I don’t consider myself to be a planner. It’s not that I am some type of free spirit who meanders through life. I have a calendar, and I make plans, and I carry through with those plans. What I mean is, I am not one of those people who gets up on Monday and starts thinking about what I am going to do the following Saturday, and then goes ahead and puts an agenda in place. It isn’t that I am trying to keep my options open or anything – I just don’t want to put that much mental energy into thinking about Saturday if I don’t have to. When there isn’t anything of a priority on the schedule, I am happy to wake up on Saturday morning and think, “what should I do today?”
Now having read that first paragraph, most of you will fall into one of two groups. The first group sort of sees me as a hero – OK, maybe not a hero – but definitely someone you identify with. Then there is the other group – the group that gets thoroughly frustrated with someone like me. It drives you bonkers when on Monday you ask, “So what do you want to do on Saturday?” and people like me respond, “Saturday? Can’t I just get through Monday first. Let’s just wait and see.” It is amazing how often God puts one from each of those groups together in marriage.
So, planner and non-planner, let me ask you two questions: What is your plan for personal spiritual growth? What is your plan for your family’s spiritual growth? Very often, those are not questions that we ask ourselves. When it comes to our spiritual growth and the discipleship of our children, we often act as if we just expect those things to happen. After all, we come to church, we listen to the preacher, we listen to the Sunday School lesson, we pray before we eat. But is that really enough? Can we grow substantially in our walk with the Lord in just a few minutes a week? When I look into the lives of people with a vibrant faith and passion for the things of the Lord, I never find anyone who is content with sitting in church for a few hours and then waiting for the same time next week to roll around. They pursue God throughout the week – they read Scripture daily, they pray all throughout the day, they meditate on the Word of God, they memorize Scripture, they humbly serve the Lord with every aspect of their life, and they very often pray and fast on a regular basis. They are intentional about their pursuit of the Lord.
One thing that can help most of us is developing a personal spiritual disciplines plan and/or a family discipleship plan. It isn’t something that is overly cumbersome, and you don’t have to write some type of curriculum for your family to go through. It simply requires taking a small amount of time and putting a plan of action into place. In less time than it will take you to plan this summer’s vacation, you can put a family discipleship plan in place that will fit with the natural rhythms of your family’s life. For now, document how you are pursuing the Lord throughout the week. In a couple of weeks, let’s discuss a template for a plan.