From Across the Net – “The Deficit of Discipleship: How the American Church Is Off-Mission”

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Regardless of how churches can rephrase and reframe their mission statements, this is the mission: to go and make disciples. The American church is not called to make converts. In fact, to lead people in a prayer without offering them a pathway and companions for the journey is irresponsible. The American church is not called to make leaders. In Jesus’ view, the first would be the least. This doesn’t sound like western leadership. It sounds like discipleship. The American church is not called to make volunteers to staff the weekend services. In fact, to reduce the ministry of the church body to guest service roles is an affront to the New Testament church. The American church is not called to draw crowds. The American church is not called to build buildings. The American church is not called to make money. We are called to make disciples. (You can read more of the article here)

Photo by William White on Unsplash

Can I say this? Volunteering/serving, in a guest services role at church, week after week, is exhausting! And to top it off, having fellow church members treat you like you are “the help” is demoralizing. I get that volunteers are needed to keep the church model we use moving forward. But I’ve also noticed that it is always the same people serving. I often wonder what it would be like to just get up, go to church, and not serve just like everyone else. Yet, I believe in being the hands and feet of Christ even when no one else wants to… but something seems broken with the church model we use.

Get Up And Play With Your Kids

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The Gospel Coalition’s Trevin Wax wrote “4 Principles for Parenting in a World of Video Games“. His article contained some practical advice but featured a tone laced in fear. Zachery Oliver, over at Theology Gaming, wrote a rebuttal titled “Kids and Video Games“. My wife, Tabitha Hall, wrote the following as a response to both articles:

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Model good media behavior in front of your kids.

If you restrict your child’s screen time, then make sure you model that while they are up. Meaning, don’t sit on your recliner and watch sports or play a video game by yourself all day. Turn off the TV. Get up and play with them.

If the rule at your house is no phones at the table, turn your phone on silent and put it away. Want your kids to love to read? Then let them see you reading a book and discuss the book with them. Pick a book to read aloud together with your kids.

Something I believe both Mr. Wax and Mr. Oliver have to remember is that every family’s technology engagement will look different, and no one needs to be judged on their own personal plan. Rather, as I believe Mr. Wax was trying to point out, there needs to be a plan for technology in the home. Not a rigid plan with no flexibility for the child, but a fluid plan that can change with the ebb and flow of the family.

Our family decided to keep technology out of the bedroom. We have a limit on how much screen time our son can consume at one sitting. Twenty minutes is our norm before we encourage that he do something else. Technology is not going to go away, it will just get more influential as time progresses on.

As a parent, you help your child solve a problem by brainstorming solutions. You help them practice their catching, bike riding, or even their shoe-tying skills. In the same way, my husband and I are trying to model good technology behaviors to our son.