Lake City Community Church has recognized the need to renew our emphasis on family – both with the church as family, and the church as partner to our biological families. Much more will be said, taught, and modeled about these family aspects in the coming months and years.
This three-part blog series will deal specifically with men and small groups. Though these blogs will only scratch the surface, this is a good time and place to begin the conversation among our small group leaders.
WHY focus on the men?
Most importantly, the Bible unequivocally identifies men as:
- the spiritual leaders of their homes (Gen 3; 1 Cor 11)
- responsible to spiritually care for their wives (Eph 5; 1 Peter 3)
- responsible to train and instruct their children in the Lord (Deut 6; Eph 6).
God gave men these responsibilities whether they know it or not, and whether they want them or not.
Culture has really skewed these biblical truths, hasn’t it? Unfortunately, the church, to an extent, has also contributed to the problem. What has the structure of the modern American church typically taught its men?
The church offers classes led by ‘trained’ teachers. The church offers AWANA and children’s ministry led by ‘trained’ volunteers. The church offers youth groups led by ‘trained’ youth leaders. The church offers women’s Bible studies, and a women’s ministry. The result is a subtle message from the church that takes the godly pressure off the men to spiritually lead their families. The church is essentially willing to do it for them! They see their responsibility to just connect their families to the church, affirm the church and support it with time and money.
The intent of these programs was certainly never to lead to the abrogation (or abuse) of the men’s responsibilities to spiritually lead their households. But programmatic structures in churches, and corresponding changes in modern culture, have tended to lead to just that response by men, whether due to unawareness, apathy, or outright rejection of God’s Word.
The only way it’s possible
I readily admit that I constantly battle the flesh in fulfilling these responsibilities which God has given me for my family. I could not do it without God’s provision of a supporting church family that continually reminds me of this responsibility, teaches and equips me with resources to do it well, and holds me accountable for it. Obeying God’s will is constantly challenging; but it is constantly rewarding.
Men, are you ready to join the ranks of those who are leading their families well? You can’t do it alone. Small Group Leaders, are you ready to support your men in the specific ways that they need it? In the next couple blog posts, we’ll get into those specifics.
Blessings on your homes,