For many guys, when they think about trying to lead their family toward Jesus, they feel totally overwhelmed. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to lead other people in an area that you’re not super confident in yourself. It’s intimidating enough being called a leader; but throw the word “spiritual” in front of it, and things get real intense.
What do you think of when I use the phrase, “spiritual leader”?
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh?(Side note: only like two of you will get that reference. For the rest of you, you need to add the documentary “Wild Wild Country” to your Netflix watchlist ASAP. Leila and I have been watching this docs-series after the kids go to bed. #NetflixandChill. #AmIAllowedToSayThat?)
Back to the point…. what comes to mind when you think of being a spiritual leader?
If you don’t have any idea of what that looks like for you, then you will likely have a hard time moving toward your goal in this area.
Here are a few practical things to keep in mind:
Your kids have a high hypocrisy meter. They know when you’re faking things or when you’re acting weird. I’ve seen too many guys turn into a different person when trying to talk to their kids about Jesus. Somehow they get less goofy, their voice lowers, and they find themselves sitting criss-cross-applesauce for the first time in years. Dude- be yourself. Your kids don’t need a wise-old-pastor-dad to teach them about Jesus, they need their normal daddy to teach them about the God they serve.
I think family devotional times are good. But, I also think they are dangerous if it’s the only time our kids hear us talking about God. There shouldn’t be “Jesus time” and “the rest of life”. One way to be a good Jesus-loving-leader in your home is to constantly look for ways to teach your kids about God in every day life. When I’m reading the Bible, I typically ask myself three questions:
- What am I learning about God?
- How does this change the way I live?
- How can I teach what I learned to my kids today?
Instead of thinking through long elaborate lessons from the scriptures, think through one characteristic of God you want your kids to know. Keep in mind, we want to introduce our children to who God is, not a bunch of rules to follow. So, if you want to teach your kids about God the creator, be intentional to point out all the beauty of creation as you ride bikes, throw baseballs, take walks, or dig for worms.
Good leaders aren’t perfect; good leaders are humble. In fact, it’s hard to follow perfect leaders; you constantly have the fear of messing up around them. It’s way easier to follow humble leaders, knowing you have the freedom to fail.
Don’t let your fear of perfection stop you from engaging with your kids about Jesus. Sometimes being a good Jesus-loving-leader in your home means being better at asking questions than giving answers.
“What do you think God is like?”
“What is mercy?”
“What is grace?”
“Do you think you need God, or can you do everything on your own?”
These are simple, yet profound questions to get your kids to start think about the need for a savior.
You have permission to stumble your way through spiritual leadership, His grace is sufficient for that, too.