Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Building Faith

(I am out of town today, so I don't have access to my usual picture file. If you've forgotten what the Extreme Makeover logo looks like, just scroll down a couple blogs and you'll see it.)

Extreme Makeover - Building Faith (The lesson is on our web page)
My Top Five passages in the Bible about family: Joshua 24:15; Eph.6:4; Prov.31:10-31; 3 John 4; and the one I want to emphasis for this lesson, Matthew 16:24(...gain the whole world, but lose your soul) Building faith in our family is the most important thing we will do as a family. Move it to the top of your list before it's too late. Make it important!
Four Principles To Remember About Building Faith In Our Families:
1. Faith building means you are on a journey together!
A. At first, we are kids raising kids - learning and growing ourselves.
B. Recognize it as a process we all must go through on our own. John Westerhoff's, Will Our Children Have Faith, talked about the four levels of faith: Experiential Level, which is faith through your parents our someone who mentors you; Affiliative Level, which is being part of a groups, so it's really a group belief; the Searching Level, which is testing and doubting parents beliefs; and the Owned Level, where we seek God ourselves and know what and why be believe. Unfortunately, in some families, Jesus never left the church building.
C. Keep it a sense of growing together - I'm not perfect, I make mistakes and apologize, and to make it clear it is worth it.
2. Faith building is learning by observation not obligation!
A. There is a danger in fundamentalism, institutionalism, and legalism when they define "church" for young people. Lose respect for externals, rebel & reject meaningless acts or rituals, and they heat the inconsistency of church parents vs. at home parents.
B. Dolores Curran, "Faith is rarely passed on because of nuances in doctrine and theology. It is passed on because of the difference it makes in daily life."
C. Our goal is to guide them from us to Jesus.
3. Faith building comes from a positive and meaningful joy parents have about their faith!
A. What makes you happy makes your kids happy - they adopts our joys
B. Negative beliefs, critical opinions, unhappy & selfish members, and un-Christ-like comments bombard our kids = why they aren't going to church as adults!
C. Meaningful? Do they see me drawing closer to God? Do they see - Col.3:8-17?
4. Faith building supports family bonds, but it is not a prerequisite!
A. Love, support, & inclusion are what families do! Even if they don't share the same beliefs. Even if one or more loses their faith!
B. Open doors bring healing and hope - closed ones don't!
C. Jesus shows us how to deal w/ faith building in his disciples. Patience, love, & forgiveness w/ Peter! Available & understanding w/ Thomas. Grace is who we are, not just what we have!
Conclusion: No parent wants their child to fail. What about lose their soul? Matt.16:26? Move faith to the top of the list of family priorities. Who will pay for your attempt to "gain the whole world" for yourself or for your children?

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