DISCIPLESHIP IS MORE CAUGHT THAN TAUGHT
31 May, 2016
Do our kids observe us living, breathing and loving Jesus 24/7 more than living, breathing and loving our favourite sport?
Daron has a soap box moment
"It seeped into my bones"
"Discipleship is more caught than taught"
I declare it! I am a Pratt and I am a mad Richmond supporter. I was never taught it in a set of club studies on the fundamentals of AFL... It seeped into my bones!
In Victoria where I was born, AFL is not just a sport; it is a religion. In days gone by my home town Mildura used to be in Richmond's drafting zone so I was born into a "Tiger" family.
Victorians discuss AFL before they discuss the weather. The first few days of the week is spent discussing the game that was and the rest of the week is spent discussing the game to come. They live it, breathe it and talk it 24/7
AFL is also a family sport. From the day their children are born, fathers faithfully buy their child the team jump suit, bib, bottle and other merchandise all labelled with the team logo and colours. A little further down the track fathers buy their children their first footy. As soon as the child is old enough he takes them to the game where they soak up the atmosphere at the hallowed MCG and sing the club song with pride! After the game fathers and children can go onto the hallowed turf and play kick to kick together. Somewhere along the way it seeps into their bones!
AFL is all the kids can remember and along the way the game, culture and club song seeps into their bones! I don't teach them anything..I just immerse them in the atmosphere!
My two children are mad Richmond supporters! Even though we have not been in Victoria for many years we still sing the song, wear the colours and follow our team through their ups and downs. They breathe Richmond and shout Yellow and Black along with the rest of the Pratt family. It seeped into their bones.
The Richmond culture has successfully seeped into the bones of the next Pratt generation!
"Like the tiger of old.... We never weaken till the final sirens gone.... Yellow and Black Oh where from Tiger Land"
Now I wonder what about the Church? What are the little things that we do in our 24/7 living to pass on the faith?
The ages of 0-9 years is our discipleship window and if we get it right there, then the rest will normally fall into place... It seeps into their bones.
The biggest discipleship problem with parents and churches is that we address the discipleship question too late in their teens. By the time we get serious with youth ministry they have often already left in their hearts!
It needs to seep into their bones!
Do our kids observe us living, breathing and loving Jesus in our 24/7 living?... In our marriages, our personal life, our job, our attitudes and in all we do and say?
At Church, do our children feel welcome, do they feel like they belong in our worship services?
For that matter Where are the dads when it comes to faith? They are often missing in action!
Where are the mentors? They are scarce when kids need them most!
In short, research has found if a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshipper. If a father does go regularly, regardless of the practice of the mother, between two-thirds and three-quarters of their children will become churchgoers (regular and irregular). If a father goes but irregularly to church, regardless of his wife’s devotion, between a half and two-thirds of their offspring will find themselves coming to church regularly or occasionally.
Children need to be in church (not out in the back room or the hall) with their parents singing the "team" songs and along the way picking up on the nuances, routines and rituals of what it means to be an Adventist Christian.
Parents need to talk about these things when they sit at home, walk along the way, lie down and get up.
Mentors need to show children what 24/7 faith looks like
Doctrines and Bible study can only go so far... it is the incarnation of the story, it is living the story that in the end makes all the difference!
You see when it comes to faith...when it comes to discipleship, it is more caught than taught... It seeps into their bones and once it seeps into their bones it is there to stay!
Daron gets off his soap box, adjusts his Richmond scarf and beanie, picks up his Bible, grabs his children's hands and wanders on into the crowded street!