Jay & Hannah Brown are IBMGlobal missionaries headed to work in Panama, Central America. Jay has been sharing his vision for the ministry that God is sending them to. If you are looking to invest in missions in Central America, you might consider partnering with the Browns. You can read more of Jay's thoughts on his blog here.
Parenthood and Discipleship?
Approximately 3 months from tomorrow, we will get to meet our little one, Lucas James! Each day we await his arrival, our anticipation grows even more! Aside from preparing with the proper necessities of clothes, diapers, etc., we have also been trying to prepare our hearts as well.
Hannah and I have been reading through and studying with the workbook of Shepherding a Child's Heart. The basic gist of the book is a call for parents to "shepherd the hearts" of their children to the Lord Jesus.
In a recent chapter, we read about the influential factors in a child's life i.e. family structure, family history, spiritual foundation. We have the opportunity as parents to leave a lasting spiritual influence in the lives of our children! God has given us the task of discipling the souls under our roof and impacting their lives for eternity.
So, what do parenthood and discipleship have to do with one another? Well, if you ask me, I believe they are almost the same thing! What we have is an opportunity to influence others and give them an example to follow as we point to the Great Discipler, the Lord Jesus.
Discipleship in Vision
In the last post, we began do delve into our mission; the individual components of our ministry plan. The first part of our mission, servant leadership, was examined last week. You can read about that here.
How does discipleship fit into our vision? In our vision of facilitating a church planting movement in Panama, an important component of our ministry plan is the influencing of individual lives for eternity. It also involves the way we live our lives; giving others an example to follow.
Example to Follow
Paul said, "...be ye followers of me." I Cor. 4:16 "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." I Cor. 11:1 "Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you." Phil. 4:9
As we consider discipleship to be leaving an example for others to follow and influencing lives for eternity, let's look at some things that are important to our vision for Panama.
We desire to leave an example for believers to lead:
A Scripturally-sufficient life: This is a life that is completely founded upon the Word of God. By our example and teaching, we desire to cultivate a love for God's Word and the understanding that it stands far above all else. For us in America, this is often fleshed out as "Scriptural Truth over Psychology." For the Third World citizen, this could very well be fleshed out as "Scriptural Truth over Indigenous Spirit Beliefs." What is important is the heart assuring belief and trust in the sufficiency of Scripture
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." Col. 2:8
A Biblically-based life: A Christian ought to view his home, life, and world through a "Biblical lense." Our desire would be to display an example of a Biblical Worldview which is founded upon the unchanging truths of Scripture.
"O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day." Psalm 119:97
A Great Commission life: Our desire is to set an example of one whose eyes are always looking to the fields around us that are "white unto harvest." We want to cultivate within people are desire to branch outside the walls of their church go forth into those white harvest fields. A Great Commission life is one that is lived in submission to Christ's command to go forth and "make disciples."
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matthew 28:19-20