Discipleship- The Role Of Parents And Leaders
Discipleship is a biblical principle of bringing man to conform to the image of Christ. It is a process of reproducing or imparting the life of a parent to the child, or a teacher to a student.
Discipleship can also be described as God’s method of bring His people to His eternal purpose. Whenever God calls a person, He takes the person through a process so that the person, will conform to the image of His son Jesus Christ, or simply put, the person’s life will gradually and progressively become like Jesus.
The question now is this, what can parents do to disciple their children? We have to understand that the biblical concept of discipleship is also a family training scheme. “Every child of God is a heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ” (Romans 8: 17). “but for a child to be brought into his/her inheritance, he/she is put under training and tutelage (discipleship) under an adult guide or disciple, till he/she grows to handle the heritage of the father (Gal 4:1-2) Discipleship involves discipline and character training.
In Proverbs 22:6, parents are untrusted to train their children the “way they should go” and when they grow up they will not depart or deviate from it. This is a key responsibility of parents and those who are in charge of children. The way they should go here means, building in them the Christ like character. Parents therefore have the divine mandate to disciple their children. They are God’s agents to firstly bring the children to the fear of God and faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and secondly to bring them to God’s family training process. The key aspect of parental discipleship goes beyond providing food, clothing, shelter, etc. but the parents own walk with God or their Christian example in life and conduct is crucial to their disciple process. In short, Christian parenting is discipleship.
Paul admonishes fathers in Ephesians 6:4 not to provoke their children to wrath, but they should nurture them in the discipline and the encouragement in Christ. This is disciple role of Christian father’s to their children. Children as disciples are also to obey their parents and honor them.
Children invariably learn by what they see their parents doing. And parents should be godly example to their children. Discipleship is a life transfer process of what you have and follow. What your children will do whether consciously or unconsciously. Paul emphasized in 1 Corinthians 11:1 to the church of Corinth that they should follow him as Paul follow Jesus Christ. Your life example, conduct, character and attitude are what your children will pick.
We parents and leaders in the Church have a great responsibility to mold the lives of the children and the young people God has entrusted into our care. We need to ask for God’s grace and wisdom that comes from above to execute this divine responsibility. The good news is that our Lord Jesus Christ through the ministry of the Holy Spirit is ready to give support and strength to every parent and leader whom is ready to employ God’s resources to disciple their children and young people.
The future of the church will depend upon how we have disciple our children and young people God has given us. It is my fervent prayer that the mercies of God will enable us to perform this task as we seek daily to walk with Him or follow Him as we beckon over children to follow us.
AUTHOR: REVEREND KWEKU HAZEL