Encourage, Equip, and Empower: For Your Church

Leaders in the church, we have been called “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Ephesians 4:12. As we look specifically at the discipleship of youth and children, I believe this verse may call us to a shift of perspective. I want to take seriously the call of “preparing God’s people.” God has called me to prepare adults (parents, grandparents, neighbors, aunts and uncles) for a work of service in their home so that the body of Christ may be built up in and through the lives of children and youth. This is done through an intentional focus to encourage, equip and empower.


Encourage: Parents and family members are often discouraged and beat down in the enormity of all that it means to raise children today. There is a feeling of being overwhelmed with all that there is to do and the possible impact that we have on a child’s life. This can be relieved simply through encouraging words from a church leader. (See my post entitled Encouraging Environments for families) Be a cheer leader! Phrases like “You can do it!” “You’re doing a great job!” and “Keep up the good work” can go a long way toward easing the overwhelmed feelings. Some families simply are not aware that they have SO much influence on a young person’s life. Simply telling them, “You are the most important person in your child’s life” “You do have influence” “What you do and say matters!” may be the encouragement needed to move them from complacency to action. Many adults who do not have children under 20 living in their homes will tune out when we begin talking about the Family Discipleship Path.  Challenge those to think about children under 20 in their lives (grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors) and remind them that they DO have an impact and they can take these small steps to influence the kids and youth in their lives.


Equip: I was surprised when I was having a conversation with a friend of mine, when she said, “I’ve been a Christian my whole life, but I have no idea how to guide my child to make a decision to follow Jesus.” Giving tools to our families is a huge part of preparing them to disciple their family. At Risen King we have been adding new ways to equip families over the past couple of years as we have been made aware of how important it is. Here are a few ways that we equip families:

  • Trainings: Family Discipleship Summit and Becoming a Love and Logic Parent
  • Resources: pamphlets on “How to Become a Christian” and “Baptism” and “Prayer”
  • Family Guides are sent home with ideas for implementing the lessons learned in the kids’ classes at home in the family
  •  For Your Family is a small blurb on the sermon notes with some ideas on how to implement the adult teaching with your family


Empower: In all we do, we continually pray for and coach our families to remain centered on Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit. We can do nothing apart from HIM! Our families can do nothing apart from HIM! Take every opportunity to pray over your families and remind them that they have the power of the Holy Spirit within them and that’s how they can make a huge impact in the next generation!!! Acts 1:8, John 15, and Philippians 4:13 are only a few verses to pray over your families to keep Jesus at the center.

Please share how you encourage, equip and empower families in your church!!


About familydiscipleshippath

My husband, Tim, and I have been married for 17 years and have 3 great children. Our girls are 13 and 11 and the baby boy is 9. We have been living in Redding, CA and serving at Risen King Community Church since August, 2000. I serve as the Family Ministries Pastor. As a mom and a pastor, I represent both the church and the home and am on a journey of discovering and communicating practical ways the church and family can partner together to guide the young ones in our lives to know and love Jesus and live their lives(their whole lives) in light of that love.
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