It seems like discipleship is the buzzword of current 21st century Christianity. Everyone is going to make disciples and many of the books I’ve read and materials that I’ve gone through at my local church have been geared to make discipleship easier. However, much of the discipleship information that I’ve received has been geared at going through a formal discipleship process with other adults, and the idea of family discipleship is not one that is explicitly made clear. So, when I received the opportunity to review Total Family Makeover: 8 Practical Steps to Making Disciples at Home. After all, I have four children, so I want all the help in disciple-making that I can get.
Spoelstra’s book is based on two main ideas. The first is that your children “aren’t your report card.” The litmus test in parenting is not according to how your children behave, whether they accept Christ or how much they ultimately retain about the Bible. After all, Adam and Eve had a perfect parent, and they still made the wrong decision. At some point, you as a parent have to realize that no matter what tools you give your child, there is a point at which you just have to let go of responsibility for their decisions.
The second idea is that your ability to disciple your children is determined by your actual Christian walk. You must model and directly instruct in order to be an effective discipler. So, with that in mind, all of the topics that Spoelstra takes up in the book are big picture themes for the Christian walk. These include prayer, reading the Bible, mentoring, church community, service, rest, giving and sharing your faith.
In the book, there are admonitions for parents to help them with their Christian walk along with examples from their family on practical ways parents can instruct their children using this discipleship tool. I found myself agreeing many times with Spoelstra and underlining many passages in the book. There were a couple of new practical tips for us to try, but mainly, I found this to be nice refresher of how my walk can be used to model the Christian walk for my children. I was also reminded of many attitudes that frustrate me in my children that are actually perfectly reasonable childish responses to the gospel. I truly felt like I was being ministered to by someone else who was in the trenches of parenting and had made some of the same mistakes that I had along the way, and I appreciated the author’s advice and transparency.
Don’t just take my word for it though! If you’re interested in winning a copy of the book (and more!), just head over to this post to get started learning about a great giveaway!!
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.