Thursday, July 12, 2007

Helping Parents

One of the important things we must do in pastoral ministry is to encourage gospel-driven parenting. Churches know that families around us are in shambles, and people are looking for help. Sadly, though, people are too often looking for a magic silver bullet, “5 Steps to Change Everything.” What is needed, and what we must provide, is the demonstration of how the gospel speaks to and must shape all areas of life. But again, people too often think of the gospel simply as what you believe to be saved. This is the result of defective teaching over the years. The whole of our pastoral labors is showing ourselves and our people how the gospel is to shape everything we do. Much could be said here, but for now let me just mention two resources.

First, I have recently commented at my blog on Children’s literature on a book entitled Hints for Parentswhich embodies this gospel oriented approach. You can see the comments here and here.

Second, one summer at our church we took our Wednesday nights to watch the Shepherding Your Child’s Heart video series and to discuss it (the book is also excellent). All our adults are together on Wednesday nights in the summer so we showed it to the whole group. Some in that group have children, some have children who are grown and gone, some have never had children and quite a few were unmarried. However, we (pastors) made the point that if we were really to engage in one another’s lives we all needed to think through an issue like this whether we applied it as a parent, grandparent, nursery worker, future parent or an encourager to parents. The material is excellent, and I would highly recommend it. Our experience as a community was also excellent and I would commend this idea to you as well.


Anonymous said...

You've spoken some great truth here Ray. Too often we as pastors have led people to think that the gospel is only about getting in the family rather than the journey through until we see the gospel--Jesus himself--before us. Also, I've heard nothing but good things about "Shepherding a Child's Heart."
Kevin L. Howard

Ray Van Neste said...

Thanks for stopping by.