In a recent blog post, Timothy Paul Jones reflects on the often inefficient nature of family discipleship and how church leaders can embrace inefficiency for sake of the gospel and the good of their people.
I saw something beautiful the other day while walking down Breckenridge Lane. In a front yard not far from my home, a young mother was removing a layer of leftover leaves from the fall in preparation for planting spring flowers—an ordinary activity in the middle of an ordinary day.
What was extraordinary about this scene was what I saw beside this young woman.
A tow-haired boy, perhaps three or four years old, was attempting to assist her. His rake was man-sized, his movements were far from efficient, and he was leaving more leaves than he moved. Yet, as I passed this mother and child, I heard no criticisms. Instead, I heard a constant stream of encouragement: “Daddy will be so proud of your hard work! Can you try to get those leaves over there? You know, honey, it might work better if you turned the rake over.”
If this woman’s sole goal for the afternoon was leaf removal, her best bet would have been to plop her preschooler in front of a television to watch professionally-produced children’s programs that pretend to equip children with skills for life while leaching away their capacity for meaningful relationships. If this mother had chosen this option, she could have pursued the goal of planting spring flowers far more efficiently.
Jones connects his brief encounter with this mother and child to how church leaders should conceive of their responsibility to equip parents to disciple their children.
So what does all of this have to do with church leadership?
Simply this: If you’re a church leader trying to train parents to embrace their role as disciple-makers in their children’s lives, you are likely to wonder at some point, “Wouldn’t it be more efficient for hired professionals to disciple children through church programs instead of expecting parents to participate in this process? No matter how many times I encourage and equip the moms and dads, some of them don’t even seem to be trying! Even the ones that try don’t always do a good job. Why constantly acknowledge the parents as primary disciple-makers when so many of them do it so poorly? This is so inefficient!”
You can read whole article here.