Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Evangelist or Discipler

Last month I had the great privilege of going to the NANC (National Association of Nouthetic Counselors) conference in Walnut Creek, California.  When you plan to go to a conference you have many expectations of what its going to be like and what you are expecting to get out of it.  What always amazes me is that God has a plan for you and your expectations and plans don't always meet up with His.  Truly I didn't have a direct agenda or goals in going to this conference but I sat back and saw how God was in the details of it all and was showing me what He wanted me to get out of the conference. It was exactly what I needed to hear to the utmost detail.  Again I didn't put much planning on the classes I was attending and it changed as I went along BUT GOD and His Sovereignty shines through all of this through and through.
I've been spending time with a young woman (counseling) who I am not sure if she is saved so I decided at the last minute to attend Stuart Scott's class on "Sharing the Gospel with an Unconverted Counselee."  I was familiar with Stuart Scott because he came to my old church to head up the Biblical Counseling Department, but my husband & I were in the process of selling our business and moving to Northern California so we hadn't had the opportunity to be involved in his ministry or hear him speak much.  As the session began a story unfolded that was so unexpected for me.  He began to share about his children and the concerns and struggles him and his wife had in particular with their daughter.  He talked about how as parents our children make professions of faith at young ages and then as parents we embark on disciplining them when in reality they don't completely understand  or come to a saving knowledge of Christ.  Our children are "Christianized Pagans." They talk the talk but they don't walk the walk.  They have no desire or interest to be in God's Word.  They love going to church but that's because they're friends are there.  They know the truths of the Scripture and can repeat them to you but its apparent that they haven't placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. He said, "You can't disciple the lost!" Stuart shared that his daughter at the age of sixteen came to him sobbing with the confession that she couldn't live the lie anymore and that she wasn't a Christian.  He said, "I was so thankful that she knew who she was."  That sentence plays back in my thoughts so much since I've heard them.  The deep faith and trust in Christ that it takes to say those words.  Can I say that when it comes to my own children's salvation?  He had to leave the position that he held at the church and so this confession from his daughter had a huge impact on them as a family.  Two years later his daughter was headed off to college and he asked her if he could share the gospel with her one last time and she agreed, which leads to the thorough gospel presentation that he put together that he uses with all his counselees and went over with all of us in his NANC class.  He talked about how some Christians teach how the outcome of their children's salvation is the parent's responsibility.  He said, "what kind of theology is that? SALVATION IS OF THE LORD! God has called some parents to be evangelist their whole lives or God has called them to be evangelist and then disciplers.  There are many Christian parents with huge guilt trips because they think they're children's salvation depended on them." 

So I ask you, are you an Evangelist or a Discipler?  I ask myself, "am I a evangelist or a discipler?"  God confirmed for me again that my role in my children's life is to be an example of Christ's work in me and that my life is to reflect His grace, love and redemptive work in me.  To be living it out in profound ways.  I need to be preaching the gospel to myself, to them and to others.  God does the work in their hearts and lives in them just like He does in me and continues to do the work.  There are many who are preaching a different message when it comes to parenting.  Others are preaching a method that leads to "works righteousness" and that it ALL depends on what I am doing. This is not what the Bible teaches, nor is it the gospel. Some are even going to the lengths to say that as parents of non-believing children you did not have enough faith in the promises of God and that is the reason your children aren't believers.   Yes God calls us to love and lead our children to Christ BUT the lie is the doing on our part of any shape or form is a guarantee to produce godly children.  God never guarantees us godly children by raising them a certain way.  There are no recipes out there that create godly children.  SALVATION IS OF THE LORD!

"God doesn't promise our children's salvation in response to our obedience, because He never
encourages self-reliance.  It would be against God's character to give us a promise that our children will be saved if we raise them in a certain way.  That would mean that He was telling us to trust in something other than Christ and His grace & mercy.  He would be encouraging us to trust in ourselves, and God never does that.  The way of the Lord is always a way of faith - faith in His goodness, mercy and love.  Our faith is to be in Him, not in ourselves."
 (Give Them Grace pg.62)

I did plan on going to Elyse Fitzpatrick's teaching session which was after Stuart Scott's.  And the exact words came out of her mouth, "SALVATION IS OF THE LORD!!"  Thank you Jesus for being in the details of my everyday life.  After the NANC conference is when I began to read "Give Them Grace" and highly recommend every parent no matter if you're an Evangelist or a Discipler to read it.  

I have one more book to give away on November 27th, 2011 7pm PST.  Same rules applied follow blog, FB or Twitter.  Repost and/or retweet and receive more entries in the giveaway.  I've saved everyone who entered last week as well so you all still have a chance to win as well.  Let me know how you've entered in my comments.  

1 comment:

3sboys said...

Shared on fb & twitter,