There are piles and piles of camping and hiking gear in our basement. Each piece of equipment reflects a specific need for the type of environment we face when we head out into the wilderness. Over the years, we provided our children with instruction on how to use each piece properly. But imagine if we had simply stopped there and never actually took them out camping and hiking. Or what if we took them out into the wilderness and they noticed that dad and mom seemed totally disinterested or spent the whole time grumbling and complaining? Would that make them more or less likely to become avid and skillful campers?
Proper instruction and joyful modeling. Both are essential, and even more so as we seek to pass on to our children the most important realities in the universe.
The surest way to teach children to apply God’s truth to all of life’s circumstances is to model it for them. Parenting [and teaching] that exhibits a vital relationship with God in all the joys and storms of life is irresistible to children and young people. Conversely, the surest way to harden our children’s hearts to God and his ways is “having the form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Tim. 3:5).
Our homes are the laboratory of life for our children. They will believe that Christian faith is the genuine article if we know God—not just know about God. As children grow to young adulthood in our churches, they are searching desperately for a faith that has the warmth and vitality of close relationship with the living God, and the sure footing of sound doctrine that will stand the storms of life. Relationship with God is the passionate assurance that the Sovereign God of the Bible can be known by his people in all the experiences of life. Our relationship with God will beckon our children to draw near to him as their source of comfort and rest.
(Tedd and Margy Tripp, Instructing a Child’s Heart, copyright©2008, page 29)
I love this quote! It encapsulates so much of what I long to happen in our churches and homes. In a nutshell it describes the meaning and richness of true Christian discipleship. Discipleship involves teaching an essential core of doctrine to our children and then modeling “faith that has the warmth and vitality of close relationship with the living God” for a lifetime through all kinds of circumstances.
Summer is a great time for churches and parents to carefully ponder these things. Is true discipleship being fostered in your classrooms and homes? Do the resources being used provide deep and rich doctrine? Do they also engage the hearts of the students and call upon them to respond in obedience to Jesus? Are teachers and parents exhibiting a warm and vital relationship with God? How are they being inspired and equipped?
This is why Truth78 strives to be “discipleship-oriented” in all of our teaching and training resources.
We want the next generations to be serious, passionate, joyful disciples of Christ, who are fully equipped and prepared to deny themselves, take up their cross, and daily follow Jesus. Furthermore, we want them to eagerly embrace the work of the Great Commission and live as Christ’s witnesses, shining the light of the gospel so that the lost might be saved. Therefore, our resources emphasize a discipleship orientation that fosters lifelong instruction in and practice of the Christian life. We aim to accomplish this through the following:
- Developing a carefully designed scope and sequence of teaching content that progressively moves children and youth toward greater spiritual growth.
- Using a relational, interactive teaching style in which the evidences of Christian discipleship are clearly communicated, visibly demonstrated, and faithfully encouraged.
- Intentionally providing resources and training for the home that promote and equip parents for their responsibility in discipling their children.
You can learn more by going to our Mission page and watching the short video “A Vision for the Discipleship of the Next Generation.”