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20 Nuggets from "Family and Discipleship Ministry" | C11

The content below is taken from Dr. Timothy Paul Jones's “Family and Discipleship Ministry” lectures at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Summer 2020).

1. “A disciple is an apprentice who participates in life with his master and who patterns his life after the life of his master. A believer is a disciple, and a disciple is an apprentice…and all of us are disciples of Jesus Christ.” -Timothy Paul Jones

2. “Believers are not in Christ spatially the ways coins are in a piggy bank, but rather spherically, that is, ‘in the sphere of Christ’s control.’. . . Those who are in Christ act out Christ’s obedient sonship, attesting to his death and resurrection in every scene they play” -Kevin Vanhoozer

3. “Ultimately, we are what we love and desire . . . and the way that we shape our loves and our desires is through the liturgies of our lives . . . meaningful practices that we repeat over and over.” -James K. A. Smith

4. “When there is both proclamation of the Word AND community…conviction leads to confession and repentance.” -Brad House on the importance of small groups

5. The family is the means that His truth is passed down from generation to generation. The little family rehearses what God is doing in His big family.

6. “It is the chief duty of the father of a family to bestow more and greater and more constant care upon his child’s soul than even upon his own body . . . for his body is but his own, but the child’s soul is a precious jewel that God has entrusted to His keeping.” -Martin Luther

7. Seen from the perspective of God’s creation, every child is a gift. Seen from the perspective of humanity’s fall, every child is a sinner. Seen from the perspective of Christ’s redemption, every child needs a Savior. Seen from the perspective on God’s new creation, every child is forever . . . Identity theft occurs when the culture gives an identity to our children that God has not intended.

8. [We have] calendars that are full but souls that are empty . . . exhausted . . . another delusion that what we do determines our value . . . we struggle to receive the Gospel because we are placing all of our stock in what we do and how we perform instead of what Christ has done . . . happiness and success aren’t bad things. They can be wonderful things. But they make terrible goals and plans and purposes for life. We end up exhausted when we do this . . . and in the process we lose the time that is necessary to invest in them in the way that God has called us to do. What would my calendar look like if God’s story shaped everything that I did?

9. The parents in our churches need to be told about their calling . . . to be trained to fulfill their calling . . . and to prioritize their time to fulfill this calling. The Great Commission is a commission for parents . . . Aim the parent at discipling their children through (1) faith talks (family worship), (2) faith walks (unplanned moments when an ordinary event is connected to the extraordinary glory of God), and (3) faith processes (weekly habits, milestones, or rites of passage ceremonies).

10. There are three primary roles of a parent: (1) authority in childhood, (2) interpreter in early adolescence, (3) guide in later adolescence.

11. “We all long for [Eden], and we are constantly glimpsing it: our whole nature is still soaked with the sense of exile.” -J. R. R. Tolkien

12. Definition of Family Discipleship: Leading your family to participate in the life of the Triune God through Jesus Christ, resulting in growth in knowledge of God’s Word and in imitation of God’s way through the power of God’s Spirit.

13. “Each of you fathers and mothers, just as we see artists fashioning their paintings and statues with great precision, so we must care for these wondrous statues, our children…Like the creators of statues, give all your leisure time to fashioning these statues…make them athletes for Christ” -John Chrysostom

14. “The best thing in married life . . . is the fact that God gives us children and commands us to train them to serve him. To do this is the noblest and most precious work on earth, because nothing may be done which pleases God more than saving souls.” -Martin Luther

15. “Every Christian family ought to be as it were a little church, consecrated to Christ, and wholly influenced and governed by his rules. And family education and order are some of the chief means of grace . . . If these are duly maintained, all the means of grace will be likely to prosper and be successful.” -Jonathan Edwards

16. In the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution, a new social ideal emerged in Western society in which the workplace was a public sphere and the home became a domestic refuge from the world. The negative is that parents are somewhat removed . . . home became the private cloister.

17. The teenager is a relatively new invention. The word “teenager” officially became a name in the 1940’s. The teenage years became a time in which maximal indulgence and freedom were coupled with minimal responsibilities. The idea is getting into adolescence as quickly as you can and staying there as long as you can (adultolescence). Retirement becomes a time to return to this period of adolescence with a maximum of indulgence and a minimum amount of responsibilities.

18. The church becomes our primary family [when we are born again] . . . Each week should be like a family union.

19. “Never recruit to need . . . always recruit with vision! [The vision is to] show Jesus to kids and families so they grow up to be like him and so that they grow up to be on mission for Him.” -Jared Kennedy

20. Serve and love the people that God has given you. Never become so caught up in wanting to change your church that you neglect to love the people of God who constitute your church. The trust that you need to be able to make changes does not take shape in your strategy meetings or pastoral vision-casting; it grows slowly in hospital rooms and funeral homes and in love shown when it isn’t expected or deserved. Never forget that the people that you lead are the bride of Christ for whom he suffered and died.


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