"Each week you will have access to 24/7 Faith Guide. In order to maximize our effectiveness, these resources are developed for multiple users. It is written for individual disciples, marriages and parents. Our goal is that as a disciple you will read the daily reading. At some point in the day you will share what you gleaned from it with your spouse or network friends. If you have children at home, we hope that as a family you would sit down and talk about the reading as a family. As you do this each day, you will be more prepared for our weekly worship on Sunday. Our Weekend Celebration is worship and preaching based on your daily readings. The sermons each week will be taken from the respective verse. Our children, teens and Life CONNECTION Groups will also be studying alongside the 24/7 Faith verse."
I am so glad you're interested in this strategy. I want to share with you in part what we do and how we do it. We strive, as a church, to become a partner with each individual in their journey of faith. Our goal is linking churches to family for the equipping of future generations...one home at a time.
For years our strategy obligated parents to bring their kids to the "professionals" at church so that we could disciple their kids. We began to build experiences that could not be replicated. They were busy, fun, messy, educational, and engaging. They became the greatest ministries to children and students that good money could buy. We built dynamic buildings and huge ministries. We began Para-church organizations that would help do what smaller churches could not. We felt we were finally getting it right.
Sadly, at the same time we were noticing something else. Something was not sticking. We brought children in but during the late teens and early college age, they were checking out. We were not keeping them. So we decided to fix it by developing the next step. Collegiate Ministries were born to give the next generation similar experiences they had growing up. Experiences they had come to expect from the church. However, we could not find the right momentum for this. The culture experienced moral decline, the family was redefined, and began a move away from the Scripture largely due to an apathetic, compartmentalized form of Christianity that was provided.
As Pastors we have identified this problem as having two origins: Hypocrisy in the home and the irrelevance of the Bible as it is given to this culture. As church leaders we understand this as a clear disconnect between our current discipleship process and the strategy orated by God in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Psalm 78, Matthew 22:37-40, and Matthew 28:18-20. The missing link has been, and for many still is, a disconnect between church and the home. Church has become something we do rather than who we are. We are attempting to change that! We want our church to be a 24/7 church. Whether we are sitting in the "sanctuary" or in the nearby restaurant; we are the church and we are walking in faith.We have rethought strategies that equip and resource the family for spiritual formation! In our way of thinking, the church and the family need a common path on which to walk. We call this strategy 24/7 Faith. It is our way to link church and family for intentional spiritual formation. So far, so good...We believe the home is the discipleship process that God instituted and that churches were to come alongside to equip dads and moms to be the primary spiritual leader to the next generation. We want to facilitate children becoming Spiritual Giants and the parents to be their Spiritual Heroes. It is not enough to have a great ministry to children and students at church. We have to equip parents to impress their faith upon their children. Only then will the hypocrisy and irrelevance be diminished.
You may be saying, "This is too much, I don't think I can do it, all I want to do is come to church. You can still be very content attending our Weekend Worship Celebration with partnering with the 24/7 Faith. We welcome you to do so. However, you will not be benefitted the same way. There may be many excuses that immediately come to mind. All I ask is that you try. One day will lead to two; two days may lead to a week. We will not be satisfied overnight but we can be one day at a time. Just do what you can, and let God's love and His Word pour over you. In Deuteronomy 30, the children of Israel were in the same situation. They knew there were generational problems with passing faith along, but they were overwhelmed with fixing it. God said, in essence, "Return to me with all your heart and soul" the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it. We must engage our hearts with His Word. Do not be overwhelmed, but hear God's Word to you in Deuteronomy 30:11, "Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach."