This is a live blog by Terry Delaney during the Connecting Church and Home Conference March 2009 at Brentwood Baptist Church in Nashville. You can also read confernce notes on the Soujour Kids blog.
Session #4: Integrating Church and Family to Equip the Generations (Brian Haynes)
What are you getting yourself into?
First, if you want a “how” of starting down this road, I would point you to what Jay said in Session 3. I want to talk to you more about what you are getting yourself into when you start down this road.
I want you to look at this picture (a Rabbi talking with a kid).
What you are getting yourself into is just God’s story. We are making a shift from what is right in our own eyes to what is God’s plan from ancient times. It is found in Deuteronomy 6, and Psalm 78, and Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:4, and Matthew 22 and 28 (all of which have been discussed already at this conference). There is a clear bridge from Deut. 6 to Matthew 28-from childhood to the Great Commission. It is the same language.
Home doesn’t go away because the new testament church was established. I had to repent because I am not a professional. It is not my job to disciple every child on the planet let alone my church.
You see this is an ancient path in God’s story. You are getting yourself into God’s story-there is no better place to be.
We are all asking the same question across the nation of how to disciple our children and families. I believe God is getting ready to do something for our culture that could be epic. It won’t be tent revivals or mega churches. It will involve the families. A Jew would tell you the family table is the most important place to worship. All the feasts begin at the table. We redesign 21st century culture by looking back at the ancient path.
If we are honest with ourselves, we realize that this is not going to be easy. I have looked back on the past four years of my ministry; I think I have been in the battle of my life. Let me be gut-level honest with you: we all want peace in our homes, but you look at our homes and there is no peace in them. When you go back to your community or ministry context and begin to look at how to build this bridge from church to the home, you begin to mess with ground that has already been taken away.
You are waging warfare against Satan who has taken away the home as a ministry priority. Deuteronomy 6 applies to every family regardless of faith. My student minister told me we couldn’t trust our families to disciple their children. I lost one staff member over it. Then we had parents asking our student minister why we were even paying him. Most did not believe families would accept the idea of family devotions and worship. In the USA, we are going after ground that has been claimed by Satan already.
The other battle will be inside of you. You will think you are crazy. Thank goodness for the word of God! The enemy will attack you personally. He will try to attack your family. He will do this because you are trying to take his ground back. This only paints a target on your back. Praise the risen Jesus Christ that He has already overcome all that. Regardless, you will be attacked and tempted to quit.
I share this with you because if you see this the way God sees it, it is completely different. It is a spiritual battle that must be waged.
You are getting yourself into the possibility of an extremely biblical church. Sometimes, the church moves away from Scripture. When you begin to think of how Deut 6 and the Great Commission are put into practice in your church, you run the risk of becoming an extremely biblical church. He will bless that.
I am finding that when you build a bridge from Deut. 6 to Mt. 28, your church does not become perfect. However, it does become biblical. You are getting yourself into a battle over the bride of Christ. When my church came along side me as a father raising my daughter, I gained a great ally in the battle.
Another thing that is gained is the idea of a generational impact. When you begin to filter everything through a biblical worldview, the church will begin to be the light to the world.
Have you ever thought about cultural redesign? Name another culture in history that has slipped away from the Lord that comes back to the Lord? I worry about my children. When I think of cultural redesign, I think of a grassroots effort that begin around the dinner table. I think of parents making tough career choices to be able to spend time with their children. There is nothing more pressing that being able to press the gospel to your children in your own homes. You are getting yourself in the middle of the hope of generational impact.
Go back to the picture. This is of a bar-mitsvah. This dad is trying to be so intentional in being obedient to God. Look at Deut. 6 and look at this picture. What if our children were able to have a foundation rooted in Scripture where they can look back at what they have learned about God through the parents? My prayer is that one day I walk around my hometown and see people in the community and I can take pictures like this (like the one on the screen) of parents equipping their children.
I would like to share a story from 2 Kings 17-18. Compare the days of Israel found in this passage and then think about America today. We are not far behind. I don’t want to be part of that culture that is removed from the Lord.
Look at chapter 18 and see that Hezekiah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. Notice that the writer mentions Hezekiah’s mother. Why? I believe it is because she poured into him the faith she had in God. It takes one generation to make a difference. It takes one godly king. It takes one mother to pour her faith into her son.
No tent revival will do this. It will take intentionality of our churches to equip the families to prepare for revival. I share this heavy message with you because, to be honest, we have no other option. We can do things the way we have been doing them, but has that really worked? I know that is why you are here. I just want you to know what you are getting into. I say jump in with both feet because it is the greatest and most rewarding adventure of your ministry and life.
Faith and obedience will be rewarded. Courage is a must. Take what you know. Throw your rock as David threw his. Together we will make a difference in one generation.
About Brian Haynes
Brian Haynes is the Associate Pastor overseeing Spiritual Formation at Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy, Texas. Brian came to Kingsland in 2003 to lead the development of a strategy linking church and family to equip the generations. Brian is married to his high school sweetheart, Angela, and together they have three daughters: Hailey, Madelyn, and Eden. Brian and Angela are passionate about equipping adults to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and to pass that legacy on to the next generation. Brian is a graduate of Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Liberty Theological Seminary where he earned is Doctor of Ministry for his work related to family and discipleship.
About The Connecting Church and Home Conference
The Connecting Church and Home Conference is designed to equip church leaders with practical ministry strategies for impacting families within the church. Featuring nationally known leaders and ministry speakers, this conference is sure to impact your approach to building stronger families in your church.
Special thanks to Terry Delaney who contributed this guest post. To read more of Terry’s writing visit Going To Seminary or Diary of a Seminary Student.