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It's About Time

The starting point to your family discipleship plan is how you invest your time.  To get our kids started right with the Lord, we must spend time growing personally and living our faith with our kids.  While most of us find it difficult to find more time in our day, we can all find ways to incorporate our faith into the daily rhythm of our life.  We must intentionally create times for the purpose of thinking about, talking about and living out our faith.

On Sunday, I challenged parents and our church family to set an example worth following as models of the faith to the next generation.    Discipleship in any relationship begins with a model worth following.  Are there areas in your life that you hope your kids reproduce in their life?  Sure there are.  Are there areas in your life that you pray your kids never reproduce?  Sure there are.  That's why we must be intentional in living in an intimate relationship with Jesus with spiritual habits of prayer, Bible reading, and worship as anchors of our life.  Since our kids are chips off the old block and we change choose which chip they become, we must do everything we can to be more like Jesus.

Not only do we model the faith, but we use our time to live our faith with our kids as a part of our everyday life.   There are things that we can do every day, each week, and each month so that our kids see our faith and develop their own.

Every Day
A DAILY BLESSING:  Bless your kids every day as you pray for them, affirm them, and remind them of who they are to God and to you.  For youngsters, this may be a nightly bedtime routine.  As kids age, this may be a first thing in the morning encouragement.   Blessing your kids each day reminds them that today is a new day, that you love them, and support them no matter what the day brings.

Every Week
COMMITED CONNECTION:  Consistent connection to a church family and to a small group.  Attending church regularly is key because it's how kids view their time with God.  You and I know that we can connect with God anywhere at any time, but kids see church attendance as their God time.  As such, if we say that God should be our #1 priority in life, kids need to see your family prioritize consistent attendance in worship.   Kids also need to be reminded that church isn't an event you attend but a family that you are a part of.  That's why group connection is essential.  Group involvement by the whole family shows that we all need people to help us walk with Jesus.  What is your family's current commitment to church family and small group?  Need to improve.  Make the change now.  If we don't why would we be surprised if our kids don't prioritize church when they are on their own.

FAMILY DEVOTIONAL:  Family Devotionals are times carved out to talk about our faith, what we are learning, and the challenges that we are facing.    Stats show that only 1 in 8 Christian moms have spiritual conversations with their kids.  Even worse, only 1 in 20 Christian dads have spiritual conversations with their kids.  This must change and one way to change is to schedule a time each week for these spiritual conversations.  Perhaps you are like me...if it's not scheduled it's not going to happen.  Make your plan now.

Every Month
SERVING OPPORTUNITIES:  Jesus calls all of us to be servants.  Serving others, outside of your own home or circle of friends, is a key step of discipleship.  That's why we encourage families to serve together.  Younger kids need to serve others with their family so that they see that serving is a way of life for those who are following Jesus.  They also need to see that their faith works and solves real problems.  Serving in the church or in the community with them once a month is a great starting point if you have elementary aged kids.  For older kids, especially high schoolers, they need to discover their own gifting and calling to serve others.  Parent's should encourage and coach their kids to serve in the name of Jesus in the church and the community.  Stats show that high schoolers that serve others younger than themselves while in high school are most likely to prioritize their faith when they get to college or enter the work force.