Disciple-Making Thoughts During the Coronavirus and Beyond
The Coronavirus had made this a very difficult time for many and yet it is a perfect time for God’s promises to be celebrated. We have been “forced” to slow down in some ways and to be deliberate in connecting to others. We need to be communicating to people that they simply matter to us, but we are also called to consider what is the important content within those relationships that matter most to us?
This is an important and opportune time to engage in reading the Bible with each other. We don’t need to leave it in the hands of “experts.” God has given His Word to each of us. He has always intended that it would be a natural component of our walk with Him. We are to read it, meditate on it, talk about it and be transformed by it. God created it to do this transformative work in and through us as the Holy Spirit brings the eternal words of our God into our hearts, minds and lives.
For parents, grandparents and other guardians our mission field certainly begins with the children in our homes. As Martin Luther wrote, “Most certainly father and mother are apostles, bishops, and priests to their children, for it is they who make them acquainted with the gospel. In short, there is no greater or nobler authority on earth than that of parents over their children, for this authority is both spiritual and temporal.” (LW 45:46)
The following simple set of questions can be used with any passage or chapter of Scripture. It is an easy and effective way for individuals, groups or families to interact with God’s Word. If you are wondering, what would be a good place to try out this Universal Bible Study? I would recommend Genesis, Mark or Philippians as three nice options with variety.
Universal Bible Study
- What does this passage tell us about God? For instance, His character, or His heart or the reason He acts like He does?
- What does this passage reveal about humanity? Do we learn about our tendencies, or our need or humanity’s position before our God?
- What response, truth or change does this passage invite into our lives?
- Going Deeper: What do we see of the Law and the Gospel? What do we see of God’s holiness and requirements? What do we see of God’s grace and mercy toward us?
The following are potential resources for you, your family, friends or any group that wants to grow as Disciples of Jesus. This is a time to consider how we are called to make disciples every day, not just when are forced into extreme situations like we find ourselves today.
- NALC Daily devotions and readings – https://thenalc.org/daily-readings-archive/
- WELS Daily devotions – https://wels.net/serving-you/devotions/daily-devotions/
- Lutheran Hour Daily Devotions – https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20200323
- Today’s Family Devotional [Josh McDowell] – Josh.org https://www.josh.org/resources/youth-family/daily-devotions/family/
- Luther’s Small Catechism – consider reading and discussing a portion of the Explanation of Luther’s Small Catechism as a family
- Portals of Prayer – a daily devotional from the LC-MS
- Forgiven to Forgive – as you, other family or neighbors experience inevitable conflicts during our time of home restrictions, consider these devotions around reconciliation.
- Scripture memory – how could you encourage your children, or others in your home to take some idle home time to memorize scripture. Imagine how these passages will stay with the one who memorizes them forever!
- Discussion questions from pastor’s sermons / mediations – take time after an online worship service to discuss the sermon or teaching.
- Dave Ellis (Bethel LBC Elder, Fergus Falls MN) –is sharing a weekly reflection for children and parents https://www.facebook.com/275978062429157/posts/4016108855082707/
Prayer Resources for Families
- Prayer: CLB NAM and Daily Prayer Notes
- Growing a Child’s Prayer Life: http://ilcsp.org/growing-a-childs-prayer-life/
- Teaching Kids to Pray: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/teaching-kids-to-pray/
- Pray-Now App: https://www.cph.org/p-18058-pray-now-app.aspx
General Resources for Families
- Parental resources in the face of Covid-19: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-time-during-the-coronavirus-quarantine/
- LCMS Family Resources: https://www.cph.org/t-bestill-home.aspx
- 1 Year Daily Audio Bible for Kids: https://www.cph.org/p-18058-pray-now-app.aspx
General Small Gathering Resources
- Life Together Churches – https://www.lifetogetherchurches.com/ This sight can provide a wide variety of useful discipling resources for teaching and worshiping.
Here are a few questions to consider for how we will build our congregation during this unique time. Who has God prepared in your church to disciple others in a time like this?
Leaders: Pastors, Elders Ministry Leaders and…
- Who am I called to serve by leading in this Covid-19 context in a deliberate way?
- Where do I want to lead them? What do I want to happen in these relationships?
- How can I most effectively do this in our current contextual limitations?
- Who needs to be included in this process, so that we can disciple and care for as many people as possible?