One of the lessons I had to learn as a parent was that my children wouldn’t simply catch Christian faith like they seemed to catch everything else as they were growing up. I had to be intentional about speaking with them about developing their appreciation for God’s love in Jesus Christ and understanding the importance of embracing it as they were able. Even as a pastor, while I had assumed that growing up in a preacher’s home would be enough, I came to discover that my responsibility as a parent meant engaging them in positive conversations about why faith is important and the difference it makes in life. Fortunately, my children listened and responded, and to this day they are both very much committed to following Jesus. Now that I have grandchildren, I see my responsibility to help them in an even more important way.
These next three weekends at MBBC we’re offering parents and grandparents a chance to engage their families in healthy conversations about faith development. We’re calling this emphasis “Engage: Becoming a Disciple – Making a Parent (or Grandparent).” The purpose of these sessions is to prod our children and grandchildren by prodding ourselves in assuming our roles as spiritual influencers in their lives. While we may lean on others to help our offspring develop myriad skills and knowledge, there is no better source of help for our children and grandchildren than what we can provide.
This Sunday night, Joel Snider, retired pastor of FBC/Rome, GA, will be with us to talk about “Seven Conversations” he has found in his pastoral and personal life to be pivotal in forming the faith of our families. MBBC is Joel’s home church, and you may remember that he was with us a while back for one of our Holy Week emphases. Joel has been a friend since college and seminary days, and I honestly don’t know of another person more thoughtful on these matters. His work in this area is groundbreaking, and I know you’ll find his teaching informative and inspirational.
The next Sunday night Gary Fenton, retired pastor at Dawson Memorial, will lead us in “Leading our Children to Engage and Experience Worship.” All parents struggle with helping children appreciate the importance of worship, and Gary brings a pastor’s heart to this conversation. Not only will your family be blessed by your participation in this session, so will our church, as we learn new ways to make worship more meaningful.
Then on September 24, Wayne Splawn will speak on “Taming our Technology,” which is as relevant a topic for today as any. Wayne is on the cutting edge of so much of what’s been written on this area, and his teaching will help us better to understand that if we don’t learn how to master our technology, it will surely master us. Perhaps for some of us it already has, which is why this topic is so important.
Each of these sessions will run from 5 to 6pm, with dinner to follow from 6 to 6:30pm. The cost is $6 for adults and $3 for children. Plan to be at all of the sessions and encourage others to join you. We are so fortunate to have these resources available to us, and I am believing that our families will be stronger and more faithful for our having set apart this time for some thoughtful reflection. I hope you’ll believe the same, and put that faith into practice so that your family and our church family will be all that God calls us to be.
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).