Archive for February, 2010

Why the name ChurcHome Central?

Posted: February 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

Why the name ChurcHome Central?

As we were thinking of a name for the Family Ministry at Trinity Baptist Church, we wanted something that would communicate our vision.  We desired something that would encapsulate the beauty of the partnership of the church and the home.  As we have mentioned previously, the primary role for family spiritual leadership and discipleship rests with the parents. However, we believe, Biblically, that the church is to partner in this endeavor by encouraging, equipping and challenging families.  This philosophy of ministry is built on the functioning of a Biblical community.  We seek to create a spiritual greenhouse in which our families can thrive and grow together.  Also, this model of community accounts for the evangelism and discipleship of those children without a parental faith influence.  We desire to have a core group of parents that grasp this vision and want to impact their own children for Christ as well as children in the church who are without believing parents/guardians.  Therefore, “Church” and “Home” share an “h” in our title, signifying this partnership.  Also, “Central” represents our belief that this partnership between the church and home is central to God’s redemptive plan.  “Central” also indicates a place that distributes information. We hope to make this blog a resource for families as we connect them with resources and Biblical truth.

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This Friday night, we will have a dinner for fathers and their daughters.  It is themed as “My Heart belongs to Daddy.”  This event is designed to be a special night for dads and daughters to have a special evening together where Fathers are encouraged to see the vital influence they have on their daughters’ lives.  Dads, you are so important in the eyes of your daughters. Unfortunately, in our society, fathers are portrayed stereotypically either as a buffoon, absent, or neglectful because of work or some other pursuit. However, the Lord never sees it this way.

Dads, you are a display of the very character and nature of our Heavenly Father. You represent Him to your daughters. As a Dad of two boys and a daughter, I know it can be easier to raise boys that I can roughhouse with and challenge to be men. On the other hand, I know that my daughter looks to me for approval as well, but in different ways than my boys. No, I can’t do the rough and tumble like I can with the boys, but there are things that she loves that I need to give attention to. Sure, it is more comfortable to me to throw a football, than to bake a cake. She needs my time, my attention, and my example as a godly man before her eyes for she will draw conclusions about our Heavenly Father based on my relationship with her. Her passion for her Lord and Savior will be caught from me and taught by me. I will have a huge influence on her relationship with our Heavenly Father as well as other relationships. Lord, help me!  Knowing that I represent my Heavenly Father to her, drives me to my knees crying out to my Father to give me grace and help. 

“My son (and daughter), keep your father’s command, and do not forsake the law of your mother. Bind them continually upon your heart; tie them around your neck. When you roam, they will lead you; when you sleep, they will keep you; and when you awake, they will speak with you. For the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light.” (Proverbs 6:20~23)

Read the following article (linked below) by a young lady who has written it from her perspective as a daughter and the impact that her Father had on her. His impact is not just on her convictions and morality, but more importantly on how she views the Heavenly Father and her passionate desire to know Him and glorify Him.  I pray that my daughter will one day be able to write a letter like this one.

http://www.visionforumministries.org/issues/family/my_fathers_daughter.aspx

Husband and wife

Posted: February 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Check out this insightful post on marriage by Ray Ortlund on the Gospel Coalition Blog:

Husband and wife

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They Call Us “Daddy”

While my title at Trinity Baptist Church is Pastor to Families with Students, my title to my boys, Will (3) and Jackson (1), is “Daddy.”  I love the sound of pitter pattering feet, the feel of my baby’s face squished against my neck and the sight of little boys’ eyes lighting up when I come home from a long day’s work. Bro. Jeff Summers and his wife, Carol Ann, have 3 beautiful children, Zach (15), Cob (14), and Katie Jo (10). I have the privilege of being Student Pastor to his two boys, and I see how his children love their Daddy. While I believe that Jeff is one of the best children’s pastors in America, he’s even a better father.  We both love what we do professionally, but one of the most important roles that God has given us and one that we cherish most is the privilege of being parents. Before we are pastors to anyone’s family or anyone else’s children, Bro. Jeff and I are first and foremost fathers and husbands in our own homes. If we neglect to lead there, our ministries are a joke.  It is interesting to note that in the passages of Scripture that lay out the qualifications for being a pastor, Titus 1:5-9 and 1 Timothy 3:1-7, both include descriptions of a man who leads his family well.

