This is really good. Thanks for posting it.
Why are parents failing as disciplers?
Bill Wilkie offers the
following guest blog on the heels of my two 9/23 blogs.
To address the underlying issues, let’s try to answer three
are the symptoms?
is the underlying problem?
is a practical solution?
#1 Parents are busy succeeding and/or surviving professionally and in the
family. At work the mantra is “Commit more timework harder not necessarily
smarter and you can keep your job and provide for your family and the
church.” The church does not generally speak into the professional life of
a lawyer, doctor, educator, business person, etc.
#2 Parents want their child to have a career where they can be at least in the
middle class and certainly not have to live with them after high school or
college. Society makes many promises to high school students and college
students. It does not keep them all. But it has enough anecdotal success
stories to create a climate of fear that if your child does not live up, they
will be poor. We need a set of stories that demonstrate that our discipling
system produces a more effective and empowering result for teens. This does not
mean a larger percentage going into ministry or missions. Sorry.
#3 The public educational system was not designed to empower but to educate and
create a literate population. This 18th century model is ineffective even if it
is efficient. We created the public educational system. We can reform it for a
21st century global society. Big assignment. It will take a call from God.
Parents do not see Christianity as an empowering influence in their own
professional or family lives, so why should they make discipling, intercessory
prayer, etc., a priority skill set in their teen’s life?
1. A body of believers (small groups) needs to become involved in the
career/vocational aspects of its members.
2. Talk is necessary but not sufficient. The group needs to problem solve and
find solutions for problems and opportunities for specific members.
3. The group needs to empower people through challenges, networking and even
4. The group needs to be intercessory prayer people with very specific
answerable/tangible outcomes that people can see for themselves God at work.
5. When you have modeled this for the adult group members, then you will have
earned the respect and trust to take on the children of the parents that you
have successfully empowered/mentored.
Good stuff Seth. The practical steps are good but how do we instill the value into the parents?
You only instill the value into the parents as they actually benefit personally from your (incarnation) and God’s involvement in their lives. If we the church have not invested ourselves in the parents’ “real” world life, then they will not see the benefits nor trust you with their child. The public high school and college education makes promises and delivers to a point that most parents trust that education (and pay huge amounts) can raise one generation over the last generation at least economically.
It happened repeatedly after 1945 and for the next fifty years. Mass higher education became a reality for the lower and middle class. Education will have a harder time in the 21st century unless America is the leader in several emerging industries.
But what contribution does the “church” make to empowering a more creative or effective doctor, lawyer, educator, business person? If you ask these professionals, they usually conclude that the “church” never asks about their professional life. They do not ask, “How can we help you to be more effective as a professional?” Therefore, the “church” and lay professionals unknowingly separate the sacred from the secular even though the Pastor tells us repeated that Christianity is not just a Sunday religion. Parents who benefit from Christ’s and the Father’s involvement in their work world through you and me will be more likely to see how the church can invest in their children and support it personally and financially.
Take a look at Genesis chapters 1 to 3 and see if you can conclude that the work that God gave to Adam and Eve was holy. I think God even provided all the resources they needed to accomplish the role of tending the garden, “multiplying, filling, subduing and ruling.” And in Chapter 3, God never withdrew the holy role of work (God did not separate our lives into the sacred and secular) nor did he limit mankind’s access to God’s resoureces to accomplish our work.
If you want an example to reinforce the authority and power of mankind after the fall, just read Genesis 11 and the tower of Babel story. These were very powerful fallen men who God concluded, “anything is possible for those who have a common language and common vision.” It is still true today.
I know that this statement may make some uncomfortable, but one solution to the erroneous idea that sacred and secular are seperate is to stop labeling everything Christian and creating seperate categories of everything.
Christian art, Christian sports leagues, Christian schoolswhy not produce a quality, competitive service or product and be a follower of Jesus at the same time. Why does the word “Christian” need to be used in advertising? Just adding to the discussion as requested. 🙂
Love your neighbor as yourself… is the second most important commandment of all and implies that we all need to be able to act in ways that will make it possible for us to be able to love ourselves so that we can truly love another, even our children so that we are compelled to do what’s best for them. Where do we go for help?
Jeremiah 10:23 says that we can’t direct our own footsteps which applies to all men, unless we rely on his word for enlightenment;
Ephesians 6:1-3 tells children why they should listen to their parents and just how important it is.
Colossians 3:21 reminds us to put our hearts in what we do and the manner in which to do it.
2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that God claims to be the author of the bible… a loving letter from our heavenly Father.
Titus 1:2 confirms the fact that God cannot lie.
That’s all we really need to realize the importance of using the truths of the bible as much as possible to successfully solve any of mankind’s problems and that is what we learn to do, with genuine or sincere witnesses of Jehovah.