Thursday, October 22, 2009

Discipling Children: Whose Job Is It Anyway?

A couple of quotes from the book Perspectives on Family Ministry: Three Views, edited by Timothy Paul Jones:
"The idea that any age-focused ministry possesses the capacity or principal responsibility to lead students toward spiritual maturity represents a radical departure not only from the teachings of Scripture but also from centuries of Christian expectation and practice. Yet that seems to be precisely the perspective of many contemporary Christian parents and churches. The discipleship of children is perceived to be the task of the church's programs, not of the children's parents." (p. 22, italics added)

"From the perspective of too many parents, schoolteachers are responsible to grow their children's minds, coaches are employed to train their bodies, and specialized ministers at church ought to develop their souls. When it comes to schooling and coaching, these perspectives may or may not be particularly problematic. When it comes to Christian formation, however, this perspective faces a single critical snag: God specifically calls believing parents to the task of training their children in the Christian faith. This is one task that, from the persepective of Scripture, parents simply cannot hire someone else to do." (p. 23, italics added)

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