Connecting Church & Family

Southern Seminary had a conference on how and why it promotes what has been coined the “family-equipping” model of ministry. This video is of Dr. Mohler giving some broad strokes for the model and te current cultural crisis which has made it that much more vital that the Church be about equipping parents to shepherd their children.

Of particular importance is the fact that we assume too often that Christian parents are going to know how to parent in a biblical way. The problem is that the parents in our congregations have not had modeled for them how to parent in a way that honors Jesus. Underneath are my rough notes on the talk. The four implications he offers at the end are worth the time to think about. With all of the parenting literature that is out there, too often we have equated faithfulness to a certain method with the biblical method. Thus, we have camps of parenting affinity groups. There is something wrong when someone believes Baby Wise or Rosemond or Tripp are the Gospel–insofar that they bicker with those in “opposing” camps.

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NOTES:

In some ways it is a tragedy that we are having a conference to connect something that should have never gotten disconnected–namely, the family and the church.

  1. 1 Peter 5.1ff
    1. As Peter ends his letter, the tone becomes very sober. He turns his attention to the elders of the church.
    2. Peter has no specific context he is writing to. It is a general epistle; it is full of expectations that are normal and healthy for the church at-large. This is what “normal” in a church ought to look like.
  2. Younger are to give deference to the older people.
    1. There is a proper ordering in the church
    2. This is a sign of humility
  3. We have to remember that we do have an enemy
    1. Those who fail to recognize this are the most likely to be devoured
    2. “Normal” is that there will be a battle
    3. This battle is the background to our parenting and ministry
    4. Those things that are devoured
      1. Families
      2. Homes
      3. Congregations
      4. Leadership
    5. It is an act of great danger if we are not aware of this truth
    6. See Ephesians 5
      1. Paul’s discussion of spiritual warfare in chapter 6 is on the heels of chapter 5, which discusses the family.
    7. Since the family is on the frontlines, it is a primary target for Satan to devour and divide
  4. We have to admit something that is difficult to admit
    1. We have to be better parents than our parents
      1. This is not a denigrate what our parents have done.
      2. Rather, it draws attention to the fact that our contemporary culture is averse to the family unit.
        1. There used to be a a network of support for our parents in our culture.
        2. If Mom A did not know something, and Mom B knew, Mom B would call Mom A to tell her the wayward son’s actions
        3. Television hosted family-friendly shows (Leave It to Beaver, Dragnet, etc) instead of sexually explicit shows (Desperate Housewives, Modern Family, etc)
      3. Parents have to be more aware than parents in the past
      4. “The family has been stripped of all its functions” — Peter Berger
      5. Due to technology, children are not talking on the phone (in the plain hearing of their parents), but are sending covert text messages (with no parental supervision)
  5. Much of the research (from Soul Searching) has shown that a child’s spiritual growth requires parents

Four Implications:

1. Church must present a faithful and vibrant vision for parenting; and it must teach and equip them how to do this

a. Most of the parents in our congregations were not parented

b. The Church has to educate parents who did not have the proper, biblical model for parenthood

2. Church must overcome the zone of privacy and personal autonomy (held dear by our culture) that separates believers from accountability and fellowship

a. We have got to get in each other’s space

b. Our spheres belong to Christ and not us

c. When a marriage is not what it should be, the Church MUST step in and help

3. The Church has got to be a place where brokenness is overcome by the Gospel and the fellowship of the saints

a. We undermine the Gospel when we say that Christianity can only be experienced by non-brokenness

b. This brokenness demonstrates the glory of Christ

4. The Church has to be a place where the family (specifically) and Christians (generally) is rescued and armed for the combat to which we are called

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Filed under Church, Culture, Family | Parenting

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