Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Expert Effect

In our world we routinely differ to experts in all areas of our lives.  If you are sick you go to the doctor.  If you have legal trouble, you see a lawyer.  We seek out those who will help us accomplish our goals: interior designer, plumber, dentist, realtor, etc.  And there are advantages to this.  Wellness is easier to achieve with the assistance of a personal trainer, dietitian, doctor, chiropractor and whoever else is on your team!

Unfortunately this turn towards experts has come to the church as well.  Too often we rely on a Pastor or church professional to tell us what to think about God.  We look to them to pray for us, or to lead us in worship, or to teach us about the Bible.  This is especially the case when it comes to the Christian education of children.  Is it fulfilling your baptismal promises to your children simply by bringing them to Sunday School? 

The book of Deuteronomy says this:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.  - Deuteronomy 6:4-9

These key verses do not say "Bring your children to Sunday School to talk about [God's commandments] at church."  Instead it is parents who are called to share faith with your children in your home.  This does not mean we should abandon Sunday School or church as being unhelpful, rather we should look at it for what it is: an opportunity to partner with those called to pass on faith and work in tandem together bringing Christ to children.

I am no *expert* in the sense that a doctor is.  I have an education in Christian education but my time is limited with your children.  It takes the willingness of parents to talk about God at home to cement what they learn at church.  Otherwise church and faith will be nothing more than a Sunday morning diversion and not a real vibrant living faith.

I want a vibrant faith for my child.  I hope that you want it for yours as well.  Please join me in this partnership.

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