1 Tim. 3:4-5 describes a pastor as (among other things):

“4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);”

            Pretty clear, huh? We cannot be pastors that call our parents and church households to do something that we are not doing ourselves.  We must be disciplining, training, and teaching our own children. If we are not attempting to lead our family in worship, something is wrong. If I am not leading my wife spiritually, how can I call other husbands to do so? We are striving to do this with you. We must lead our own households before we lead, encourage, and equip you in this endeavor. Please know that we do not seek to equip you as pastors/parents with all of the answers, nor are we perfect in our parental leadership. However, by the grace of God, we are trying to obey the Scriptural mandate to raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and claiming grace where we fail. Therefore, one of the most important questions that can be asked of us as we lead TBC in this ministry is:

  •  By what authority do we attempt to lead families in the discipleship of their children?

Not from our Experience

This is a very fair question to two pastors that are imperfect fathers and to a student pastor that has never raised a teen.  Praise the Lord for all of us that Bro. Jeff is raising three children, two of which are teens. He is a great Dad and faithfully has led his family for years. I am a relatively new dad of two toddlers, attempting to raise boys.  While we have varying degrees of experience, neither of us has perfected parenting or family discipleship. Likewise, neither of us has experienced every situation or challenge of parenting. While our experience is not unimportant, it is not our ultimate authority.

 Not from our Perfection

We are also learning to lead our families. We understand the highs and lows of parenthood.  We can empathize with the parents that come in exhausted from work and the thought of a family devotion seems a bit daunting. Jeff and I understand what it feels like to struggle with how to best discipline a disobedient child. We can relate if you have a desire to disciple your children, but you don’t know where to begin.  Neither of us, our families or our children are perfect. We are two Dads, with amazing, godly wives that are trying to be obedient to Scripture and lead our families.

Our Ultimate Authority 

In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul writes:

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

In 2 Peter 1:3, we see that through our relationship with Jesus Christ and His Word, we have been given everything that we need for life and godliness. A statement that I have heard said that always makes me want to cringe is “we were given children, but they didn’t come with instruction manuals.” I know what people mean when they say that, but it is flawed.  If you are a follower of Christ and believe that the Word of God is your ultimate authority and guide, then God has given you an instruction manual on how to raise your children.  Our goal as Pastors is to help you mine the riches of Scripture and to challenge you to apply the truths of His Word to your family dynamic.  We are calling you to take personal responsibility for the leadership of your family and the discipleship of your children, but we are going to encourage and equip you as you seek to do this.  Bro. Jeff and I do not lead this ministry because of our perfection as fathers or merely by our experience, we do so on the authority of God’s Word.

Passionate Mission

Posted: February 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

Mission for Children and Student Ministries:

Trinity Baptist Church Family Ministry exists to equip, encourage, and challenge families and the church community in raising up generations of passionate disciples of Jesus Christ.

Passion: a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything; the object of such a fondness or desire; an outburst of strong emotion or feeling; strong love…

Our mission as a church, and as parents, is to raise up children who are passionate for the Lord and His honor! How do we raise up generations after us with a passion to follow Christ?

Going after our children’s hearts is the answer. The Lord’s means of doing this is primarily through us as parents. It is not enough to change behavior, or have outwardly good kids who will behave when around us, but when on their own they have no thought of God or their accountability to Him. We must teach them the Word of God over and over again, and show them the gospel of grace repeatedly throughout their lives. How do we do this?

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 is a great passage of scripture to memorize, learn, and apply to our lives.

 1.  We go after their hearts by modeling the gospel (Deuteronomy 6:5-6)    If we want our children to be passionate for Jesus and follow Him with extravagance, then we must have passionate hearts for our Savior.  We will obey Him with extravagance and enthusiasm.

2.  Teach the gospel every day both formally in scheduled times of family worship, and informally when life happens.  Teaching kids about our wonderful Savior and the truth of His Word happens in the car, the kitchen, and ball fields of our lives. It is “on-the-go” teaching. It is teaching that happens when siblings are at each other’s throats over a toy. It is teaching that we don’t and can’t always plan, but we must be ready and prepared to teach.

3.  Center our home on the gospel.  I remember spending summers with my grandparents on their farm in South Georgia. To me it was the closest thing to heaven on earth. I recall my grandmother talking to me about Jesus every chance she got. At bedtime, we read the scriptures and prayed together. She didn’t back off from sternly correcting me when I was being silly with my prayers. I remember standing by her in that little country church singing hymns (I can still hear her singing now), and talking to me about the lesson that was taught. I know she was not a perfect woman, nor did she have a perfect home, but she was a woman who centered her home on Christ. It’s not about having a perfect home, but a home centered on the gospel of Christ. Life happens at home; how our kids learn how to handle conflict at home is how they will handle conflict when they are adults. The gospel must be right in the middle of our life!

