The home discipleship philosophy will be discussed a lot on this blog. Perhaps you’ve heard the term before. Maybe you’ve never heard the term. Regardless of where you stand, it’s my hope that this will help you understand what I mean when I talk about home discipleship.
So what is home discipleship? Simply put, home discipleship is the practice of making disciples at home. The home discipleship philosophy describes a way of looking at your home through the lens of discipleship. To break this down further, let’s look at three key aspects of the home discipleship philosophy.
1. Home Discipleship Philosophy is About Seeing the Home as a Learning Center, but not Necessarily About Homeschooling
The first thing that you must understand about home discipleship is that it’s not homeschooling. Homeschooling, at its most fundamental level, is about teaching your children what the government believes they should know. You’ve got to cover all the core subjects: science, math, social studies, English, and so forth. With homeschooling, you’re ensuring that your children are ready to progress to college or the real world if they so choose.
Home discipleship is different. It can be applied by homeschool families as well as families who choose to send their children to traditional schools. With a home discipleship philosophy, you are teaching your children how to become followers of Jesus.
In a homeschool environment, this task can be incorporated into their learning in various ways. As your children learn math, you can think about how wonderful it is that God gave us the ability to reason and number things in an orderly fashion. As your children learn science, you can marvel at God’s ingenuity in creating living organisms, our planet, and even the whole universe. In English and literature, you can talk about how God gave us the ability to be storytellers.
When your child goes to a traditional school, it can become harder to practice home discipleship. Traditional schools will be teaching your children to think, act, and analyze as though God doesn’t exist. This means that you will have to work harder to help your children understand that the best way to think, act, and analyze the world is to believe that God created it. Not only that, with your child gone for a large portion of the day at school, you’ll only have evenings and weekends to accomplish this.
2. Home Discipleship Philosophy Begins and Ends with God
The traditional school environment teaches subjects with the weight and authority of human experts. Home discipleship teaches with the weight and authority of God’s word. This is one reason that home discipleship can be harder for families who send their children to traditional schools. As your child learns more secular philosophy each day, you will have to undo the damage that the school has done.
Let’s look at how this works using a simple example: adultery.
According to the Bible, adultery is bad. In fact, adultery was one of the sins that were punishable by death in the Torah. In the home discipleship culture, God’s word is the only authority that is needed to establish adultery as immoral.
Modern culture says that adultery is ok if both spouses agree on it. You can find experts to back that opinion. In the world of traditional school, these secular experts are all that is needed to provide the moral high ground for adultery.
The traditional school environment ends with consensus. For some matters a simple public consensus is deemed sufficient. For other issues, you must find field experts who agree on your point of view. But the goal is to reach a consensus. When most experts agree on something, it becomes true.
Compare this to the home discipleship model, which ends with God. No matter what you are confronted with, only God’s authority is sufficient. The goal is to have complete faith in God and increase your understanding of Him. Therefore, if the public consensus disagrees with God, God is the answer. If the experts disagree with God, God is the only expert you need. Who better to judge what is moral or not than the One who created morality?
Of course, the danger of home discipleship is reading your own interpretation into God’s word. Which brings us to the next (and final) point:
3. Home Discipleship Philosophy Requires a Community
When Jesus came to earth, He didn’t pick only one person to spread His gospel throughout the earth. He commissioned twelve.
Those twelve served as a community among themselves. When major decisions had to be made in the early church, they would get together in a council and decide on the answers together. If one were out of line with the teaching of Jesus, another would correct him.
This same principle applies today. God did not create us to live in isolation. He made us to relate to other people. And in order to effectively disciple our children, we must teach them that. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. As the author of Hebrews reminds us, we are not to forsake gathering together with brothers and sisters in Christ.
So these are what I see as the three key points that define home discipleship philosophy. If we spend time focusing on these points, we’ll see the results in our children and even in ourselves.
Christian Leaders Institute offers classes that can help you develop your home discipleship model. Click here to learn how to enroll and take classes.