Hebraic Home Fellowships
Must Produce Godly Generations

[click here for a printable copy]

Training Succeeding Generations to Follow Jesus 
Is An Inter-Generational Responsibility

Part 5

Home Fellowships:
Communally Preparing Succeeding Generations To Follow Jesus

“So that you may fear the LORD your God,  to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life,  and that your days may be prolonged”

(Deuteronomy 6:2)

 

Introduction to Part 5
“Outsourcing” — calling upon others to assume responsibility for that which God has called you — is the bane of Christian parenting. Because of the prevailing influence of compulsory public education, generations of people have grown accustomed to “outsourcing” their children for others to educate. The children are independent of their parents.

The adolescent is often left to him/herself and the school system to decide what  to do upon graduation. Generally, the young person has been influenced to get ahead in life and enjoy the pursuit of self-gratification, the same motives the world sets forth. Even in the realm of spiritual training, many Christian parents expect the Sunday School or youth programs in their congregation to fill in for their children where they as parents have defaulted. 

None of these scenarios should happen with children who are raised by followers of Jesus! Now is the time that our Father wants His people to return to our biblical, communal responsibility to raise generations who will serve Him in His Kingdom and not compromise with the domains of Satan.

Today, many families who home school their children are doing it alone, without the support of the extended spiritual family of a home fellowship. A major misjudgment among many Christian home schooling families is that their efforts are viewed primarily as an academic endeavor. Complet-ing the curriculum is their primary focus. The result? Many home schooled children are being raised without Kingdom motives and goals. They may not be getting infused with humanism (or feminism or other isms), but neither are their hearts being guided to learn so that their character is more like Jesus!
The term home schooling in itself is such a misnomer, emphasizing academic education rather than the more wholistic view of developing servants for the King. A few generations of those educated at home have now come of age. During this time one fact has emerged with serious consequences: the patriarchal foundations of the Trustee family in which fathers participate as leaders in training their children is negligible.
Educating the children has become almost exclusively the mom’s domain, placing a heavy knapsack of responsibility on her weary shoulders. What both parents sorely need is the restoration of the biblical, cooperative input of a home fellowship family to train up the character of the next generation.
If you attend any home schooling conference today, the paucity of men present will be self-evident. One reason is that  home schooling began as a counter-movement to public education. Increasingly leery of what was going on in the classroom, agitated parents chose to stand against public education rather than focus for the opportunity to infuse Kingdom living in their children.
Rather than beginning with the foundations of communal responsibility through home fellowships led by elders, several of the earliest leaders of the home schooling movement encouraged families to refrain from even fellowshipping together as those who are wholehearted in their loving obedience in Jesus. The leaders feared that clergy would perceive fellowship outside their congregation as a threat.

We home educated our son Mike while we were living on a retreat center/farm in Connecticut. In the 1980’s the view of public education in general was anti-home schooling. There was a lot of negative press about home schooling. One father in Massachusetts was put in jail for home schooling his children. We met his wife and children hiding out with friends in a rural part of our state.
Because of the potential for negative press for home schooling our son, we made an agreement with the Board of Directors of the retreat center where we taught and administrated to leave the center if any adverse ramifications came from home schooling Mike. By God’s grace, none occurred.
Sadly, through all our years of home schooling we lacked the fellowship support of other home schoolers, particularly those who were training up older children at home. It was often a very lonely endeavor for us as a family. Mike Jr. had grown up and left home before we went to Israel in 1993 and received insight into the Hebraic foundations and God’s inter-generational purpose for home fellowships: to take communal responsibility to raise godly generations for His name’s sake.

As you’ll see in Part 5, a home fellowship is collectively responsible to help succeeding generations become faithful servants of King Jesus. Each generation must wholeheartedly desire to lovingly serve Him in obedient trust. This goal and life purpose is instilled through the collective efforts of the extended spiritual family of a home fellowship. What glues one generation to the next is the example and role model of living out the words of Jesus:

If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself [his earthly goals and appeasement of any facet of his sin nature] and take up his cross and follow Me [an ongoing life process of obedient trust] (Mark 8: 34). 

• Do you take seriously the constraints put upon followers of Jesus by our Lord? What is your responsibility as a faith family to train up succeeding generations to deny their natural inclination to follow the goals and longings of Satan’s domain, the world?

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever (1 John 2:15-17).
If we, as older followers of Jesus who love Him, haven’t been raised with the goal of Kingdom service, then we need to unlearn the deceit we were taught, and to acquire through God’s grace His goals and objectives. Because our heavenly Father is restoring these foundations, we can trust that He will give us all the help we need as we yield to His will and cry out in humble dependence. 

