Core Value # 4: Family Equipping

Posted: March 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

Core Value # 4: Family Equipping:  God has called the church to equip parents to lead their families spiritually.  (Ephesians 4:11-16; Acts 2:42-47)

Ephesians 4:11-16 

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

As aforementioned in our teaching and posts on this blog, we are calling the families of Trinity Baptist Church to rise up and lead our respective families spiritually.  Through Scripture (see previous blog posts), we have tried to demonstrate the responsibility and privilege of parents to raise their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). This responsibility rests primarily on fathers, but where there is no paternal spiritual leadership; mothers and guardians should assume this role.  The goal of this spiritual leadership should be to see the children grow to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, to grow the child to spiritual maturity and to mobilize them to Christian adulthood.  While the family ultimately has the duty to lead them, the church has a responsibility to equip the family to lead.  If we, as a church, merely call families to this responsibility and do not equip them, we have failed as pastors.  As seen in Ephesians 4, pastors and teachers are to equip the saints for the work of the ministry.  The work of ministry partly involves leading one’s family.  This is why in the qualifications of eldership, a pastor’s family life is so important.  In order to lead the congregation in this endeavor, the pastors need to be leading their families as well (1 Timothy 3:1-7). 

In the family equipping model, leaders (i.e. Timothy Paul Jones) describe the Biblical model of Family Discipleship as a river with two banks.  The river is the child and the two banks are the church and the family.  Just as the two banks partnership helps maintain a course and perimeter for the river, so should the partnership of the church and home be for the child. There is a partnership to seek to accomplish the goal of  bringing a child to salvation and spiritual maturity (the results depend upon the Lord).  We believe, the church has a responsibility (seen in Ephesians 4) to assist in this evangelistic and discipleship process.  Therefore, we see our responsibility in three primary areas:

1.  To Challenge—We will seek to keep God’s vision for the family before the people of Trinity Baptist Church and to hold individual families accountable to seeking to be faithful to God’s Word.

2.  To Encourage—No family is perfect and no family has everything figured out (including our staff families).  Our responsibility for encouragement will be manifested by seeking to provide models and resources that inspire and motivate families, and also to point them to Jesus Christ, the One whose blood covers all of our shortcomings. As we fail, we must look to Christ.  The truth of the gospel keeps us both from pride and from despair.

3.  To provide a spiritual greenhouse that fosters family leadership—We desire to provide ministries and events that will encourage family unity and discipleship, not replace it.  We believe that Scripture permits age-segregated ministries for the purpose of spiritual growth at certain times during congregational life.  Also, we hope that an environment of encouragement is produced from the Word of God being taught, true worship being experienced and authentic Christian community being lived out together (Acts 2:42-47).

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