God woke me up at 5:30am this morning.

To chat. To tell me that something I’ve been working on for church is wrong.

For one thing, he’s been showing me that the church doesn’t train people for the Christian life. We train for children’s ministry, ushering, and worship ministry, but not for life. Not for parenting, marriage, prayer, Christian character. Oh, we inform people well enough (teaching). We motivate people decently at times (vision). But Discipleship with a capital D is about teaching people to obey what Jesus has commanded (Matthew 28:18-20). The words here literally mean:

Teach: more than instruction (one way) but actually helping people learn. The goal isn’t dispensing information, but transforming a life.
Obey: Keep, observe, fulfill — like a prophecy.
Commanded: Commissioned, charged… with a definite goal, result, and purpose in mind.

As I said before, the church doesn’t really do that. At all. Cause you can’t do this in a class. Or with a book. It can only be done ‘on the job,’ with color commentary. Real-time coaching, like Jesus did.

For example, by far the best way to train parents is not to get them into a parenting class. It’s to sign them up for being participants on “Supernanny.” She gets right in there, observes them real time, corrects them real time, follows through, says what needs to be said. Church parents walk away with more paper in another binder and no one there to help them apply it.

The cool thing is, we CAN do this with our own children. Learn ’em real good so that they can live the life God intended. By the power of the Spirit, we MUST do this.

Wow, do I have some thinking and praying to do.