We started the service with a great intro video focusing on Psalm 103.  After that, our worship team led us in some dependence on God songs as we focused on the family – “Everlasting God” and “Lord, I Need You.”  After that, we got to see a pretty sweet video of the upcoming VBS week.  You can register your children here.

After making some announcements, we were also able to pray for our mission team arriving in West Africa in between services.  Great to connect with them there through prayer.  As we took the offering, we got to watch a special video getting families’ hearts ready for the message.

My wife and the team then led a special time of family worship as they sang “Your Home.”  This song was written by our worship team years ago and has played a special place in the life of our church.

I got the privilege to preach today on the family.  Many people say that one’s family is the most difficult group of people to impact for Christ.  Throughout the pages of Scripture, we see a different dynamic as God used family members time and time again to evangelize and disciple other family members.  In this last message of our “Between Sundays” series, we focused on ways that you can impact your family all week-long.

I started the message by sharing some stats that changed my life about six years ago:

  • 75-88% of kids raised in the church are absent from church by the end of their freshman year in college.
  • There are currently 16 million Southern Baptists.  At our current rate, each generation will lose 3/4 of the people.
  • To maintain the membership numbers, each Southern Baptist would need to reach at least 3 people for Christ.
  • Currently it takes 43 Southern Baptists to reach 1 person for Christ.
  • Over the last 35 years, we have seen the greatest increase in the number of student workers and the biggest decline in student baptisms.

Why has this happened?  We have expected the church to do what God expects the family to do. With good intentions in mind, I believe that families have walked away from God’s calling.  This applies to you regardless of your family situation.

We focused on Psalm 127 and Deut. 6:4-9 today.  The goal is to see one’s family as a gift from God and to love God before them in such a way that you can show them how to follow your example.

APPLICATION

  • We cannot teach our family something we have not learned ourselves.
  • Don’t allow this church’s sufficiency to create personal complacency.
  • Don’t expect pastors to care for your family at such a level that they cannot care for their own family.
  • Remove the log from your own eye before giving tips on how to remove the speck in another’s eye.

I pray that the message was delivered and received well.  My prayer is that our church continues to be a family of families that equip one another to do what God has called us to do.  The true success of this message will be seen this week in homes.  I will never really know what happens but I pray that the Holy Spirit keeps propelling us towards one another this week (Mal. 4:6).

We finished our time together by singing the prayer, “Christ Be All Around Me” as families came and prayed together around the altar.  Precious time and I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of what God was doing today.

SIDE NOTE: Since this was the first day my boys were in “big church,” they prayed with the worship team before services today.  Sitting in the circle, I allowed anyone to pray and Obadiah began to pray.  There were tears and expressions of joy in the room when this six year old said, “Jesus, we just want to praise you today, but not just today, but everyday.”  He gets it.  You don’t know how good that prayer did for his dad and a bunch of other folks in the room.  Maybe even some of you.

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Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.