Dying to Self as a Leader to Kids

January 13, 2012 — 1 Comment

The first night of CPC 2012, Kyle Idleman, the author of Not A Fan, presented a challenging message from Luke 9:23. It says:

And He was saying to them all, if anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

One of the most striking comments that Kyle made was this: “You can raise a child in church, yet fail to raise him in Christ.” He spoke of calling the next generation to a passionate pursuit of Christ which starts with us as leaders first. Kyle rightly called us to get on our knees every morning, confessing our commitment to die to self and life to Christ.

Kyle’s message truly resonates with me and with what I want to accomplish on this site. I fear that we could get so wrapped up in the idea of family ministry that we run the risk of idolizing methodology, curriculum, books, movement, conferences, or personalities. I hope it doesn’t happen, but it is possible to fail to give the gospel of Jesus Christ the preeminence it deserves. A biblical foundation and gospel centered approach to any of these methodologies is central to effective legacy development.

Kyle’s word was one of us not being able to teach the Christ-passionate life without first living it ourselves. This flies in the face of a “children are our future” mentality that so prevails our culture. Children are not our future. We, the leaders, the pastors, the teachers, the elders…we are the future. Our dedication to Christ lays the path for our children’s success or failure in Kingdom living. You see, this is Hebraic and biblical thinking.

…which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.” -Psalm 78:5b-7

Not only are the ways of our “fathers” a guiding light for us (Proverbs 1:8), but in contrary fashion, their sins are agents of detriment to children’s future (Exodus 34:6-7). We hold an incredible influence over the future of our children.

Leaving a legacy has to be thoroughly gospel-centered or it fails to actually be a biblical legacy. The legacy is not primarily our works, but the work of Christ. In recognizing that work, we offer ourselves as living sacrifices, dying to self and living to Christ’s righteousness.

What other ways do you see your own commitment to Christ as important to the development of faithful believers coming after you?


  • http://www.KidMin360.com/ Greg Baird

    Good thoughts, Andy. This is why, when I talk about Deut. 6 (the passage popularly referred to in the “family ministry” movement), I always look at the part that typically goes unnoticed:
    First, love God with everything you are. vs. 5
    Second, commit yourself to obedience. vs. 6
    THEN, pass them on to your children. vs. 7
    What we try and do with kids matters little if it isn’t flowing from our own experience/relationship with God.

    Thanks for the reminder!