My apologies for the lapse in posting. I hate making excuses, but there simply has not been enough time and energy to get to everything that is currently sitting in front of me. As most of you know I am a pastor in Charleston, South Carolina, as well as the director of the Bonhoeffer Institute and the Field Director of The Alliance (A network of pastors and Christian leaders in South Carolina engaging the civic arena). I am also trying to carve out some time to complete a book I am in the midst of writing (more to come on that front). That means my life can be busy and my hands are full, especially as of late as my church (Legacy Church) is experiencing some really positive momentum and forward movement in the ministry. I’m not complaining. I’ve had some challenging days on several fronts and to now experience some blessing and a sense of favor is a sweet wave that I will ride for as long as God sees fit to make it available. That disclaimer said, it has also been a season to remind me of a great foundational principle to rebuild the Christian family which I fear has been forgotten. The principle of sacrifice.
I have been a pastor for over 33 years and for a short period of that time I was also the overseer for a large Christian school (K4-12). There is no better environment to evaluate the state of the Christian family than to be in the middle of hundreds of students who are growing up in supposedly Christian homes. The requirements for the school included the usual student testimony with regards to their Christian experience as well as verification that the family of the student was attending a Bible-believing church. The school was committed to a biblical worldview and in as much as it is possible to discern, the students and family participating needed to be committed to that philosophy. Some of the expectations included on-campus behavior as well as off-campus behavior. Of course, everyone who enrolled read these clearly articulated expectations and then signed the document affirming their agreement.
I have found that most 21st century Christian families were highly influenced (as are most families) by the culture and environment which they themselves grew up in. Our parents, for better or worse, become the template by which we lead our families. Almost unconsciously, we create our family environment according to one of two predominant ways:
1. We react negatively to how we were raised and in turn lead our families in the exact opposite direction of our template.
2. We implement our template uncritically and perpetuate the environment which we experienced for years.
Here’s the challenge…