In nearly ever church I’ve attended, I have noticed the alarming problem of faith being lost from one generation to the next. Children raised by godly parents seem to have no true concept of faith on their own, missing the relationship that seemed so vibrant in their parents. What could possibly have gone wrong?
The answer is discipleship – or, rather, a lack thereof. Parents often live unaware of the need to disciple their children at home. Instead, they entrust their children to programs of the church. Regardless of the inherent success of those programs, they are only intended to be reinforcements of what is taught on a daily basis in the home. If nothing is taught at home, true discipleship is lacking.
Trained in the Fear of God, edited by Randy Stinson and Timothy Paul Jones, is a collection of thoughts from a variety of authors who are concerned about the lack of family discipleship.
The target audience for Trained in the Fear of God is church leadership. The goal is to educate and equip church leaders with the foundational resources necessary to equip families to disciple in their own homes. But, I can see this book being equally useful in the hands of any church member. One family living out discipleship in their own home could have an incredible impact on other families in the church.
Trained in the Fear of God is divided into three parts.
- Part one covers the Biblical and theological framework for in-home discipleship, laying the ground work for why it is essential for parents to train up their own children.
- Part two deals with family discipleship in the historical context, moving through church history to show where discipleship has and has not been evident.
- Part three gives practical thoughts and suggestions for implementing family discipleship training in the home, including dealing with singles and with children from non-Christian homes.
One important aspect about Trained in the Fear of God is that it is not a step-by-step guide to a new program for the church to implement. While that can be considered a weakness of the book because it can leave a church leader unsure of what steps to take to make changes in his own church, I also see this as the book’s greatest strength. The authors are not claiming to have all the answers and the perfect steps to follow to raise godly children. Instead, they acknowledge that every church is different, but the need for family discipleship is a constant that supersedes all other differences.
I see this book as a great resource for motivating the establishment of family discipleship.
This book was sent to me by Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review.