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A Family Integrated Church- Turning the hearts of the Fathers to their children pt 3

August 29, 2012, 2:35 PM

Crossroads Church
A Family Integrated Church
With A Family Integrated Sunday School
How To Turn The Hearts Of The Fathers To Their Children Pt. 3

Malachi 4:6 says: *And He shall turn the heart of the father*s to the children, and the heart of the children to their Father*s, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.*
It seems as though our culture today, does everything it can to separate families, rather than bring them together. Whether it's our public schools that  have our kids for as much as eight to ten hours a day- or whether it*s a child care facility- or clubs- or athletic groups- though the intentions may seem good on the surface,but the result is still the same-
 a separation of children from their families. This is not God*s design for his people.
*As we pointed out last week- American churches seem to ape the world in this as well. Churches have failed to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of children to their fathers, largely by adding to the separation that already occurs in the culture around us. Children are separated from their parents in Sunday School- they are separated from their parents during the worship service- they are separated by youth groups, and other children*s programs. I*m  not saying that these programs are bad in and of themselves, I*m just saying that they have added to the separation. And the separation has become so severe, that most Christian families no longer have any Bible study together at home, and if they do, they find it very difficult, and very frustrating because they either don*t know how to do it, or else their hearts are so apart from each other, that the desire to study together; or even to be together, is gone.
*This is why I believe that an integrated Sunday School is so important. We are bringing parents and their children together, in one Sunday School class, where the parents participate in teaching their children the Bible! Not only are parents learning the Bible from the beginning- but they*re learning it right alongside their children and their teenagers; and then they follow up the study with further study together at home. The Benefits of this method are overwhelming.
*But we don*t stop with bringing families together in Sunday School- we also bring them together  in the Worship Service. Children and teens sit and worship with their parents as well- and they hear the same message every Sunday Morning. This helps to put, and to keep families on the same page when it comes to what*s being taught from the pulpit.
*When a child or a teenager comes to church without a parent, we make sure that that child is teamed up with a surrogate member of our church* they are, (in a sense) adopted by another church family; until we can get their biological family to Christ and to church as well.
*I must add, that this method of being a family integrated church is working very well- though it requires a deep commitment from all the families of the church. But the desire, is to turn the hearts of the father*s to their children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers. This is our churches effort to do that very thing!
*Look at what God*s word says in Psalm 144:7 &12 (KJV)
*Send thine hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great waters,  from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood. That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth, that our daughters may be  as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.*

*In order for the father to have his heart turned to his children, he needs to rid himself of  other people who are ungodly, and who have wrong, and even sinful influences on his children. In other words,
A father needs to learn to turn the T.V. OFF! Most television today not only has a very bad  influence on our children- but it tends to take the time and attention of a father away from his children. The computer can have the same effect!  In turning the heart of the children back to their fathers, sometimes fathers must remove the influence that other children from outside the home have on our kids. Sometimes a father must remove competing influences from his children by keeping other negative children from spending  so much time with his kids. If a father won*t protect his children from negative ungodly outside influences, then who will? This is the call, and challenge of fatherhood.
*We will continue this treatise on turning the hearts  of the fathers to their children next week.
-Pastor Doug Dunnavant


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