Length: 179 pp
Author: Voddie Baucham
“If you can’t say ‘Amen!’ you can say ‘Ouch!’” so Voddie often says. Well I say “Ouch!” and “Amen!” to his book Family Shepherds. Convicting but not condemning, men, you will not only be encouraged but equipped to shepherd you family after reading this book.
Ask any Christian, “Who is responsible for discipling children?” and you’re likely to get the right answer: “Their parents.” However, probe further and you’ll find confusion, conflation, equivocation, and perhaps downright indignation toward any approach to discipleship that’s actually predicated on this unquestioned premise. While we all agree on the clear biblical mandate for parents to disciple their children, we’re unclear as to what that entails. We’re even less clear on the role the church is to play in offering instruction and support in this endeavor.
Part of the problem lies in that we usually begin from the wrong starting point. Virtually all the debate over the discipleship of young people begins with the assumption that church structures and programs such as the nursery, children’s church, Sunday school, and youth group are foundational discipleship tools, and whatever happens must take place within that framework. But what if those things didn’t exist? What if there were no nurseries, or youth groups, or Sunday schools? How, then, would we propose a plan for one generation to “tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done” (Ps. 78:4)?
Fortunately, we don’t have to invent such a scenario from scratch. All we have to do is open the pages of the Bible and begin reading. There we find a world where the aforementioned programs and ministries did not exist; there we find a disciple-making model that looks almost nothing like the institutional structures with which we’ve become so familial. And there we find family shepherds.