Mentor Your Children
Take your children under your wing and teach. Spend lots of time talking and listening to your children. Each of your children will be different, with different gifts, talents, strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. Learn to give thanks for each child and make it your ambition to truly know and love your children. Give your child positive feedback as often as possible, affirming and encouraging your child to be the best he/she can be. Look at Jesus and try to imitate his style of mentoring.
Take your children with you (one at a time) when you run errands, minister to others, go to conferences or workshops, make lesson plans, and any other thing you can think of. While you are doing what you do, explain why and what you are doing. "I'm reaching out to Sandy because she just had an operation and she feels so lonely. I want to encourage her. I bought her this gift because..." This may sound silly but mentoring is taking someone alongside of you while you do what you do, eventually having him/her do the same thing. This is the best way to instill a love of learning, a heart for the lost, a passion for Jesus, healthy relationships, and godly behavior. Your children will be so blessed if they experience a friendship, parenting, and mentoring relationship with you.
Provide opportunities for your child to grow in his giftings and abilities. Try to lead children from success to success to success. Think of things to do together that will make them feel proud of their accomplishments. If you are teaching them to play tennis, don't enroll them in a tennis tournament after the first lesson, but a game with another mother/daughter team would be fun. See mistakes as stepping stones to success, helping your child learn from each one.
Surround this mentoring relationship with other believers who share your goals and values. The best place to find these people is in the local church.
Be Planted in a Local Church
God's plan is the local church where believers can build one another up to maturity in Christ, pastors can equip Christians for ministry, and the family of God can model healthy relationships for a lost world that is crying out for hope.
God makes local churches a microcosm of the larger Body of Christ with different ages, income levels, interests, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Don't limit your relationships in the church with people your own age. As a family, get to know older and younger people, as well as singles and married couples. Hopefully, there will be some other homeschooling families in the church you attend.
Church attendance is the starting point. Attend church each Sunday because you love Jesus and are committed to worship Him with other believers every Sunday. My children know that this is a priority for me. I will not miss church, whether we are on vacation, I've just had a baby, or there is something more fun going on. Since I was saved thirty-one years ago, this has been my way of life. It will not change.
Beyond attending church, get involved--be planted. A plant puts roots down. Roots are best cultivated through relationships. Get to know the people in your church. Don't wait for them to reach out to you. Invite them over for dinner or dessert and a movie. Attend church social event with the intention of building relationships with your fellow church members.
If your church has weekly Bible studies or home fellowships, I recommend getting involved. They are a great way to grow in your knowledge of the Word of God. But, they also provide a way to build other believers up in their faith. If possible, attend these meetings as a family, so you can all be growing together.
Plug into ministry. There are so many ways to serve: music, Sunday school, ushering, administration, web site, outreach to the poor, evangelism, hosting Bible studies, greeting visitors, visitation, planning social events, or copying the bulliten. Look for at least one way that your family can minster in your local church.
Next time, we will talk about reaching out to those who are not yet saved. After all, disicples reproduce!
Happy Disciple Making!
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)