Nine Things for 2009, Part 2

In Part 1 of my nine things, I mentioned three of them that were personal-oriented. In Part 2, the following three are more family-oriented.  There they are:

4.  Begin Teaching My Son the Children’s Catechism

My son Nolan recently turned one, and he is quickly catching on to things we are teaching him.  While he cannot talk, he is able to understand and communicate other ways.  I was never brought up with any doctrinal training as a child, so I am really excited about spending time with Nolan teaching him biblical truths from The Catechism for Boys and Girls.  I am using Book 1 of Truth and Grace (TAG) Memory Books edited by Tom Ascol which incorporates not only the catechism, but also Scripture memory and hymns as well.  If you are looking for a way to disciple your children, I encourage you to check out the 3-volume set of TAG books.

5.  Use Our Home as a Mission Outpost to Our Neighborhood

Two simple commands have landed on me–(1) love your neighbor as yourself and (2) welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.  My desire is to put feet and practical application to these words by loving my neighbors, bringing them the gospel, and seeking for their joy and satisfaction in knowing Jesus. Part 1 of this vision was to turn a field next to my house into the “Brister Field of Dreams” (If you mow it, they will come”).  We had our first kickball game New Year’s Day, the fruit of which was one teenager (Joey) coming and hanging out with us.  He is not a Christian but is interested in coming to Grace with us. Part 2 is to build a bus stop for the kids in my neighborhood.  The two buses for different schools come right across the street of my house every morning, and about 5-10 kids are there each day. Part 3 is to host a neighborhood block party later this year, and Part 4 is to start an open fellowship and Bible study for unbelievers to come and learn about Christ. Needless to say, I am really excited about this and how our family can together bring the gospel and love of Christ by welcoming sinners into our home and into our lives.

6.  Bring Greater Alignment to My Role as Husband, Father, and Minister

I have been working on a discipleship model/process that involves three arenas: personal worship, family worship, and corporate worship.  I happen to find myself in leadership at all three levels: leading myself (duh), leading my family, and leading at Grace.  At times in the past, I have failed to bring alignment and balance in these roles, especially my role in shepherding my wife. The front line of my gospel ministry is in my home, and I want the alignment of my roles (priority and focus) to evidence faithful stewardship of God’s gifts and God’s calling on my life. I recall what Tim Keller once said (paraphrase): “I never met a man at the end of his ministry who said, ‘I wish I had spent more time in the office/church,’ but I have met many who have said I wish I had spent more time with my wife and children.'” May God grant me grace to model loving sacrifice, gospel-driven joy, and Spirit-producing humility in my home and among God’s people.

Explore posts in the same categories: Family, Missional, Personal Commentary


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6 Comments on “Nine Things for 2009, Part 2”

  1. Timmy:

    I’m interested to hear your strategy for your neighborhood open fellowship and Bible study for unbelievers.


  2. Steve,

    My small group strategy is not fully developed yet, but I am looking to do something similar to what I did in college and while at seminary (working at UPS). Both of them bore fruit, although the college deal was a bit more informal than the UPS group. I think Part 3 will look more like the block party in college and Part 4 will look like the open group I did at UPS. I am currently thinking through what kind of study would be most profitable, but I mainly want to work on developing community with non-Christians via hospitality and service. I am considering working through a biblical theology of redemption, something of the nature of 2 Ways 2 Live, allowing plenty of time for discussion and Q&A. When the strategy gets more formalized, I will try to blog on it here.

    Thanks for your comment.


  3. Dr. Paul W. Foltz Says:

    Dear bro. Timmy,
    When i was teaching a home study for teenagers I started with Science and the Bible.
    Since the majority are not regenerate, I started with something, I knew the Spirit
    could use to draw their attention to, and interwove the Gospel with it each time.

    Though not a book of Science the Bible has many scientific facts recorded in it, long
    before man ”Discovered” them.

    But you do whatever the Holy Spirit tells you to do. I was only telling how God used
    that in reaching many youngpeople, when I as a young person myself taught it.

    In His Grace,
    bro. Paul

  4. […] Provocations & Pantings Trusting God :: Treasuring Christ :: Triumphing the Gospel « Nine Things for 2009, Part 2 […]

  5. Ben Finch Says:


    Your goals for 2009 are very encouraging & have helped me revise some of mine. Thanks for the link to the TAG Resources; I look forward to using these in our family as we seek to hide the Word in our hearts as well as help teach of God’s grace.
    And, it is great to see your desire to use your home & neighborhood for the sake of the gospel. My wife & I have been trying to make our home a place of hospitality & refuge for neighbors & our community. I anticipate hearing more about the “Brister Field of Dreams.”


    Ben Finch

  6. You will realize untold blessing in proactively discipling your family. I’ve been reading the Bible with the family most nights before bed. I can teach the kids rudimentary hermeneutics and exegesis to help them develop their intellectual theology, but more importantly I can help them discover from the passages what they learn about who God is, what we can be thankful for, and what we need to repent of. Watching my kids, my wife, and even myself grow spiritually as a family is incredible.

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