Men of Faith: Spiritual Leadership

First Baptist Church of Sulphur Springs hosted a breakfast for dads and grandads on Saturday.  It was a tremendous event with a great turnout and great fellowship.  I shared a bit about being men of faith and spiritual leaders in the home.  Here is a glimpse of what I shared:

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You don’t need to be a pastor, a missionary, or seminary trained.  Yet, you do need spiritual depth of some level.  You can’t pass on what you don’t possess.  Your children need to see you walk by faith.  Here’s how that happens…

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Worship is assigning God ultimate value.  It should spill out into various aspects of your life.

Church: If church is optional to you, it will be optional to your children.  If church is optional to you, it will likely be extremely optional to your children once they leave the home.  Yet, your children should not merely see church attendance as a religious ritual.  Rather, they should see you engage and participate in worship.  Show them that church is meaningful.

Family: When I speak of worship among family, most think of family devotions and family Bible reading.  Yet, let me expand that view a bit.  When a difficulty arises in your family, do your children see you gather the family together and call out to God for help?  When your family experiences victory, do your children see you gather the family and thank God?

Personal:  Do your children know that you devote yourself to holy habits?  Do they know when you pray? Read your Bible?  Seek the Lord? Can they see the results in your words? Actions?

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Your worship should reveal itself in practical, everyday ways.

Church:  When a service opportunity is offered at church, do your children naturally respond, “Are we going to do that, Dad?”  Do they naturally assume that the family will participate because you’ve modeled service in the church?

Family: As dads we often take the role of decision maker, authoritarian, disciplinarian.  Yet, do your children see you serve?  Due to your devotion to Jesus Christ, do your children see you put yourself aside and serve the family?

Personal:  Aside from church and family, do your children see you serve?  It can be easy to serve at church and in the home because we see positive results.  In fact, our service in the church and in the home often benefits us.  Yet, do you children see you serve even when it comes with sacrifice? Do your children see you serve those that don’t look like you, sound like you, live like you?

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Here’s where it gets even more difficult.  I would argue this is where it gets fun.  You need a way to intentionally and personally disciple your kids.  Here’s one method:

Notice:  Keep your eyes open for how God is working in the lives of your children.  Intentionally look for how God has gifted and hardwired your kids.

Name:  Once you’ve noticed how God has gifted your children, be sure to name it.  Tell your kids things like … “God has gifted you with creativity.  I see that in how you create projects and make up song lyrics.”

Nurture:  Once you’ve noticed and named how God has gifted your children, do everything you can to nurture that gift.  Provide them with opportunities to put those gifts to use.  Encourage them.  Support them.  Help bring those gifts to the surface.  This is your job as a spiritual leader.  Where else will they get it?  My kids are 8 and 4 years old.  When they are ready to leave the house at 18, I want them to know how God has gifted them and to have buckets full of experiences of putting those gifts into practice.  I want them to be on the path of walking in the calling of God.

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Apart from Jesus you can do nothing.  Perhaps we know this on a spiritual level.  We need to also know this truth on a parental level.

You must remain in Jesus.

Apart from him you can do nothing.

3 thoughts on “Men of Faith: Spiritual Leadership

  1. As a dad and now grandfather I totally agree with what Pastor Jeff shared in his message at this breakfast. We must notice, name and nurture the gifts of our children. If we do not, we will miss the opportunities to encourage them and possibly never see their gifts develop. Thank you Pastor for publishing the message so we can remember our role in the child’s development process.

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