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Ten best discipling decisions I’ve made

                            1. We decided to take our kids on mission trips that gave them a vision for the world. As a result, they have an understanding of God’s plan for building His kingdom.  2. We…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes


From www.sethbarnes.com 













1. We decided to take our kids on mission trips that gave them a vision for the world. As a result, they have an understanding of God’s plan for building His kingdom. 

2. We decided not to own a TV and didn’t have to combat all the garbage that comes with it.  I know this is controversial, but it worked spectacularly for us.  We still do videos.

3. I decided to make 7 a.m. family devotions mandatory and interesting. Our kids learned that the Bible is a practical guide to life and ministry. 

4. We decided to make our children’s spiritual growth a priority in our schedules. We weren’t racked by guilty consciences, knowing we could have done better. 

5. We made participation in a small group as a family a priority and gave our children a vision of community. 

6. We decided that it was more important for Karen to be a mom than it was for her to have a job and we adjusted our lifestyle accordingly. We gained 40 hours a week of positive input in their lives.

7. We decided to help our children find mentors to meet weekly with them. That took pressure off of us to have all the answers.

8. We decided to send our children out on longer term missions. The experience broke their hearts and taught them Lordship before launching them in life.

9.We work at being authentic – sharing our own struggles. They learned that its OK to fail and to be honest about failure.

10.We decided to stay active in their lives, monitoring their spirits, helping them to work out their faith in their own time. So many young people lose their faith while at college – that wasn’t an option for us.

Comments (2)

  • Ahh . . . I remember 7am mandatory family devotions – in hindsight, some of the best discipling my parents did.

    My family instituted the use of great products called “TV Guardians” for all TV and movie viewing – great way to block out profanity.

  • I’ve not owned a TV during different periods of my adult life. I’ve met Seth’s kids and it did work spectacularly for them. I took a different approach , being a geek, I implemented from the beginning a non-real time view of TV through DVR’s (pre-tivo and tivo) and now have a 14 year old and a nine year old who have rarely seen real-time television. We agree what is recorded, and that is what is watched. In fact for a long initial period even what was recorded couldn’t be watched without an adult in the room.

    For the longest time I could easily remove the commercials as well – automatically. but now don’t even though they can be quite offensive at times. What I found was

    1) the kids manually skip them anyway
    2) the real issue is one of subtlety, (it hearkens a bit to MIT Media Lab research on cartoons and games), the most dangerous part of TV is the carefully crafted communication of “this is normal”, ads tend to be accepted less readily as reality

    I am just not as ambitious as Seth is in the morning, so we do our study in the evening before going to bed. There are many things I could say about it and will if Seth lets me, but I’d like to start with me. My goal was to benefit the children, but, the benefit to me has been priceless, it became something I look forward to under almost all circumstances. It is the third rail of the family, ie it is where the power is.

    I’d like to add another one, we have a meal together every day, for us it is dinner in the dining room. And it is inexorably intertwined with what we do before bed. In fact it has taught me that (for the most part) the division we make between church and “the rest of our town or life” is very artificial. If family devotions is “church” then dinner is “the city gates” or “the commons”. But what do I really want different between them? God’s prescence and not, God’s word and not, my humor and not, my love and not?

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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