Great Stuff Found on the Web — Responsibility and RESPONSIBILITY on Pastoral Meanderings

Thanks to the person who read and recommend this for featuring as a “Great Stuff” post on BJS; we appreciate those who make use of the “contact us” on the sidebar to recommend articles for us. Pastor Peters’ on his blog, Pastoral Meanderings, hits another home run about the commitment that parents make at baptism but fail to keep at catechism and beyond.

Which leads to the first commentator :

More and more I’m becoming convinced that at least one of probably many “keys” to issues like this is Christian men — the husband and father in Christian families. The greater God through his Word works Christian piety in them the better off everyone in the family picture is. If we want to help Christian families, help Christian men first and foremost.

and one of the reasons for the BJS organization:

4. Encourage and equip husbands to be the spiritual head of their household and a strong voice of leadership in their local congregation. (from here)

Head on over to Pastoral Meanderings to read some of the other comments found there.

 


 

Pastoral Meanderings: responsibilityOver the past few weeks we have had conversations in the church office about the declining priority of Sunday school and catechism classes among parents and families of the Church.   It has included the usual frustrations of attendance, attention, and actions (meaning behavior).   In that ongoing dialog we have noticed a few things worthy of a larger discussion.

It is not true that parents and students are unwilling or unable to make commitments and then follow through on them.   At first this was where the conversation headed but then we noticed that kids are being hauled to sports practices and games, dance classes, extra-curricular events, and the like.   Parents and kids are making commitments – but those commitments are not to the church, not to Sunday school and catechism, and not to the faith in general.   The issue we must face is not why parents and families are not up to making and keeping commitments; they are and clearly do.   Rather the issue is why the Church is no longer high on the list of priorities, responsibilities, and commitments in these homes.

It is not true that parents are not as involved in the lives of their children as other parents in other generations were.   At first we thought the problem in the Church was related to a general distance parents have from their children but then we considered the amount of time they put in together at those sports practices and games (not to mention the travel time for some of these sports leagues).   We paid attention to the amount of time parents were spending in the car transporting their children to dance rehearsals or music lessons and then to the performance events.   Clearly they are spending a great deal of time together but it is also true that speaking, teaching, and sharing the faith has dropped down on the list of urgent priorities.

I spend several hours with parents prior to baptism and we include some discussion of the promises parents make to raise their children in the faith, to bring them to the worship services of God’s House, and to provide for their further instruction in the faith (what we call catechism classes).   There does not seem to be much difference in their attention to this counseling or in their ability to understand and make this commitment while the child is still very small and very far removed from some of this.   We talk about praying with their children every night as a discipline that bears rich rewards later when spiritual and life issues confront children and they look for people to talk to about them.

So what happens between those baptismal promises and the adolescent years when the parents have the most to do to make good on those baptismal promises?   You can tell me because I do not have much of an answer.   Parents still want to do right and do their best for their children but somehow the faith, the Church, and spiritual maturity in that faith are not connected with what is good and right and the best for their children.   The great Dale Meyer video (Easter Showers) includes a line in which a lay teacher in the congregation complains about parents who will pay good money for Stride Right shoes for their children but then won’t come in for an hour of baptismal counseling [or bring them to worship and Sunday school and catechism classes].   Parents want to do right for their children but their definition of “right” no longer includes Church, Sunday school, or catechism classes.   I wish I knew why…. and how to change it…


Head on over to Pastoral Meanderings for more great posts!

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.

Comments

Great Stuff Found on the Web — Responsibility and RESPONSIBILITY on Pastoral Meanderings — 2 Comments

  1. Matthew 13:18-24 (New International Version)

    18″Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. 22The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. 23But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

  2. May I suggest getting an email address at Babtism and texting the children about the parish activities,Gospel messages,parables,etc. As they come of age,have them summarize their Bible class together with the class leader and encourage them to text their friends and family.
    Texting is now learned very early,and is viewed as the thing to do and be seen doing.
    A frequent or daily text could lead to lifelong relationship in the Church
    I remember telling my Grandfather the details of the English sermon and service every Sunday as he preferred the German language service–but actually he was training me to “text” each week

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