Our children will catch the things we are enthusiastic or passionate about. Moms and Dads, it’s got to start with us, and our hearts (Deut.6:5-6). We must be passionate for our Lord. Let’s be extravagant with our lives for Him.

AWESOME Parent RESOURCE!!!

I am so excited about another awesome equipping tool for our parents to communicate God’s Word to our children. Tim Wyatt, our Kids Worship leader on Sunday mornings, is posting what is being taught in Kids Worship each week, along with upcoming series. Please use these postings as a way to reinforce these Biblical truths during the week. Its another resource for your children to hear from the most influential people in their lives: Mom and Dad!

I thank God for Tim. He has a passion for Christ and the children he teaches each week. I encourage you to visit and participate with your child in kids worship. You will find kids worshipping our Savior, and the Word of God being taught with passion!

Where can you find this GREAT info and help?  You can find his blog in our links section(Trinity Kids Worship) or you can go to http://1031zone.blogspot.com.

Thank you Tim for an awesome site!! And for having a passion for our Lord.

Posted: February 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

Faithful to Raise Godly Offspring…Who is Responsible?

 In Malachi, God refused to accept the offerings of His people. Why? Because of the condition of their families! Husbands and wives were divorcing and being faithless to one another. God is speaking to His people about the condition of the family! With this as context, the Lord states His intentions for marriage and the family in Malachi 2:15:

 “Did He not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.”

The Lord seeks godly offspring. He created the family (Genesis 1-2) as the place in which children would grow to be nurtured in the ways of the Lord. The family is the primary environment in which God intends to raise godly offspring.

The simple question is this:  Who are the ones primarily responsible to raise up godly offspring?

There is only one biblical answer which emphatically places this great task on the parents, and fathers in particular. Here are just a few verses regarding God’s emphasis on parents as the primary teachers of children.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Exodus 10:2

Exodus 12:26-28 speaks of explaining to your children when they ask about the symbols of the faith (the Passover in context).

 “And teach them (the statutes of the law) to your children and your grandchildren…and that they may teach their children so.” (Deuteronomy 4:9-10)

 “You shall teach them (God’s words) to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 11:19)

 “He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children; that the generation to come might know them, the children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children.” (Psalm 78:5-6)

 Isaiah 38:19

 “Fathers…bring them up (children) in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4)

 2 Timothy 1:5 – Timothy was discipled in the Word in the absence of a saved Father. His mother and grandmother taught Him the Word of God.

However, this has not been the case in the past, nor I would add in the present Christian church. Far too often, we (the church and parents) have relied on Sunday School, children and youth ministries, and “professionals” in the church as substitutes for the home training of our children. 

The Historical and Current State of the Problem:

1)      Parents, and specifically fathers, have become disengaged from the task of discipling their children.

2)      Most churches have encouraged this by the belief that all discipleship has to take place in the church building two days a week, and that teachers and ministries in the church can do a better job of training our children.

 However One of the Tragic Effects of this is noted below:

“Barna reports that one of every two teenagers abandons  the church during college…61% of today’s young adults – had been churched at one point during their teen years but they are now spiritually disengaged…”  – Fowler, Raising a Modern Day Joseph. 27

This is shocking to me? Is it to you?

What are we intending to do:

Our children and student ministries are taking steps to follow the biblical truth that parents are the primary teachers/disciplers of their children. The children and student ministries are here to equip the saints (parents) to do the work of the ministry (their children).  We want to inform, involve, and equip parents to be the primary teachers of their children. The church is obviously an integral part of this process of discipleship, but we must place the focus on parents.

We will be taking steps to communicate these important truths from Scripture, and planning ways we can best equip our parents and families.  This blog is but one way we can provide helpful resources and information to parents at Trinity. We hope that you make use of it, and please send your questions and comments because we want this to be one of the ways we can interact. Brad and I pray that this blog will be helpful as we together encourage and challenge one another to be the parents God calls us to be as we raise our children to know Him.

In coming blogs, both Brad and I will be talking about the direction and the core values of our ministry, along with providing resources and links to help you.

Why ChurcHome Central?

Posted: February 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

ChurcHome Central is a blog intended to help inform, equip, encourage, and be a resource for parents, grandparents, and teachers of Trinity Baptist Church.  The children and student ministries exist to equip parents, as the primary teachers of children, and the church as partners in raising up generations who will be passionate disciples of Jesus Christ.  Brad Walker and Jeff Summers, as c0-contributers hope this blog will be helpful to you as we strive to be the parents God intends for us to be. We hope that you will use this blog as a resource, to ask questions, and offer comments. We enjoy the interaction with all of our parents and leaders.