How to Reach Your Child for Christ

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“Your father doesn’t take very good care of you.” I couldn’t believe my ears. My son’s countenance fell as he repeated his new friend’s words, words which clearly originated from his father’s mouth. I was furious. Yes, we lived in a parsonage and our children didn’t wear designer clothing, but they were always well cared for and very much loved. Yet most importantly, they had parents whose number one concern was for their eternity. We had shared God’s plan of salvation with them from a very early age, and all four had already given their hearts to Christ. To us, an eternity with Christ was the ultimate inheritance. Clothes, shoes, food, and all of the other necessities of life took second place. I hugged my son. “Caleb,” I soothed, “Don’t pay any attention to him. That’s simply not true. Michael’s father is far too concerned with material possessions.”

As parents, sometimes our priorities are skewed, especially concerning spiritual matters. After all, what good are material possessions if our child’s soul is lost for eternity? In the Scripture, God has provided us a guideline concerning both the physical and spiritual needs of our children. 1 Timothy 5:8 reads, “But anyone who does not provide for his own, and especially those of his own house, has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.” While Proverbs 22:6 reads, “Train up a child in the way he should go . . .” meaning there is a way a child should be trained and a way he should go.

Most parents will care for their children’s physical needs without question, yet so many fail to tend to their spiritual ones. They assume having their child in church is all that is necessary. Yet if this were reality, all church attendees’ children would become Christians and eventually follow in their parents’ footsteps. Realistically speaking, this is completely false.

So how does a parent reach their child for Christ? Here are several biblical teachings to follow:
1) God has promised to provide for all of our needs, and He has stated that it is not his will that any should perish, so pray according to his will and make your child’s salvation a need.
2) Let your child see God’s love shinning through you, and when you make a mistake don’t be slow to ask for forgiveness. If your child sees you on your knees it will make their heart more tender toward asking for forgiveness themselves.
3) Go through the plan of salvation with them on a regular basis, keeping watch for clues—such as conviction—that indicate they are ready to give their heart to Christ.
4) Make sure they know how to get God into their life.

For an awesome read and additional instructions on how to reach children for Christ, read Wilma Daffern’s book, Hidden in my Heart from Rocklan Publications.

(Caleb currently attends Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary)

Spiritual Warfare in the Church?

very limited power.
Kaptain Kobold / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

About twenty years ago I heard that the Satanists in America had agreed together to begin praying for the downfall of God’s leaders—ministers in specific. Let me quickly clarify something. I do not believe that Satanists’ prayers can topple any godly leader who maintains their relation with God, because the God we serve is GOD—the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. Hollywood’s portrayal of God and Satan in a vicious struggle with God’s people desperately sweating as to which will be victorious couldn’t be further from the truth. Satan is a mere creation of Gods, meaning he has very limited power. The devil thwarting God would be like you or I defeating Him. God has and will always be in control, and the only time Satan gains any lead way in our lives is when we allow it. At the end of this age, Christ will return and defeat all evil in an extremely one-sided and brief battle known as the Battle of Armageddon.

Yet now, in our godless age, it would benefit Christians to consider the wiles of the devil. This includes how he conducts Spiritual warfare against Christians, and don’t fool yourself, there is a war being fought. Why else would you see so many broken down and abandoned church buildings that once housed thriving congregations?

Tares, or fake Christians who appear to be genuine until no godly fruit is produced, are the tools Satan uses to destroy our churches. Their purpose is the same as their father the devil, “to steal, kill and destroy.” If your minister is a true man of God who centers on preaching the Word and reaching souls for Christ, be assured, these tares will surface. In John 8:44 the Apostle John states, “You belong to your father . . . for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Tares are wolves in sheep’s clothing and lying is their second language. They will appear to desire the best for their ministers, church and its members, but they will always seem to be involved in some kind of confusion or discourse. They will usually begin their whispering campaign against a new minister within the first 18 months of his arrival. If they wait much longer, that minister might have gained too much support from the godly members for their scheme to succeed. These tares will do whatever is necessary to obtain victory, so they won’t care who or what is hurt in the process—individuals or church reputation.

A church that has allowed a “godly minister run-off scenario” to unfold will rarely ever be the same; and like wolves, once these tares have tasted blood they will continue coming back for more. Historically speaking, this is generally the beginning of this church’s long and heart-wrenching road to closure.

