Tim Challies is blogging from the reFocus Pastor’s conference at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago Illinois this week. As I usually do each morning, I clicked over to his blog and read his review of messages thus far. One that stuck out to me was delivered by Voddie Baucham, Pastor of Preaching at Family Baptist Church in Spring Texas. I was first introduced to Baucham through a book that was part of the 2006 Desiring God Conference. (Here is the book: a synopsis of the entire conference general sessions).

At this weeks conference he delivered a message from Titus 2, talking about command to train others in Christlikeness. Talking specifically to pastors, challenging them to take more seriously the need for support for family discipleship. He divided it up into three parts; (1) Mature believers as a disciple-making tool, (2) manly elders as a disciple-making tool, (3) the family as a disciple-making tool.

the discipleship process laid out in the first two chapters of this epistle is like a 3-legged stool and the pastor has a unique role to play in propping up each of those three legs.

The first and second point you can read over at Challies blog, but the third point is where I want to camp briefly. His third leg is that the family is a God-given disciple-making tool for father’s and husbands. (on a side note, Baucham has taken great lengths to teach about the Man’s role in his family through his writing, and one particular that is on my list for future read is “What He Must Be:… If He Wants to Marry My Daughter.” the other book is “Family Driven Faith”)

He continued,

the primary disciple-making tool God has given the world is the family. The church gets just a few hours out of the week where the family gets almost the whole week.

This is something that was very evident in my years as a youth pastor. The need for father’s to see their role as the primary bible teacher in the home and to look for opportunities to train their children. And as a former pastor I acknowledge we are guilty of not training men to do this. We expect them to, but don’t give them the tools. And then as Baucham points out at the end of his talk:

…we’ve institutionalized the church so we now have a systems analysis rather than an organic approach to ministry. So now we no longer evaluate pastors and elders based upon organic principles. Why is it that we disqualify pastors based on being people who take even a single sip of alcohol while we ignore other words in the same paragraph and lower the qualifications based on having faithful children. Why? Because we’re more American than Christian. If we spent more time looking to the qualifications for pastors and did so in an organic rather than institutional way, we’d have fewer pastors and stronger churches. Instead we say, “Don’t you dare have a sip of alcohol but your family can go to hell.” We’ve institutionalized the church and in many cases we’ve missed God. (emphasis added)

I believe that God has called us fathers/husbands to a much larger ministry in our homes. To take seriously the role of training our children in godliness. I also believe that the church should regain a more balanced view of evaluating leaders and to not forget about grace.

Titus 2:11 ESV For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.