“What is perhaps the largest obstacle that keeps you from being a church that reflects the concepts in Deuteronomy 6 of the home being the primary vehicle for developing disciples?”
And so began many of the thoughts, discussions, and internal dialogues with previous mind/hearts as we were literally “being made New” in regard to foundations of our ministries. I speak mainly for myself, but the D6 Conference (based on the concepts of Deuteronomy 6:4-9), even though it was not presenting something theologically radical, was definitely presenting an approach to discipleship that goes against the grain.
Several at our table summed up our “one main obstacle” in concepts like that of “Inertia”. That even if we are a church that decides “wait a minute, let’s hold still a sec and figure out what is going on”, in order to begin moving in the other direction, we’ll have to take “baby steps” and overall focus on changing the climate rather than simply beginning/launching new programming.
I’ve been both in ministry, and a parent long enough to know – this is not something that comes naturally. Whether on behalf of the church leadership, or as a parent, it is so much easier to go along with the flow of what we naturally do on a weekly basis.
As a church, it’s easier and back-pattingly worthwhile for us as a church to say, either verbally or in how our church is wired, “step back parent/family, and allow us to do it…after all, we want to show you our degree and years of training are worthwhile…ish.”
As parents, I’ve seen it over and over again that a parent is “at the end of their rope” in one way or another, and decides that being more faithful at dropping the kids off for a couple hours on Wednesday night will solve whatever has been ailing. Or possibly even, gasp, becoming more regular attenders on Sunday mornings…as long as it meets certain “worth my time investment/effort” criteria…..it should fix the few blemishes on our homefront….right?
But all of the research and experience point to no. No, an increased effort to ensure that our families participate in services on Sundays and Wednesdays does not automatically yield an overall improvement in our home reflecting God and bringing about His Kingdom. What we truly seek for our homes, families, and ultimately for our churches, will come only from a deepening and purposeful rediscovery of what God desires/envisions.
And so…the next few posts will probably focus a bit on the specific words from those who have begun that journey already….we’ll see what God acccomplishes in and through us!