It has now been almost four weeks since we completed the men’s spiritual leadership boot camp and I wonder how everyone is doing. Undoubtedly, some have struggled to continue applying the principles we learned, so it may be helpful to be reminded of the importance of the important things we learned.
Remember the destination to which we are leading. Spiritual leadership requires a man to know where God wants his family to be and to use God’s tools and power to get them there. The Shema (Deut 6:4-9) tells us that the ultimate destination to which God wants our families to journey is to love Him with all heart, soul, and might.
Has this destination been on your mind over the last several weeks? Are you using God’s tools of the Word, prayer, and the ministry of the church to help you proceed to that destination? Perhaps it would be wise to simply take a few minutes to meditate again on Deut 6:4-9 and to refocus on the necessity to be purposeful in following the command to love God and lead our families to do the same.
Remember that in order to lead your family to the destination you must be pursuing it personally. A man cannot lead somewhere that he is not going. Your own spiritual health will be a crucial factor in the spiritual health of your household.
If you have found yourself struggling to continue to disciple your family and lead them in family devotions, it could be because you are struggling in your own devotional life. Remember that your personal fellowship with the Lord is the well from which will come the resources to lead well.
Have you become inconsistent in your personal time with the Lord in the Word and prayer? If you find yourself in a rut, the Lord can still save and sanctify your family. But wouldn’t you rather be a tool that He uses to accomplish that rather than an impediment that He has to overcome?
Remember how crucial it is to pursue the destination alongside other men. God has designed the church to grow and function in community, not in isolation. Ephesians 4:7-16 teaches that all of the spiritual gifts Jesus has given to the church are for the purpose of growing the church in godliness. That means that we all need the gifts of others at work in our lives. It also means that others need our gifts at work in their lives. There is no plan B for the sanctification of the church. God has put all His eggs in this one model of spiritual growth.
Remember that we are commanded in Hebrews 10:24-25 to meet together regularly with other believers for the purpose of stirring up one another to love and good deeds. Have you struggled to maintain this discipline? Has your conference group begun to founder? Don’t wait for someone else to take the initiative – you make the phone calls necessary to get something on the calendar. Keep in mind that it is a service not only to the church and to the men in your conference group, but it is a service to your family for you to take seriously your need for the sharpening influence of others. Recall that all of the disciplines we learned and implemented were easier to maintain when we were meeting together regularly for the purpose of conferencing. For that reason, this gracious discipline is invaluable and we must fight to keep it alive.
Chew on these things, brothers (and sisters!), and next week we’ll revisit some of the principles from the last few sessions of the boot camp. Don’t allow busyness to stall what the Lord started. Let’s press on toward the destination.