Disciple Hour: The Family at Church: How Parents are Tour Guides for Joy (Week 1)

The Family at Church: How Parents are Tour Guides for Joy (Week 1)

Day 1: Tour Guides for Everlasting Joy

Deuteronomy 6:4–7 (ESV)

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

The author Scott Brown tells us the most important place you will ever take your children is the local church.

His goal is to maximize the sweetness and power of that experience.

He goes on to write that as members of a local church, you are sitting on a golden opportunity.  God has designed the church to help parents show their children the riches of Jesus Christ.

Good Shepherds-

Parents are to be the shepherds of their children.  Lead them to green pastures and the purest water.  As good shepherds, parents are called to take the lead, you will think, pray, strategize, schedule and act.

Show your children the importance and the beauty of the local church.

What are ways you can do this?  How can you be a tour guide to your children of the treasures of the Gospel found within the church?

The Most Pressing Need-

Because we need to know God and because we need to deal with our sin, there is nothing a family can do that’s more important than hearing the Gospel and meeting together in the local church.

Good parents will seek to evangelize their children.  We can pray that our children would be saved.

Luke 19:9 (ESV)

And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.

Take Them-

Take your children into the delights of experiencing singing, praying, learning and responding.  Don’t be passive in this but active.  Fathers, take your children into the local church and show them the beauty.

The author lists many different names for the Church on page 30. 

Our author tells us to take them actively into the church setting in an active way…How do we do that?

A.  Live a lifestyle which makes church the central part of your life.

B.  Children need you to be a good tour guide.  Engage with your children.  Encourage them as they participate.  Explain to them what is happening.  Interpret meaning to them.  Help them understand why we do what we do.

Day 2: Your Golden Opportunity

Matthew 9:37–38 (ESV)

37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Your family is sitting on a gold mine that is the local church.  Each element of local church life presents varicolored ways to preach the Gospel to your children.

The author tells us that he wants to mobilize parents to walk their children through the treasure fields of the Church of God.

A.  Maximize the preaching of the Gospel

B.  Learn the great deeds of God

C.  Explain the depths of the Gospel to your children

A Gift

The Local church is a divine gift designed to assist you in declaring the glory of God to your children.

Take full advantage of what is happening in your local church.  Each element of church life…

Lord’s Day Disciple Hour, Worship Service… Wed night Bible studies…Discipleship School…fellowships…Lord’s Supper…special services.

Ephesians 6:4 (ESV)

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

The Danger in Missing the Opportunity

Many today who attend local churches do often miss opportunities.  It’s sad to think of, but most have a poor understanding of the Gospel.  Our author tells us that Biblical and theological illiteracy is rampant in churches.

The danger is these people do not have much at all to pass on to their children.

Terminal Immaturity

One reason that so many do not have a strong understanding of God’s Word, a biblical worldview, or even the ability think through issues from a biblical perspective is families have not prioritized the local church.  They have made the local church a sideline.

Day 3:  The Church Needs Strong Families

2 Timothy 3:14–15 (ESV)

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Be strong and courageous…

Joshua 1:7 (ESV)

Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.

Strength comes from knowing and obeying God’s Word. 

This is exactly how strong families are grown.  Strong families make strong churches.

A family is the seminary of Church and State, and if children be not well principled there, all miscarrieth– Thomas Manton.

We must teach children the Word of God and show them how to obey it.

The family is like a feeder stream that flows into a river.  Solid strong families will produce a strong and faithful church.

2 Timothy 1:5 (ESV)

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.

Teach your children the Bible and what obedience looks like…

Luke 15:1–7 (ESV)

15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

What truths are present?

What life lessons are present?

Is there anything you did not expect?

11 Ways the family ought to be the nursery for the Church:

1. Sound doctrine established- Truths taught and the Gospel magnified.

2. Wives are washed with the water of the Word.  Husbands are to help teach their wives.

3. Children are disciplined and trained.

4. Whole families hear the Gospel…multigenerational

5. Where godly seed is planted.

6. The curse of God is held off. 

Malachi 4:5–6 (ESV)

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

7. Husbands and wives stand together as heirs of the grace of life.

8. Iniquity is held back for generations to come.

Exodus 20:5–6 (ESV)

You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

9. Unity in marriage.  Where children learn that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

10. Families give the church places to meet as they practice hospitality.

11. Elders are prepared and qualified.

We need strong families in order to be a strong Church.

Hard discussion questions page 41.

Day 4: Love the Church

Psalm 26:8 (ESV)

O Lord, I love the habitation of your house

and the place where your glory dwells.

The Church is one of the places where God displays His glory…
Show me Your glory and God showed Moses His goodness.  Parents, show your children the goodness of God and then pray, God reveal Your goodness to my children.

How important is the Church?

God has always gathered His people together in local churches.  There we worship Him and are discipled together.

He saves us then gathers us.  He sanctifies us together, not isolated from one another.

The Center of History

The storyline of the Bible is centered on the local churches.  As the Apostles write their letters, they are writing to Churches.  Only when they write to individuals, they are teaching them how to be better pastors within the churches.

Make the center of history the center of your family.

Are you zealously devoted to a local church?

How Do You Know the Importance of a Thing?

You can determine the importance of something by seeing who loves it and at what cost they are willing to go to keep it.

Jesus tells us the local church is one of ultimate importance because He shed His own blood to purchase her…

Acts 20:28 (ESV)

28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

How to Think About the Church

We are called to think about the church the way Christ does; to love the Church the way Jesus does.

Four Ways Christ Loves the Church

1.  He gave His life for the Church.  He is working to purify the Church so He can present her to Himself pure and spotless.

Ephesians 5:26–27 (ESV)

26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Question 46

2.  Christ identifies with His Church

Acts 9:4–5 (ESV)

And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

We can say we love Jesus, but how we treat the Church is how we are treating Jesus.

3.  Jesus is Building His Church

4.  Christ loves His Church because He has a zeal for the Church

Jesus has a great passion for His Church.

Day 5: Show Them the Treasures

Psalm 27:4 (ESV)

One thing have I asked of the Lord,

that will I seek after:

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord

all the days of my life,

to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord

and to inquire in his temple.

Take your children on a treasure hunt.  In order to do that, parents must know what the treasure is and where to find it.  If you know these things, you can help your children find the treasure.

This knowledge will help you engage them.

Psalm 27:4 (ESV)

One thing have I asked of the Lord,

that will I seek after:

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord

all the days of my life,

to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord

and to inquire in his temple.

The Most Important Things

Who is Present…the most important person, Jesus Christ.

Jesus is present as we worship.  He is God with us.  He participates as we worship Him.

Life-Giving Activities

Show your children the wonders of the Bible and how wonderful it is to read Scripture.

When something amazes you, let your children also see and wonder.

Help your children savor the prayers and songs we sing.  Explain what the prayer means and why its needed.  Help them to understand why we sing and what the songs mean.

Help them understand the meaning of the Lord’s Supper.

Seize the Lord’s Day!!

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