Moses, Jesus, & Family Discipleship

As I was considering what to write about this week, I was inspired by Pastor Dan’s blog post from a few weeks ago (Youth Group and the Kingdom of God). He wrote about his philosophy and vision for our youth group. His excellent post (you should definitely go read it) prompted me to realize that we haven’t spoken about our hearts for family ministries for this school year. So, I decided that I would copy Pastor Dan and share with you what we are hoping to see in our families this year! 
Roughly three years ago, just before the pandemic began, I preached on Deuteronomy 4:4-12. If you need a refresher on what this passage says, you can click HERE and give it a read. In this passage, Israel is on the verge of finally entering the Promised Land after 40 years of wandering. Moses’ death is imminent because he will not enter the Land. He is giving a series of final speeches to the people and here we find him reminding the people of two vitally important realities. First, they serve one God whom they are to love with everything. Second, they are to impart this to their children. 
Israel is the single monotheistic society in the Ancient Near East and they are entering a land that is populated by polytheistic societies. This sets them apart. It makes them unique because they serve the one, true God who has made an everlasting covenant with them. Moses reminds them of this fact before they enter Canaan and begin to interact with these other people groups. He wants them to keep their set apartness at the front of their mind.
In addition to dedicating themselves to the worship of the one, true God, Moses tells Israel to tell their children about YHWH. Not only to tell them but to weave him into every aspect of their daily life. They are to teach their children the stories of YHWH when they are walking, eating, lying down, and getting up. YHWH is to be integrated deeply into every part of their life. He is to be a natural conversation. The reason for this is so that when Israel enters the Land and they begin to receive the blessings of the Land, God wants them to remember and worship, not to forget and be drawn into polytheistic idolatry. 
This message was from Moses to the people of Israel. It is a specific call to a specific people. However, it is something to which we are called today. As parents, we are the primary disciple makers in our home. In Matthew 6:16-20 we are told to go out into all the world and make disciples. For those of us who are parents, this command begins in our homes. Our children are the ones to whom we are called first when it comes to disciple making. We are the ones who set the example of what it looks like to live a life characterized by the worship of God. This can be a heavy call sometimes. But it is also an incredible joy. 
Our desire as a family ministries team this year is to come alongside you as you are on this parenting and disciple-making journey. We want to love and teach your children. But even more than that, we want to love and support you as you are seeking to disciple your children. We want to provide you with resources, opportunities, a listening ear, and a supportive hug. Parenting is a joyful, messy, funny, and often overwhelming journey. We want you to know that we love you! We love your kids! We want to help you show them who Jesus is. So, if you’re reading this and you feel like you’re drowning or don’t know where to start, please reach out to me, Jenn, or Pastor Dan. We’re here to listen and to help.

Josh Cervone