Intentional Leadership: Parenting

football-472038_1920I want to thank everyone that continues to follow and share my blog.  Those that have for a while know that I believe strongly in developing and cultivating the potential in others.  My friend Joel Owen, Pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in Kingsport Tennessee wrote this week’s post.  Joel is doing an awesome job at leading his team and developing a very healthy disciple making culture.  I am so glad to have Joel contribute, I hope you enjoy reading his thoughts on discipling those around you as much as I did.  -Brandon

I coach my youngest son’s soccer team. Soccer was the very first sport I played as a kid and I really loved it – constant running and action! But I only played through fifth grade, so I don’t really know that much about the sport. What I do know, I try my best to impart to these 5 and 6 year olds. As a coach, even though I don’t know everything, I try my best to be prepared to teach what I do know so my players will be prepared to play. Occasionally we will play a team that is completely unorganized: the players show up late, no one knows whose turn it is to be on the field, some kids are engaged in the action while others are just picking dandelions. From my experience every time a team like that hits the field I find they are a reflection of their coach. Coaches who are unprepared, running late, never have a game plan and don’t organize good practice times will have teams that function in much the same way. The way we coach determines the quality of players we produce and multiply.

Let me ask a potentially challenging question: Do you have a plan for how you multiply disciples in your home? Many of us as coaches/leaders (not the soccer kind, but in the church or whatever field you are in) have great plans for how we are going to reproduce other leaders who will, likewise, make disciples and multiply other solid leaders and Christ followers over the coming years. However, one of the areas that is most overlooked in the disciple-making process is the one that God gave as first priority: the home. Whether you have roommates, a spouse, children or grandchildren, the relationships in your home should occupy your primary passion for making disciples.

In Deuteronomy 6:1-9 God instructed Israel to pass down their faith, through the family, from generation to generation. Really there are three key words in the passage that help us focus on how to accomplish that:

  1. Hear (vs. 3)- We have to hear and know God’s truth before we can pass it on to others.
  2. Obey (vs. 3)- Simply having God’s truth in our minds isn’t enough to be a disciple and make disciples, we have to actually apply faith by obeying God.
  3. Impress (vs. 7)- Pass the things you know of God along to those you love by giving them tangible ways to see faith lived out in daily life.

I was fortunate to have parents who were Christians and took their responsibility to disciple me in the faith very seriously. Looking back at my childhood, there wasn’t a program, but there was a desire and a passion for my parents to pass along their faith. Many parents don’t see it as their responsibility to be the primary disciple-makers in their homes. Just like the soccer coaches whose teams are all over the place on game day and don’t know how to function on the field, families without intentional leaders will hit the field of life and not know how to truly be disciples of Jesus. Regardless of what stage of life you are in, ask God to burden you for making disciples in your home. Read Deuteronomy 6 again for a game plan from the heart of God, who calls us to be disciple-makers.

Andy Stanley has a quote that I believe to be absolutely true:

Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise.

As a husband, father and intentional leader I pray that when my family hits the field of life they know how to follow Jesus as disciples, not just pick dandelions!

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