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The Great Commission - for Families - Issue 320
October 25, 2013
Hi there! ....


This week life has been fairly normal. We had study focused mornings, chores and responsibilities were done, we slackened off and watch a few movies, and we pushed through at other times and got things done. Life is a balance – there is the good, and the not so good. The one skill I am working on at the moment is helping the kids become responsible for managing (and balancing) their responsibilities with their time. Over the years I have given a fairly tight timeframe for those things to happen – study time and chore time etc. I’ve asked myself – what would happen if I dropped all those structures? I believe things would go a little chaotic for a while as the kids took full advantage of their freedoms! But then they would crash as they realised the mess they were in!! So I’m trying to teach them to be aware of their responsibilities, the time it takes to do well with those responsibilities and the boundaries that they each need in order to be successful. And in doing so let them become accountable for the things in their life.

Live life with your kids!

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The Great Commission - For Families

We are all familiar with the passage of scripture that has been called ‘the great commission’.

Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV) And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

I believe that “our world” starts here, in our home. That the first people we need to make disciples are our children. What does it mean to make a disciple though? I believe that the rest of this verse helps us understand this

  • Baptising them. To be baptised you need to acknowledge and believe in Jesus. So that is our first task – introduce our children to Jesus, help them to believe.
  • Teach them all that Christ has commanded

We tend to focus on the going out and baptising aspect of this passage of scripture. But Jesus command was to make disciples. To build and encourage people who knew Jesus, knew and understood what he taught.

When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet he said, “For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.” John 13:15, and though he was specifically talking about being a servant to one another, the idea is there – Jesus was our example.

Jesus spent three years disciple-making (though I don’t for one minute think our involvement with our children will only take 3 years!!) In that time he lived with them, he taught them, he showed them how to live, he challenged them to live out the things they were proclaiming. These are the things that we as parents should be doing with our kids.

  • Living life with them: It was as Jesus ‘came upon’ a situation that he was able to show his disciples his power over all things. As we come upon situations in our day we need to show our kids the power of God over all things. We need to teach them that Jesus has all authority. Writing that sentence, I personally feel challenged. Have I only encouraged my kids to pray when I know there is an answer just around the corner? Or do I pray knowing that I am at the end of my resources, and yet God is almighty God? Imagine the faith in God that grew in those disciples as they saw Jesus heal the sick, calm the storm, answer questions and raise people from the dead. They saw God at work through Jesus. Jesus said – If you knew me, you would know my Father also. John 8:19b We need to help our children see God’s power, Jesus’ power in their everyday life.

  • Teaching them: Jesus never left an experience without a lesson. He wanted his disciples to start thinking as he thought – not with the man-made rules and constraints of the day but with the heart of truth and grace. He constantly referred to the Scriptures and explained them. People in general were amazed at his understanding, but imagine how the 12 disciples felt, those who received even more instruction! I’m not suggesting that we have to amaze our kids with our insight and understanding, but we do need to teach what Christ taught. We need to apply God’s Word to the situations we find ourselves in, and we need to align our thinking with the word of God. Jesus shook the disciples world, he shook how they thought about their world . The word of God needs to be shaping our children’s lives – they need to be making decisions to read and obey the word of God for themselves (not because we make them).

  • Living it out: Jesus lived what he talked. Living a life that was true with his Father’s desires was the utmost importance to Jesus. He broke with traditions, he stirred the pot, he did the unexpected – but it was always because that is what his father wanted. We too need to know what our Father wants and be bold enough to walk that way. Jesus was attacked, disliked, and eventually killed because he lived to the beat of a different drum. Do we? Are we prepared to live our life different than the world around us, different than the norm, different than what is expected or accepted because God the Father asks us to follow his son Jesus? As we live our life, obeying the things that Jesus asks of us, our children will start to understand what it means to be a follower of Christ.

Can you imagine how different our understanding of Jesus would have been if Jesus just introduced himself to the disciples, if he spent enough time with them so that they could comfortably say, “yes I know Jesus.” But that is all? Without the discipleship process this is as far as things would have gone. But the discipleship process, the making of disciples, the making of followers is what has changed the world.

We need to do more than introduce our kids to Jesus – they need to know all that he has commanded. They need to become followers of Jesus.


During the week I blog at Live Life with Your Kids! This week I've focused on my toddler series: Living with a Toddler for 31 days - topics this week have included -
The Need for Rest
Their Social Skills

Or maybe you'd like to read something from my website:

  • Motivate the Unmotivated - How do we motivate the unmotivated? How do we excite the student who doesn't seem to want to learn?

Check out other homeschool and parenting issues over at my website, Lifestyle Homeschool



My Bookshop

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.




Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.






Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?

This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.




My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!


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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter

Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!

The newsletter will also keep you updated with all additions to Lifestyle-Homeschool

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