Last week, I met with Rob Rienow from Visionary Family Ministries. He challenged me to look at family ministry as not merely a paradigm shift, but more importantly, as a doctrinal shift. During our conversation, he introduced two phrases to me:
- Jurisdictional Theology. Who has the jurisdictional authority for raising kids in the faith?
- Scriptural Sufficiency. Do we look to God’s Word as sufficient? Where do we turn for instructions on baptism, the Lord’s Supper, the means of salvation?
Let’s take a look at church small groups using the lens of scriptural sufficiency:
In Titus 2, Titus is given specific instructions to teach the older men and women to live in accordance with a certain set of behaviors. This is the method of discipleship. These older folks, then, are to teach the younger a certain set of behaviors. This is extremely specific. We could say that these instructions are the discipleship goals of the church. (Some might be tempted to jump in here are tell me about situational instructions versus the universal. Before you do…look carefully at Titus 1. That’s where we find qualification for Elders. Are those too “situational”? No. They are not.)
If, then, we believed that scripture was sufficient…
Would the role of our men’s small groups be, to “teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.” And then, the older men are to “encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”? Are we doing this in our men’s small groups?
Would the role of our women’s small groups are t0 “teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.” These older women, then, are to “urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”? Are we doing this in our women’s small groups?
What’s happening in your small groups?