Kids and Church, part 4: Obedience over Knowledge

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Before jumping in here, read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

“… Feed my lambs.” (John 21:15b ESV)

When it comes to discipleship, it’s important to stress obedience over the accumulation of knowledge. This is especially true when it comes to your own kids. The temptation for parents is to simply give them the facts of faith, forgetting that the facts don’t lead to faith. Being able to apply those facts to real life is what obedience is.

But how do we teach them to obey? What concepts do parents need to keep in mind when it come to disciplining their kids? Here are three:

1. Teaching

Teaching will always play a role in discipleship. It has to. Those being discipled need to be taught correct doctrine. Without proper teaching, they are likely to be “tossed to and fro” (Ephesians 4:14) by anything that sounds close to truth. And, when it comes to teaching, parents need to remember it’s about more than mere information. We don’t just need our kids to remember a bunch of facts, but rather to help them see why the truth we are teaching is important.

To do that we have to break down the information into its three components: the precept, the principle, and the command. By precept, I mean the action or conduct that is being proposed through this teaching. By principle, I mean the rule by which that action or conduct is connected to the teaching. By command, I mean the authority behind the teaching. All three are necessary for teaching to be truly effective. Without all three components what is happening is not discipleship; it ends up being moralistic behavior modification.

2. Advising

To this kind of teaching, advisement or counsel must be added. In order for advice to be most effective, it must be personal to the person, their situation, and their stage of life. This is where we help those we are discipling to apply the teaching to their lives. While there are always general ways Scripture is applied to our lives, there are also specific ways it applies in the here and now. Helping those we disciple find those applications puts them on the path towards obedience.

3. Modeling

The final kind of teaching is modeling. Discipleship is most effective when the disciple-maker lives out what he is teaching. As we model what we are learning and teaching, those we disciple see how what they are learning is applied everyday. Obedience on our part can inspire obedience on their part. 

It’s not just what we teach them that’s important, it’s how we teach them that will bring about real heart change and the sort of obedience that is the mark of true faith. This is food they need as well as the kind of feeding Jesus expects.

Family Friday Links 10.12.18

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Here’s our weekly list of what we’ve been reading online:

The ERLC had a quick video post by Dennis Rainey on parenting and prodigals. This is valuable information for all parents because at some point all kids will rebel in some way.

Art Rainer had a post dissecting lies leaders believe when it comes to family. One of his points was put this way, “Let me point out something obvious—Jesus took breaks. Maybe you should consider doing the same.” If the balance between work and home is hard for you to keep, get out this post (as well as a recent podcast by the Doc & Devo boys here).

Children’s Ministry Magazine had a post on classroom discipline. This is a helpful post that hits some of the most common topics. This would be good to resource to share with volunteers.

What have you been reading (or writing) online and benefiting from online this week? Leave us a link in the comment section to check out.

Family Friday Links 10.5.18

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Here’s what we’ve been benefiting from online this week:

The Gospel Coalition had a post about teaching children humility. It lists 6 suggestion on how to cultivate this needed trait. This is a good resource that parents as well as pastors would do well to take advantage of.

Scott Kedersha had a post on raising boys to be godly. He wrote, “If you’re a parent to a son, then you have an opportunity to change the world … I can’t change the past, but I can help shape the future.” As a parent of teenage son, I found this reminder very helpful.

Our friend, Sam Luce, had a post on what we build. It reads, “When we build our own kingdom we waste our strength building what we could never sustain. When we spend our lives glorifying God we pass to the young leaders God has entrusted to us to lead a rich heritage of faith that will outlive us.” No matter your position at your church, this should be our mission.

What have you been reading online? Leave a link in the comment section for us to check out.

Family Friday Links 9.28.18

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Here is our weekly list of what we’ve been reading online:

Ryan Fredrick over on Fierce Marriage re-posted his series on things that can poison your marriage. I either wasn’t following back then or missed it. It’s definitely worth a read. The poisons he deals with are: pennies, perversion, and pride (3 P’s). This series serves as a helpful reminder of how to deal with each.

Children’s Ministry Magazine had a post on kids in crisis. It reminds the read of the type of care kids like this need. If you have, know of, or minister to a kid in crisis, this post will help.

We talk a lot on this blog about the necessity of parents being the primary disciple makers of their children. Cam Hyde had a post on reasons why it needs to be this way. Parents, check it. Pastors, pass it on.

What have you been reading online lately? Leave us a link to check out.