For many parents, trying to disciple their kids is a daunting task. As followers of Jesus, parents are always on a journey to grow in their faith, so it can be challenging to teach your kids something you have not personally “mastered.” The church then compounds family discipleship with models, materials, and expectations that result in more guilt over failing to be a “good Christian parent” than helping to encourage you to disciple your kids.
On Facebook the other day, someone shared a statement that points to the truth of the simplicity of conversations of faith in the discipleship of the next generation. “If your kids can support your chosen sports team, you can disciple your kids.” It is that simple. If we are passionate about Jesus and our faith, discipleship through faith conversations will naturally occur in our homes. Discipleship may be as simple as teaching our kids to yell “Roll Tide” or “War Eagle.”
In Deuteronomy 6, Moses describes the character of God and goes on to explain how the truths about God would be passed to the next generation: “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise,” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7 ESV).
For Moses and the Jewish people, discipleship in the character and ways of God came through everyday conversations. The Word of God was at work in the parent’s hearts, bringing spiritual transformation to them. This transformation overflowed in natural conversations during daily life with the family about God as the family sat down together, when they went from one place to the next, at bedtime, and in the morning. Faith conversations became the discipleship of everyday life.
If discipleship comes through intentionally walking with Jesus and inviting our kids to walk alongside us, every Christian parent can be a disciple. The excuses of “mastery” and not being “good enough” fade away when we realize the same God in His grace at work in our lives is the One at work in our kids’ lives.
Missions Minister at Christ Church Birmingham
Writer and Speaker