Friday and Saturday a number of families from WCC attended the Annual Christian Heritage Conference. What a blessing it was for me as a pastor to think of all the great teaching washing over so many in our church family. It’s similar to the feeling I had a few weeks ago when a number of people attended the ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors) training in Portland, knowing part of our body is becoming better equipped to minister to their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Another way the conference blessed me was in regards to strengthening a few of my convictions:
- Parents need to disciple their children: Deuteronomy 6:7 You shall teach [God’s words] diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
- Fathers need to be spiritual leaders in their homes, instructing their children: Ephesians 6:4b Fathers, bring [your children] up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
These responsibilities don’t belong to the church. This is a divine calling given to parents. When I was involved in youth ministry I saw the failure associated with parents abdicating their roles, believing the church should do what God has commanded them to do. Families need to be praying and reading the Bible together, but while we don’t believe the church has the responsibility to raise the children in the church, it does have the responsibility to “equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Eph 4:11). This means churches need to come alongside parents and help them fulfill this tremendous calling. Hopefully the Marriage and Family Series – with so much emphasis on fathers being spiritual leaders – has provided encouragement in this area. We want to make sure fathers see themselves as the pastors (shepherds) of their families. One of the ways WCC would like to help equip families in this area is through the family worship guides Pastor Doug will be producing in the near future. The guide will include tools to assist families’ devotional times throughout the week.
With the Marriage & Family Series coming to an end at WCC, we want to make sure we don’t drift away from some of the important principles we’ve learned. James 1:23-24 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. We don’t want to be like this! We don’t want to spend months discussing what God’s Word says about families worshipping and praying together, only to turn around and forget what we’ve learned.