I just returned from an incredible week in Frisco, Texas. I had the honor of attending and speaking at the D6 conference designed to motivate church leaders to think about their ecclesiology in light of Deuteronomy 6:4-9. The Scripture reads as follows:
“Hear O Israel: The Lord our God the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
I watched as 1600 church leaders invaded the Embassy Suites/Frisco convention center to rediscover the ancient path of spiritual formation. For a long time the church has discipled children for the family instead of with the family. Now, because of God’s call back to the original plan found in Dt. 6., 21st century churches are rediscovering family as the primary environment for the development of the next generation of Christ followers. I listened as Darren Whitehead told of Willow Creek’s journey along the ancient path catapulting them toward a gut wrenching conclusion for the church. In God’s plan, according to the Scriptures, the family is Plan A and the church is Plan B when it comes to equipping the next generation.
It is that kind of thinking defining the edge of what I would call a sizable move of God in our generation. Jesus himself is calling the church to disciple and equip parents to be the primary faith influencers in the lives of their children. The church then seeks to partner with the family and provides a plan to connect church and home. In effect the church is rightly practicing Ephesians 4:11-12.
The question becomes HOW? How can the church make a clear shift in its thought and practice as to bolster the ability of parents to train their children spiritually? What has to change? What stays the same?
As part of the D6 conference Kurt Bruner, Jay Strother, and I presented potential answers to the how question. Each model, unique in its own right, is built on D6 principles. As you seek to lead your church to make the shift I implore you to look at the existing models and seek the Lord. I am certain the principles will stay the same but the model may be unique to your ministry context.
Here are a couple of resources I can provide:
Shift: What it Takes to Finally Reach Families Today (Click Here to Order)
www.legacymilestones.com (Click the Church Leaders side for helpful info and free downloads)
Thanks to Ron Hunter, Matt Markins, and the entire team at Randall House for giving us a glimpse of God’s Plan for the church!