Monday, October 29, 2007

One father's take on disciple-making

Several days ago I proposed a radical model of discipleship. As much as we may recognize the need for spiritual coaching, most of us don't have a sense of what true discipleship looks like. (Perhaps it's related our culture - we like "once a week programs" way more than "ways of life")

Anyways, I stumbled upon a related post by Mark Batterson at, in which he describes a year-long discipleship program he has initiated with his son. Can you imagine if all dads were willing to spend one year doing something like this with their children?

Just thought I'd share the three challenges that are part of my year-long discipleship of my son, Parker. I'd love to help some other dads while I'm trying to figure out fatherhood myself! Parker and I signed a covenant and Parker committed to complete a physical challenge, intellectual challenge, and spiritual challenge. If he completes the challenges, I'll take him on a pilgrimage at the end of the year as a celebration of his accomplishment.

For the physical challenge, we are going to train for and run a 10K together. We're eyeing the Capitol Hill Classic next May. I think it will teach discipline and pursuing a common goal creates a unique bond.

For the intellectual challenge, I'm having Parker read a dozen books. I don't have all of them picked out, but I'm going for a cross-section of books that have impacted my life yet are age-appropriate for him.

For the spiritual challenge, we're reading through the New Testament together. I want to teach him spiritual disciplines so we'll also do a forty-day Lent fast. Not sure what we'll fast, but we'll both give up the same thing. And I want to help him come up with a code of conduct and life goals.

Honestly, I don't really know what I'm doing! I just figure that if we sweat together, talk together, and pray together we'll probably grow close together! Sure, I have a plan. But I'm not sure what this will look like six weeks or six months from now. One thing is sure: I'm not going to let our culture raise my son! I'm determined to disciple him myself!


Maddy said...

Well that certainly shows dedication and commitment. I'm with you - what if all dad's.....
best wishes

caljoy said...

Made me cry...