In his final words to his followers, Jesus commissioned his disciples to take the gospel to all the nations of the world by teaching and baptizing with the promise that he would be with them always. That commission still stands today for all of us. And that commission starts at home.
Biblical scholars have argued over the word “go” in the Great Commission. Some say the word means to physically pick up and move, while others believe that the intent is found in “as you are going” or as you live your daily lives. Nevertheless, the complete intention of the Great Commission is about making disciples. If the Lord leads you to physically move, then make disciples where you move. If he leads you to make disciples as you are living your daily life, then do so. The Great Commission is all about making disciples of Jesus.
This mission for parents begins at home. Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 6:4–9 that parents should love the Lord with all their heart, mind, and strength and repeat them to your children. He instructs parents to disciple their children as they go about their daily lives and as they move across the nations of the world. Paul gives us the same instruction in his letter to believers in Ephesus—bring your children up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Couple these two passages with the Great Commission from Jesus, we see that disciple-making begins at home.
Disciple-making begins with parents who love God, and desire to make him known to their children. When we see our children through the lens of Scripture, we begin to realize that we have a finite amount of time to invest in them. In the scope of our lifetime, we have a limited amount of time to teach them and disciple them in who the Lord is and what He has done. We begin to see that disciple-making doesn’t start within the walls of the church building, but in our homes.
When we as parents outsource our God-given task of discipling our children to someone else, we miss the sacred responsibility of fulfilling the privilege we have been assigned. Pastor and author Paul David Tripp puts it this way, “We shepherd our children on God’s behalf.” What a unique calling and gift that we are given. When a child is laid in our hands for the first time, the Creator God of the universe saw fit for us to shepherd that child on His behalf. Don’t outsource this to someone else. Take hold of the fact that God gave you that child to raise and to disciple for His global glory and renown. Parents, we spend the most time with our children than anyone else does. Use that time to point them to Jesus. Through words and deeds, point them toward Jesus. Through actions and thoughts, point them toward Jesus. As we fulfill the Great Commission by making disciples of all the nations, we start at home. The greatest thing we can do for them is to point them to Jesus. Don’t wait to start this journey. Do so today.