As a home fellowship family, each of us needs a “tribal view” of our responsibilities to one other. Everyone has a part to play in helping raise godly generations! It isn’t only a spiritual and academic framework. Character development comes about during the interaction of a variety of life experiences. For example, Mike likes to fish, play golf, hike and bike. He uses these times to spend with children and younger people who are interested. During these times he can affirm the child/ young person through meaningful and intentional times of discussion.
Sue enjoys outdoor activities, crafts and helping young people learn life skills. One afternoon she spent hours teaching some girls from our faith family to make artificial flowers that would bring smiles to older recipients. Lots of personal discussion took place to bless both Sue and the girls (and their mom)!
If you long for a home fellowship family based on the Hebraic model with each of you fulfilling your responsibilities in love for  Jesus, discussion with each other is essential. This one activity, mutual discussion, enables Jesus to guide you both individually and collectively in His will and in character development:

Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them (Matthew 18: 18-20).


Part 5
Home Fellowships: Communally Preparing
Succeeding Generations To Follow Jesus

Home Fellowship Objective 4:
Prepare Succeeding Generations to Follow Jesus

“For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him” 
(Genesis 18:19).

While we were in Israel our Father told us to call that which He is restoring today The Hebraic Restoration. The Bible proclaims that our spiritual father, the Hebrew, Abraham, had such trust in God that it was credited to him as righteousness (Romans 4:3). Under the new covenant, ongoing trust in the shed blood of Jesus as our Redeemer is credited to His followers as righteousness. Every one of us who trusts Jesus is declared to be a child of Abraham:

Therefore, the promise comes by trust, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all (Romans 4:16).
 
The reality of Abraham as the father of followers of Jesus is an important biblical declaration. Abraham, as a prototype tribal leader, was chosen because he could be trusted to fulfill a vital task: “He will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just.” 
How tragic that this directive to Abraham has been so poorly kept by his spiritual “children” today. Such disregard has sorely contributed to the spiritual and moral downfall of many young people from Christian homes. Deceived by Humanism, too many parents have abdicated their biblical responsibility by relegating their children to Humanist instruction that denies God completely. Too many, too late, have found that the damage wrought by a godless education system can’t be undone.

The Older Testament: The Origin Of Nurturing Succeeding Generations

The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him [a handpicked life partner whose strengths fill in for his weaknesses so that together they are complete]’ (Genesis 2:18).

These commandments which I give to you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children [as an image is pressed onto a coin]. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up (Deuteronomy 6:6,7).

The above verses were the key to Hebraic success in establishing the home as the primary site for parents and significant other individuals to instill God’s truths in the next generation. Paul apperceived Deuteronomy 6, above, when he exhorts fathers, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath [to a point of frustrated, seething anger], but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
That kind of biblical training is a repeated, ongoing process over an extended period of time. The admonition involved is both a verbal as well as disciplinary response depending on the particular child and the particular need. Whatever form of admonition is called for, it’s intended that the parent administer it with the loving motivation of Jesus, and that the child receive it as though it were coming from our Lord Himself.

Train [dedicate, consecrate, teach early on] a child in the way he should go [i.e., in the way his bent, talents and motivations are steering him], and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).

Many Christians believe that God promises a particular outcome if they keep a specific rule, in this case, the training of children. This premise has caused heartbreak for so many parents. They’ve been taught that the above verse guaranteed that their children would grow up walking in Jesus if they as parents raised them with Christian values. Not so!
Hebraic parents did not view the Book of Proverbs as a compendium of “cause and effect” promises. The Proverbs contained the best wisdom the sages could offer but didn’t carry any guarantees from God. While you can be wholeheartedly devoted and loving in raising your children, our Father has created them with free will. To walk as Kingdom people, each one must at some point recognize and recoil from his or her own sin nature and sinful actions/attitudes, and respond to the Spirit’s call to repent and turn to our Father through Jesus our Redeemer.

Raising your children in the way each should go calls for you to spend such significant, ongoing time with your children that you can appreciate their individual personalities and motivations. Then you can impress into your offspring as a signet ring into wax the character and behaviors that please God.
With the awareness that comes from your own abiding intimacy with Him, you’re better able to discern God’s plan for each child for the vocation and way of life most suitable for him or her. With that kind of awareness and preparation, they’ll be far more likely to serve their Lord with peaceful heart and willing availability.

