It's just past the middle of May. Kids are getting out of school, summer is approaching, you are busy. While are you busy, take a minute to consider this phrase, it is my personal purpose statement for parenting. Simply, it reads......
Bringing Faith Home.....Passing Faith On....
Bringing Faith Home.....this means my faith is part of my everyday life. I become who God wants me to become before I tell my kids what God wants them to become. I live it, before I teach it. This is not a perfect exercise, but a focus of purpose every day. To live my faith out, in all aspects of home life, right there for my wife and kids to see.
Passing Faith On......this means I do more than privately love Jesus. It means I take all God has done and is doing in my life and I purposefully, actively and intentionally pass it on, in real life context, to each and every one of my kiddos. I will talk about the how from time to time, but for now, be reminded of this vision and keep it before you at all times.
I am firm believer in resourcing yourself as a parent. Get all the tools, weapons, knowledge, friends, opinions, advice and help you can get, then pray a lot and work hard. Below are two very important books to read, fast and easy, but important nonetheless.
The first one from Josh McDowell helps us to understand the condition of the society our kids are being raised in. I believe it is imperative to our survival and success as a parent to have some idea what we are up against when bringing kids into this world. These days parents don't let their kids get dirty, we make them take medicines, vitamins and stay away from soda, but we sometimes forget those things are NOT what will steal, kill and destroy the destiny our kids should spend a vibrant, joyful life realizing. So, take some notes, get your highlighter ready. Josh pulls no punches and gets to the point in this short but poignant little book.
The second is by George Barna. It is also short, full of lots of one liners and nuggets wisdom. His research is profound, but the most profound to me was the facts about real success in parenting and discipleship compared to the regular opinions of many parents and church workers. I want to see kids become Spiritual Champions, so I use this book to help understand how to move my kids from being followers to leaders. Let me know what you think.
BEGIN A 3D GROUP. The 3D is a play on words in two directions. First, it means a group of parents that see things in 3D, meaning, real life. Don't get together with parents to read a book and discuss it like you are discussing a book. Get together with other parents to discuss those crazy moments in your parenting adventure when life seems to jump off the screen and really get you. Be real, talk about reality, pray about reality and do life in 3D. Secondly, make your group a process of 3D.
Discovery, Discussion & Discipleship.
When Jesus walked from place to place with his disciples, he used this process. He used everyday events and encounters to stop, lead the group in discovery, making them observe and ask questions. He then led to a step of discussion by being rhetorical and conversational. Always he led them in the process of discipleship by teaching and demonstrating. When you gather with other parents, don't be DRIVEN, that is the D that kills groups. Having strict rules or expectations of high level performance is unrealistic. Don't Drive everyone to become perfect parents overnight. Rather, be real and share your adventure, successes and failures, opinions and observations. Let people Discover, Discuss and then be a Disciple and make Disciples with the truth and encouragement they receive.
Comment here and let me know what you think about any of the 3 suggestions. Email me if you have confidential questions, prayer requests or comments.
Idea One: Book by Josh McDowell
Idea Two: Book by George Barna
Idea Three: 3 D Parenting Small Group