Monday, May 29, 2017

There are at least two ways to do family discipleship at church.

One approach is highly programmatic.  What that means is the church will build robust programs where you drop off your kids and we teach them.  You drop off your kids and we teach them how to sing songs, and then you drop off your kids and we teach them how to pray, and then you drop off your kids and we teach them about global missions, and then you drop off your kids and we . . .

But at the end of the day they're going home with you -- and regardless of what we program we'll never have the influence you will in your time and moments with them.

Instead, our philosophy of ministry is to teach your children when you bring them -- but then pour more and more tools in your hands and be your biggest fans and your biggest cheerleaders as the head of your home.

And all you have to do is talk about the Big Idea (if you're part of Journey Church) on the way home.

All you have to do is pay attention to moments that already come in your family life.

All you have to do is let us help you mark the important milestones of your child's life.

All you have to do is build a figurative rock pile of spiritual memories.

To assist you we've provided this important website of information and helps:

And be blessed.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Dad & Mom:

I can't fully explain in accurate words the powerful role you have as a parent.

Every time you say to your son, "Hold the door for your sister," you're making a disciple.  You're saying, "This is what men do, son."

Every time you say something similar to your daughter you're making a disciple.  You're saying, 'Daughter, this is what a woman does.'  

You're giving them something to strive for - something to grow into - something to move toward.  You're making disciples.

According to a 1960 study, the vast majority of adults had, by the time they reached age 30, accomplished the five standard milestones used to measure adult status.  These five were:
Completing school, leaving home, getting married, having a child and achieving financial independence.  

In the year 2000, forty years later, less than half of all young women had reached these milestones by age 30.  Even more concerning, less than one-third of all young men had.

What we're seeing in our culture is an ever-expanding time period of adolescence, so that you literally have 30-year old boys and 28-year old girls.

This should not be.

I realize there are outside forces at play in some families -- situations -- medical -- financial -- other serious blocks.  So that isn't me trying to judge everything.

But parents need to say to their children:  'This is what it means to move toward adulthood.'  Not:  'Stay as long as you can and as long as you want.  We'll take care of anything that causes you pain.  We're going to make life as easy as possible for you.'

No.  Your role as a Dad and a Mom is to lay out some disciple-making - lay out a picture of what future life is supposed to be - and help move them that direction.

When our girls each turned 18, I wrote a letter of the future I pictured just for her -- not what her intended vocation should be -- but what I saw as her father that the God-future might be.  It was a forward blessing -- a launch into adulthood.  "You can do this - now soar.  Go!"  They each rewarded me years later with personalized, framed written letters to me.  They each hang today in my office.

The fact that we require our children to make their beds isn't because if they don't the house explodes.  The reason we're serious about their schoolwork isn't because we think if they make all A's they're going to have better lives.  We do those things because we know hard work and discipline and following others will be required regardless of where they go in life or what they're called to -- so we're making disciples in all of that.

And if we do this at age 6 and age 8 and age 12, watch what happens at age 16 and age 18 and age 22.

Go make a disciple today.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


I often tell our team:  'You have to model everything.'

Yup.  Model sacrificial giving -- model passionate worship -- model serving enthusiastically -- model sharing your faith with others -- model doing life with people -- model prayer and fasting -- model forgiveness -- model a healthy marriage and family -- model it all.

It isn't enough to teach with your mouth -- your life is your most powerful instructor.

Paul said:  'Whatever you have learned and received and heard and seen in me  --  practice these things.'  (Philippians 4:9)

Welcome to the Big Leagues.

One of the things that often gets left out of that list - at least verbally - is to model good parenting.  What follows that statement is not a long list of 'Ten Ways To Be a Better Dad/Mom.'

It's a list of ONE that begins:  "God, make ME the man, make ME the woman, make ME the husband, make ME the wife, make ME the father, make ME the mother You want me to be so my kids learn and see the Jesus-life practically lived out."

I know a lot of you didn't grow up with Godly parents, so you had to learn Jesus later.  Your parents didn't aim you in the right direction.  But though bad parents are a fact, they aren't an excuse.

So here's an idea:  Sit down with your kids and ask them this question.  It isn't an easy question, but it's a good one:

'What is your mom or dad most passionate about?'

I know.  Frightening, right?

And if they say the lake house or your favorite hobby or football season or their own athletic career, you'll set your children on a wrong course.

If they say something like: 'Dad, you're really focused on Jesus' ... 'Mom, you're about living a life that puts God first,' then you're doing your job.

Can you even imagine them saying something like that?

And yet there are others of you who could genuinely tell your kids:  'Here's how great it's been serving Jesus these X-number of years ... '

I've missed out on extra-marital sexual pleasures.  Yeah, I haven't done that.
I've missed out on achieving great renown.  Missed out on that.
But I haven't missed out on joy and peace and hope and contentment.  I found all those in Jesus.

We're praying for you as you navigate the challenges of modeling Jesus to your children.

And be blessed.