Clapham Christian Classical School

Clapham Journal

School-Family Partnership Series: A Call for Family Devotions

Clapham dad, Nick Conner exhorts parents to bring up their children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

Parents Do the Planting

A few months ago I sat across from a young woman at a long conference table in our church’s library. We were joined by the other leaders of our church: six men who, along with me, make up our elder board. The occasion for such a lopsided gathering was this young lady’s pursuit of church membership, a process that, for us, includes an interview with all seven elders. At these interviews our goal is simple: determine if the person seeking membership is a baptized follower of Christ and then answer any questions they might have about joining our church family.

As simple as that sounds, it is not always easy to discern if someone is a follower of Christ. Perhaps that is why the interview with this young woman stands out in my memory. It ended with her leaving and one of our elders facetiously remarking, “I don’t know guys, I just don’t see it,” which was met by a round of laughter. Given what we’d just heard and seen, this assessment was preposterous. The truth was this person had so exuded a love for Christ and passion for His glory that there was no doubt about where she stood in her relationship with Him. In fact, it still warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes as I think of it today.

When we asked her to explain the basis for her undeniable love for Christ, she pointed us to her father and told us how he both modeled Christianity and led them in family devotions. What a testimony to the power of parents who lead their children in the faith!

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children…”

Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Others Do the Watering

While Clapham School is a great blessing to our family and does so much to teach and encourage our children in their faith, this woman’s testimony reminds me it is the examples we set in our homes that are the most formative in the development of our children. For that reason, my hope for our family, and yours, is that the Christian curriculum at Clapham School serves to reinforce what they are seeing and receiving from us at home rather than replace it.

That said, leading our children in family devotions isn’t easy. First, a time must be established for when the whole family can gather. Then there needs to be an age-appropriate plan for how the time will be spent. Finally, there must be someone who owns the responsibility of making this a regular routine rather than a “once in a blue moon” event.

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.”

1 Corinthians 3:6

While acknowledging these challenges, I point you back to the young woman who sat before an elder board and filled a church library with the aroma of Christ. Fellow parents, isn’t that what we long for in our own children? If so, then don’t leave the discipling of your children to Clapham alone. Know that it will be your example and your leadership that marks them more than anything else. Set aside a regular time to read them the Word and discuss it, then sing a simple song and pray together. Lead them by demonstrating what it looks like to be a genuine follower of Christ in all areas of your own life. And then let Clapham reinforce what our children are receiving at home. In this way, we may, together, raise children who are filled with a love for Christ and a passion for His glory.

Nick Conner is a Clapham father. He and his wife have four children at Clapham, and they attend Grace Church of DuPage, where Nick serves as the Associate Pastor.

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