Deacons Who Really Deak

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There are numerous reasons why pastors should garner support from among their congregations, but one of the most important is because they alone cannot physically carry the burden of the load placed upon them. Biblically, the pastor’s main focus should be on studying the Scripture so he can assist in the spiritual growth of his flock (Acts 6:2). Then, as with all Christians, he should witness to the unbelieving world. These two duties, studying and witnessing, done with exactitude will occupy most of his time, therefore if the widows, orphans, sick and needy, and additional ministries of the church are going to be fulfilled he will certainly need assistance. That’s why the apostles, who were among the pastors of their day, initiated the choosing of the first seven deacons. These deacons were ordained, or set aside, for the precise purpose of assisting their pastors in ministry. Their job was never to supervise or lord over their pastors, but to minister to the saints and those in need, and to share the gospel whenever possible. With these additional godly men assisting the apostles/pastors, the gospel was spread much more readily. These seven godly deacons became pillars of the early church and examples for all future deacons and Christians to follow.

A number of years ago I wrote a book manuscript titled, Deacons Who Really Deck. It was based upon a New Testament deacon ministry developed by Dr. Jim Austin, who at that time was senior pastor of Blackshear Place Baptist Church in Georgia. Dr. Austin’s deacons weren’t lords over Blackshear Place, but its servants. Each time a new deacon was elected, he was given a spiritual gifts inventory test. After learning his spiritual gift, this new church servant was assigned to assist other deacons who were already working in that specific area of service. For example, if it was discovered that his gift was evangelism, he was appointed to help older deacons working in the area of church evangelism. If his gift was service, he was assigned a role in the area of church service. He would be a “Timothy” or young minister/deacon in training and in time would be turned lose to train others. Since God graciously gifted his people with a variety of spiritual gifts, Dr. Austin’s church had no lack of qualified and dedicated servant leaders, each working where their specific gifts were best highlighted. An additional benefit of this type of deacon ministry is that it weeds out the tares who so eagerly seek the traditional “rule over” deacon position because they have no desire to actually serve God.

As a result of this program, Dr. Austin’s deacons were too busy conducting church ministry to argue among themselves about details that should have been handled by others. What a beautiful tribute Dr. Austin’s program was to the first seven deacons of the New Testament times, all of whom gave their lives in martyrdom for the sake of the gospel.

How Can I Better Support My Pastor?

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My first thought when I considered the topic of this blog was, “I can’t write what I really believe.” I quieted the guilt in my heart by reasoning that there were a dozen very good alternatives. For example, pastors and their families always need extra prayer. They can always use assistance with visiting those in need or with church programs or activities. Surely these recommendations would suffice, but then I reconsidered my original thought by reasoning, “How can church members know unless someone who has ‘been there done that’ tells them?” Therefore, whether or not it is politically correct in the religious world, here goes. In my opinion, having been a minister’s wife for thirty years, I believe the best way a church member can better support their pastor is to be politically active in church life, meaning to be ready and willing to take a stand for their minister whenever the need may arise. Why? Because there are and will always be, as the New Testament describes, “tares among the wheat.” These tares aren’t true believers, but they play the “obedient servant of God” role beautifully. They outwardly give the appearance of being wheat and are masters at causing confusion and igniting and fueling whispering campaigns. They have an uncanny ability to stifle church growth and ministry by tying the hands of their God ordained leader, their pastor. They are mere tools of the devil and slow down or hinder church growth.

I can remember a time when someone in my church approached my parents with the hint of ousting our minister. My parents’ response was, “You can if you want, but we can promise you we will be going with him. We won’t be a part of a church that runs its pastor off.” By voicing their disapproval and refusal to participate, they, along with a few other members who took the same stand, stopped the scheme in its tracks.

On the other hand, I have also witnessed a godly man who carried much influence in his church refuse to stand with his pastor because he didn’t like to get involved in church politics. As a result, he allowed a diabolical scheme to thicken until his pastor, a pastor whom he dearly loved, was forced to leave. He easily carried enough influence to halt the whispering campaign when it was young, yet he refused to get involved. God did take care of that pastor, as He always does, but the church soon gained the reputation of being a pastor killer and lost its influence in the area.

So in my opinion, if you want to better support your pastor, be willing to take a political stand against your church’s tares before it’s too late. Don’t allow your minister to become one of the many thousands who are run off every year by Satan’s implants!