I recently heard this shocking statement from a pastor in a restricted country. He said, “Church leaders are trained to believe that the neglect of family for the sake of the church is a virtue!”
In truth, this is not as shocking as it should be. I’ve known a lot of pastors who were good in the pulpit and could lead a “deep Bible study,” but who were not faithful in discipling their own household.
We recently led a DOTW (Doers of the Word) training with pastors, seminary students and business leaders in a restricted country. While many people wrongly assume that these leaders lack Biblical literacy, we find that their theological training rivals ours in the U.S. We also learned that guest speakers were nothing new for them, as their church had many famous teachers coming in and out all the time. And our participants were certainly not shy in asking difficult theological questions as it related to the materials we were teaching.
Yet these well-educated and theologically savvy Christians quickly recognized that their lives lacked a commitment to the Lord in their homes. In other words, they were very dedicated in their churches, businesses and seminary classes, but they were so dedicated that they were ignoring their households.
We shared with them the words of Paul to Timothy when he said,
He (the overseer) must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? (1 Timothy 3:4-5)
This passage from 1 Timothy was particularly important in that it helped the pastor I mentioned (and others) see that church and family are not separate priorities, but instead the pastor’s household is always his first church and a “model” for the wider church, whether the pastor intends it to be or not. This particular pastor has already committed to reorganize his priorities so as to attend to this “first church,” investing in daily household worship with his family.
Discipleship of one’s household isn’t only for Christians in persecuted and restricted nations. It isn’t only for pastors, youth pastors, and elders . . . it’s for the whole body of Christ. Before discipleship can be done in the church or in the community . . . it has to start in the household.
Over the next six weeks the Christians who attended our conference have committed to practice daily household worship . . . studying and memorizing the Scriptures, singing together and praying together. Will you join them?
WOW!! This is a great reminder for all of us. There is a young lady who is interested in joining us as we practice the .W disciplines, but I am keeping in mind that my family needs to be first, so I am being sensitive to that priority. I am praying that our family will really understand the great importance of family worship. :>}
Thanks for sharing Jody. I look forward to talking to you and Mike this month.
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