Equipping the Generations: A Three Pronged Approach to Discipleship -- By: Voddie Baucham, Jr.
JFM 2:1 (Fall/Winter 2011) p. 74
Equipping the Generations:
A Three Pronged Approach to Discipleship1
Voddie Baucham, Jr., (D.Min., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) currently serves as Pastor of Preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor at the College of Biblical Studies in Houston and at Union University. In addition to a doctorate from Southeastern Seminary, Dr. Baucham holds degrees from Houston Baptist University (B.A. in Christianity/B.A. in Sociology) and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.).He has undertaken additional post-graduate study at the University of Oxford, England (Regent’s Park College). Dr. Baucham and his wife Bridget have been married since 1989. They have seven children, Jasmine, Trey (Voddie III), Elijah, Asher, Judah, Micah and Safya. They are committed home educators.
How do you make a Christian disciple ? Ask most Christians that question and you’ll probably get responses like “Take them through a class,” or “Assign them a mentor.” It’s possible that few responses would point to Scripture. Even fewer would point to the New Testament book of Titus. But that’s precisely where we find one of the rarest and purest treasures the Bible has to offer in regard to the process of making disciples.
Before we focus on this process, we must understand the purpose behind it. Discipling our children is not about teaching them to behave in a way that won’t embarrass us. We’re working toward something much more important than that. We’re actually raising our children with a view toward leading them to trust and to follow Christ. Moreover, as members of a local body, we’re striving to do this work in conjunction with other families who are doing the same. The result is a synergistic thrust designed to propel our children into the next generation of kingdom service—and all this is done in utter dependence upon God’s grace to do the work. So we must consider the picture Paul paints in Titus from a much broader perspective than that of our own families in isolation; we must view ourselves as part of something much larger than our families.
Paul’s letter to Titus is marked by an earnest desire to see the gospel proclaimed, preserved, and passed on. As such it contains a succinct yet poignant treatise on discipleship. This is not to say discipleship is the sum total of Paul’s message in this letter, but it is a crucial element. For Titus’s mission to succeed, he will have to “teach what accords with sound doctrine” (2:1) and “urge the younger men” (2:6); he must “in all respects...be a model of good works” (2:7); he must “show integrity dignity, and sound speech that cannot ...
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