Sun, Nov 15, 2015

The Danger of Distraction and the Battle for Priorities

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Big Idea: We live in a fast-paced world that often pulls us in so many different directions. These forces are changing us in ways we are slow to perceive. It is easy to drift into passivity that has disastrous consequences in our spiritual lives. However, we have the opportunity to partner with God, His people, parents and the next generation to see faith thrive.

  1. Living in a distracted culture

    1. Amount of AV consumption

    2. The number of different commitments has increased.

    3. Larger changes happen more frequently.

  2. Lots of competing priorities – We don’t have time.

    1. We are too busy.

    2. Yet we do have time for what we value.

    3. We make time to cope.

    4. What we value does have a large shaping influence on us and our children.

  3. Three levels of engagement

    1. Parents, church, and students partnering together – Ideal is three out of three.

      1. Biblical case: Deuteronomy 6:4-7a; Ephesians 6:1-4; Titus 2
             In his letter to Titus Paul calls for intergenerational investment.

      2. Scripture calls for people of faith, parents and children to all actively work together to foster intergenerational faith.

    2. Two of three:

    3. One of three:

  4. Warnings and opportunities

    1. Warnings

    2. Opportunities

    3. Calvary’s approach

Discussion Questions:

1) How would you compare your pace of life now with previous times in your life? Are you busier now than before? Are you the frog getting cooked? That is, are you just getting used to it? How would you know the difference?

2) How do you keep your calendar from getting overcrowded with too many commitments? Do you prune systematically, or do you wait until it gets to be too much and then make drastic changes?

3) Do you have more things competing for the same time now? Name some of your big stressors. See if some common themes emerge in your group.

4) What are your favorite coping mechanisms? If left to your own devices, what is your coping style under stress?

5) In your formative years, was it clear to you that your parents had a plan for your spiritual development? If you grew up with church as a part of your life, was is clear that your church had a discipleship plan for you? How would you rate the partnership between your parents, the church, and yourself?

6) Can you think of a situation or a family you know of where their church, the parents and the child were all pulling together in the same direction with clearly identified goals? If so, how did that turn out?

7) Can you think of a situation where there were only two of those three – the parents and child did but the church didn’t have a plan or wasn’t engaged? How did that work out?

8) Do you know of situations where it was only one of three – the church did but mom and dad and the student didn’t engage? How did that situation turn out?

9) What role can you play in creating an effective partnership between parents, a student and the church? What dreams to you have about this?

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