My wife and I recently welcomed our fifth child to the family back on January 10th. The birth of a child, especially one of your own, forces one to do some deep thinking. I think about the time I have left and what I want to pass on to the next generation. I find myself doing math problems. When he is ten I’ll be… well, my age doesn’t matter, but you get the point. Of course, I don’t know exactly how long I have with any of my children.

Will our lives reach the average age of most Americans, or will we be below or above average? This uncertainty creates a sense of earnestness in my actions. I want to teach my boys how to be men, and I desire a day where I will walk my little girls down the aisle at their weddings. These human longings are normal, but what else am I wanting to leave with them? What else should I spend the next half of my life focusing on?

This is where I start to think about eternal things. Will they know the Jesus I serve? Will they contemplate eternal truths and serve the God that saved us? I certainly want them to know the traditions of the Wood family. I want them to enjoy chopping wood, monkey bread on Christmas morning, daddy/daughter dances, riding rural country backroads, and that the Tennessee Vols are due for another championship.

However, these traditions, although special, mean very little if they don’t know the truth of the Gospel and our need for a Savior. Convictions are greater than traditions. I’ve heard it said like this, “If the grandfather’s convictions become the father’s traditions, they will likely become the son’s inconveniences.” Eternal truths must be part of the equation in my home, your home, and in communities all over the world.

How are we to get these convictions to the next generation? I believe the Bible is clear on this in Matthew 28. Of course, it is mentioned in many other places as well, but Jesus sums it up succinctly in the Great Commission. We are to make disciples – in our home, our neighborhoods, and to the ends of the Earth. We are missing one of the most important anchors of Christianity when we neglect discipleship. 

The “teaching them all that I commanded you” portion of the Great Commission is pivotal. This, in my estimation, is what Screwtape was referring to in his letter to Wormwood in C.S. Lewis’ great work, The Screwtape Letters, when he said, “I note with grave displeasure that your patient has become a Christian. Do not indulge the hope that you will escape the usual penalties; indeed, in your better moments, I trust you would hardly even wish to do so. In the meantime we must make the best of the situation. There is no need to despair; hundreds of these adult converts have been reclaimed after a brief sojourn in the Enemy’s camp and are now with us. All the habits of the patient, both mental and bodily, are still in our favor.

These demons know that a Christian discipled is a Christian much more difficult to deceive or manipulate. Obviously, I am not arguing that discipled Christians are perfect or without sin. Instead, I am arguing that discipled Christians are better suited to wear the whole armor of God and go to battle.

This is why we, at Care Net, spend so much time discussing this discipleship component. Clients, their partners, and their babies need to become disciples of Jesus Christ. I say this with confidence and boldness as this is why I answered the call to get into this work, and, I would venture to say, that is why you stepped into this work as well. Sure, we want to see babies physically saved and families preserved, but ultimately we want to see babies and families transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and become followers of that same Jesus for the rest of their lives!

We can sit around and wring our hands at the state of our world or we can roll our sleeves up and make disciples that make disciples. I understand that this perspective is lofty, but we serve a lofty and big God. Our motivation isn’t based on the things of this world. No, our motivations are based on the greatest news this world has ever heard. So, let’s be about His business and answer His command of making disciples. I pray that through this work, the help of the Holy Spirit, and God’s grace our convictions won’t become inconveniences.

Our Church Engagement team can help you as you start down this path of discipleship in your homes, inside of pregnancy centers, and in your community. We look forward to hearing from you.