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Discipleship for Families on the Go

Life in the Fast Lane: On the Go Family Discipleship

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise. (Deut 6:6-7)

Life is hectic. If you are a family with kids, jobs, extracurricular activities, pets, etc. then you probably feel like you are constantly running on a hamster wheel. Maybe the idea of a set time for family devotions or Bible study sounds daunting and near impossible to maintain.

When I look back at some of the key milestones or decisions in my life, I am amazed at how ordinary the moment seemed at the time. Christy and I met in college at a welcome event. I was eating with a colleague at lunch when I got a phone call that Maeleigh was about to be born. I was in the middle of a hike when I pulled Christy’s father aside and asked permission to marry his daughter. These are only a few examples of life-changing moments that happened in the blink of an eye in what otherwise would have been ordinary moments.

My family has gone through different methods and attempts of scheduled family Bible study and discipleship. There should be a prominence for God’s Word and prayer in the family, but there are also seasons of busyness where this is very difficult. As a pastor, there are certain seasons or programs that keep me busy and exhausted at the end of the day when I get home. Then I feel like a failure if I do not get a formal family devotion together. But I have come to realize some of the best spiritual discussions and growth with my kids and family have come from mundane moments or in-between events on our calendar.

I can think of specific instances with my children having deep, spiritual conversations and answering questions about God and life in the backyard, sitting on the patio, driving in the car or getting ready for bed. Do not underestimate the value of those “on the go” or “in-between” times. Jesus often did ministry, teaching, and illustrations amongst the ordinary: eating a meal (Matt 9:10-11); going to someone’s home (Luke 19:1-9); during an everyday chore (John 4); a spiritual lesson from nature (Mark 4:1-20); and going on a walk (Luke 24:13-25), just to name a few. Likewise, our ordinary moments can become extraordinary with a tad bit of intentionality behind them.

Training a child in the way he or she should go (Proverbs 22:6) also means we train them up as we go from one thing to the next. There are valid reasons families need to cut back on schedules if there are too many irons in the fire, but activity is also a good thing. So do not squander God-given opportunities to disciple your family while driving to the ballpark, doing chores as a family (yes, kids should be involved), or eating at a restaurant together. Put the phones and tablets away and speak to one another. There is something profound and sacred even in the mundane if we give intentional time for the Lord to grow us to be more like Jesus.

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On The Go Family Discipleship - Ben Tarver
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