfolding around us, whether global, national, or personal, we can rest in God’s sovereignty and faithfulness. We can rest in his goodness.
“The purpose of our preaching is to teach our people how to read the Word for themselves,” said Juan Sanchezpastor of High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, who preached the convention sermon at the recent SBC annual meeting.
“It’s soothing to help others even when you don’t think you’re ready. God equips you. He calls you and equips you,” Jamia mentor for Camp Agape Californiaa ministry for children whose parents are incarcerated.
“Every time someone comes to faith, it’s a miracle to see the work of God in their life,” said Molly Petrya International Mission Council worker.
From the Twitter universe
Through honor and dishonour, through evil and through good, through abundance and through poverty, through joy and through affliction, through persecution and through peace, through all these things is life of your souls maintained, and by each of them you have been helped on your way. —CH Spurgeon
A church does not rise because of the talents of its pastors, the skills of its participants or the excellence of its programs.
A church rises when dependent believers humble themselves in prayer and seek God in all things.
If the ‘god’ you worship never says ‘no’ to you, it’s a god you invented.
Stop shopping for the perfect church. Instead, connect with a congregation that worships a perfect God.
It’s guaranteed to be full of flawed people who need as much grace as you do!
While Christians have a common set of beliefs, we have an uncommon set of callings. Some are called to a more public ministry, others to more discreet vocations, some to focus on specific issues, others to a more general focus. We need grace and appreciation for the gifts of others.
When I was younger, I was especially moved by hymns and worship songs focusing on the cross and resurrection. Although this is still the case, the older I get, the more I am moved by songs about the second coming of King Jesus. Maranatha.
You don’t have to love sin to be worldly, you just have to love things.
If I am full of myself, almost anything can irritate me.
When I am filled with Jesus, almost nothing can irritate me. Anger reveals the conflict inside you (James 4:1). Kindness reveals peace within you (Prov. 14:30).