The Agnews love to be outside. It is always fun sharing adventures together in the fresh air.
When we were teaching the boys to throw and kick the ball years ago, something unique happened one evening in the front yard. I attempted to share the ball with the boys, but their favorite thing was not to have the ball themselves. They wanted Dad to have it.
“Daddy, kick the ball high?” Unwilling to disappoint, I would kick the ball as high as I could. They would run and chase the ball down and bring it right back to me.
“Daddy, kick the ball high?”
“Thanks, buddy, but why don’t you kick the ball? Here you go.”
“Daddy, kick the ball high?”
I kicked that red ball all night long. They knew they were able to kick it, but they also knew that Dad could kick it higher. For whatever reason, watching their father kick it higher was better than kicking it themselves.
Children in Awe
Something exists in the heart of children to watch their parents do what they cannot do yet. They stand in awe at early ages of what their parents can do. While my ability to kick a ball high may be impressive, I desperately want my children to stand in awe of the way I live for God.
I don’t care if they are impressed by the house in which we live, the details of our vacation spots, or the hobbies that I master. I want them to see me living for Christ all of their days. When asked about their greatest spiritual mentors, I pray that they model after the ministers in our church, but how I deeply want to make that list as well.
Could I live in such a way that my children would know what it means to follow Christ if no one else taught them but me?
Can I model obedience to God rather than just mentioning its importance?
This world is a challenging place for a child to become a disciple of Jesus Christ.
The solution is not the hippest youth minister in town, the most cutting-edge programs, or the church gymnasium where all the cool kids hang out.
The solution for your children is you.
Children need their parents to invest spiritually in their lives. We need to be the ones telling them the gospel. We need to be the ones modeling what it looks like to live for Christ. Our lives should be the greatest sermon they ever hear.
If that idea is intimidating to you, I promise that you are not alone. Every honest parent would admit that evangelizing and discipling one’s children is a daunting task. While the challenge is great, disciples are known by their willingness to risk everything and be used by God in what seems improbable or even impossible.
You have a limited window of time with your children in their formative years. How will you spend it? You may be an empty-nester who has a list of regrets longer than your list of approved accomplishments, but it is not too late to make an impact on your children. We are all leaving a legacy, but it has yet to be declared what each of ours will be.
No one leaves a godly legacy by accident.
In my new job of Family Pastor, a huge portion of my job is to equip parents to evangelize and disciple their children. The thought of church programming supplementing parents instead of vice versa is a huge paradigm shift for all of us, but that is where we are going.
Children and student ministries should exist to support Dad and Mom evangelizing and discipling their children and not the other way around.
In American culture, we have often confused the local church with a building. In the Greek language, the word “church” literally meant “group” or “assembly.” When Jesus set out to build his church, he spoke of one big family that prized the Kingdom of God more than anything else.
So, let me assure you: the church is vital to your child’s spiritual upbringing, but the buildings and the programs are not the church Jesus had in mind.
If there are believers in your home, then an important part of the church of Jesus Christ resides in your home.
As parents, we must stop idly expecting someone else to do what God has commanded us to do.
Don’t drop your kids off at church — bring them home to it.