Parenting With A Purpose classes offer tribe-building among our families with shared values and intentionality. The 90-minute classes include a parenting hot-topic, some dessert, discussion time, and no judgment. We started in 2018 with Sharing Your Faith With Your Family. As our families are navigating COVID-world, there is an even greater need to equip parents to be disciple-making-disciples. 

The goal of the evening was to give research and personal testimonies to the resilient disciples who continued to remain in Christian community and a growing relationship with Jesus through the remarkable moments of life at all stages and in all ages. There is more than enough information about children who left the faith or left the church once they aged into their teens or twenties. I wanted to share the remarkable stories of those who remained faithful to grow in their relationships with God and in Christian community. These exiles are the resilient disciples who lived, are living, in the tension of culture and have continued to love Jesus and His people through it all.

A person is described as resilient who is able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. A resilient disciple is a follower of Jesus who remains active in Christian community and Christian service when culture and geography would encourage them otherwise. The biblical prophets write throughout the scriptures of the remnant of God’s people who sought to live faithfully loving God for the rest of their lives no matter what their circumstances. We tell the stories of these brave few with wonder and admiration. There is not a Christian parent or grandparent who doesn’t want that for their own children, but what does it take for us to grow those muscles in our kids? What really matters, over time?

Major info to share:

Three practices of soul training which equip disciples to make the greatest strides in their faith in Jesus:
– Bible Reading
– Generosity
– Service

The #1, by far, best predictor of spiritual health for young adults is regularly reading the Bible as a child.

Screens disciple.

That which dictates our schedules, finances, and conversations is a family liturgy. The local church can provide the resources to equip families so that whatever they do, they can do all of life to the glory of God.

What does a resilient disciple look like?
(1) Meaningful relationship with Jesus: through community and holy habits they find JOY in Jesus. Bible Reading & Prayer
(2) Cultural discernment: they participate in a robust learning community where they can think and talk of the scriptures.
Share testimony and stories of God’s faithfulness
(3) Meaningful intergenerational relationships with Jesus-loving people: the best way for kids to learn to love Jesus is to spend time with people who love Jesus.
Active in community
(4) Vocational Disciples: a theology of work, activity, leisure, time, learning/education
Calling to honor and please the Lord
(5) Countercultural Mission: a resolve to live differently than culture though a full-on participant in culture as the light of Christ.

In this season where children are part of the Body of Christ, though not together or included in many local churches, they are indeed exiles. This research is a perfect starting point to determine priorities in the local church’s partnership with parents/grandparents to disciple their disciples. Lord, let me be found faithful to equip my families to have a robust, vibrant, joyful faith that will fuel how they nurture their children into resilient disciples: to love Jesus their whole lives for the rest of their lives.

“We want to welcome you to the resilient church of 2050…the church that has been loving Jesus for all of their lives.” Valerie Bell, from Resilient: Child Discipleship and the Fearless Future of the Church, pg 205