Also by this author: Joy in the Sorrow: How a Thriving Church (and Its Pastor) Learned to Suffer Well
Published by Crossway Books on August 18, 2020
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Marriage, Parenting
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One of the greatest responsibilities all Christian parents have is to be disciple makers in their homes.
Discipling your family can feel like an intimidating task, but it doesn't need to be overwhelming or complicated. With a simple plan in place, discipleship is something every parent can do.
Pastors Matt Chandler and Adam Griffin have made it their mission to help you develop a sustainable rhythm of gospel-centered discipleship focused in three key areas: time, moments, and milestones. Filled with suggestions, sample plans, and Scripture references, this book begins with the end in mind--equipping you to create a unique plan for your family as you raise your children in the love and fear of the Lord.
God created the family before he created the church. That line, which I first heard from Ravi Zacharias, became a guide for my time in youth ministry. The family is the central place of learning, spiritual formation, and discipleship. And yet, increasingly, our families seem fractured and failing. Parents don’t feel qualified as spiritual leaders and so place the onus on youth pastors and Sunday School teachers for their child’s spiritual formation. Or family life just seems to busy with work, school, and sports all vying for attention. A family is difficult to manage, let alone disciple. Family Discipleship by Matt Chandler and Adam Griffin seeks provide parents with an easy guide to beginning to lead their children through time, moments, and milestones.
After a few chapters of introduction, the bulk of the book does indeed focus on those three things. Chandler and Griffin’s advice is solid, if not revolutionary. Have a plan, be intentional, set a schedule. The chapter on time is mostly about developing dedicated time for family devotions and conversations and being intentional in spending time with your children.
The chapter on moments concerns developing liturgies (not a word they use, but how I would term it) in response to certain moments of life. Maybe that’s, whenever you see an ambulance, praying for all those involved in the medical emergency. Maybe that’s teaching a child to count to ten before acting when they’re angry. All of these moments of life that are recurring are places where parents can create habitual responses in their children that disciple them toward spiritual maturity. Milestones is similar, but deals with developing things such as family traditions, rites of passage, and so on.
Throughout the book, Chandler and Griffin have provided practical suggestions, lists, and checklists, and so on that really make this an actionable book. Family Discipleship doesn’t just talk theory, it mobilizes parents to jump in and begin the process of discipling their children. The book also does a great job in putting parents’ fears to rest while also challenging them in their own discipleship journeys. You don’t have to be perfect to disciple your child, but you also cannot lead where you have not been.
Overall, Family Discipleship is perfectly serviceable and solid. It’s a good foundation and a good introduction. Building on that will require a different kind of book or—better than that—a community of believers in the church to walk through the discipleship process with.