There’s a profound connection between one’s vocation and their expression of devotion to their Lord through word and deed. Remember, the Hebrew word “avodah”  (ah-voh-DAH) means both work and worship. A young person who has been guided into the calling God has prepared for him will work with thankfulness. A person who is grateful in his workplace is better able to fulfill his King’s purpose in his being there, and to bring God glory as he works.
The Humanist Manifesto [see Part 2, Appendix A] which so clearly impacts public education today is the antithesis of God-centered child-raising. Imparting knowledge apart from its purpose to bring glory to God selfishly feeds an individual’s sense of personal accomplishment and pride. Knowledge without the power of the Spirit to direct it for God’s purposes puffs up the ego and makes that person the center of his own universe.

Training the Succeeding Generation Is An “In-House” Responsibility

Our Father focuses on the responsibility of His older ones to train the younger generation. The “log-in-your-own-eye” mentality criticizes the young for their “mote” of immaturity and foolishness when the more mature have failed in their responsibility to actively and intentionally role model righteous living. 
Our Lord won’t entertain excuses. But be assured of this: By means of the committed relationships in the extended spiritual family of a home fellowship, each person can do his part to help the children be lovingly trained to seek after Jesus and to follow in His steps. This is the important role of the spiritual “clan.”
In order of importance for raising up the next generation, consider these biblical priorities:

1. To both role model and train up the next generation to live in loving, obedient trust in Jesus.
2. To role model and nurture Christlike character in each child.
3. To train each child according to his or her bent for a vocation that brings glory to our Father.
4. To expand the children’s spiritual horizon beyond themselves to serve the goals and purposes of our Father and reach the lost.

The training of the next generation encompasses far more than just academic education. Academics alone can make them successful in the world, but not necessarily useful in our Father’s Kingdom—particularly if they’re prideful about their knowledge. The Bible provides a wholistic approach of intergenerational community responsibility that promotes maturity in body, soul and spirit. 
Your choices and methods for raising your children are both intentional and serious. Training up children for our Father’s purposes requires separating them from the teachings of Humanism. No longer can you outsource your children to Sunday schools and youth groups in the hope that someone else who’s not intimately committed as family will develop their impressionable spirits.

These are the children of the spiritual clan. In that light, each person in the clan is responsible to equip them with whatever is necessary for their succession in the faith.

If you desire to please our Father and fulfill your God-given responsibility to succeeding generations, you need to make sure that each adult in your fellowship family is assured in their spirit that this is our Lord’s participatory call for them. To train the children to be loving and faithful servants for the King is nonoptional for any adult in your extended spiritual family!
A tribal view of your faith family is such an important perspective if everyone is going to participate in preparing the next generation to wholeheartedly live in and for Jesus as their Lord. A Hebraic home fellowship family is a far cry from a weekly meeting in a home! As extended spiritual family each adult needs an earnestness of spirit to do whatever is required of them to raise godly generations.
Having that kind of heart to fulfill His purposes does intrude on your free time. And if the children perceive they are a burden or an obligation, they’ll recoil from the hypocrisy as they sense the “cold love” behind your actions.
Preparing your collective children for a vocation in which they fulfill their Kingdom responsibilities will require both meaningful interaction with each child and productive discussion among the adults as to how to best train each child according to his ability and bent.
Some adults have different marketable skills; others like to teach different subjects; others have hobbies and talents. If you talk it over with each other, our Lord Jesus will guide each one in how they can participate.

Conclusion To Hebraic Home Fellowships Must Produce Godly Generations

The resources and empowerment of the Holy Spirit that enable His people to accomplish our Father’s goals and objectives are available to all of us. What is needed is earnest and loving determination to be His instruments of restoration. This is a movement of God by His grace and power. No one can look for someone else to do that which He’s calling each follower of Jesus.
If you’ve embraced the true Gospel, then you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit Who gives you understanding and power to apply God’s Word (see Isaiah 11:2.). It is the Spirit, through grace, Who gives you the desire and the power to obey God’s commands in love-grounded, obedient trust.
Without the true Gospel and the indwelling Holy Spirit, all that we’ve written is meaningless. Without the Spirit, people who want to be part of your home fellowship family will have a dullness to the interests of God. And where sin is tolerated, a fellowship family will cower at God’s commands, excusing their disobedience and law-lessness under a misuse of “grace”.
Yet, people who yearn to walk in righteousness will share a communal boldness to do whatever God desires. The purposes for a home fellowship family ultimately come together to glorify our Father through His Son Jesus, not only in this generation, but also for the generations who succeed us to follow this path.
May the crown of any home fellowship family be the spiritual children and grandchildren who carry on to bring glory to God.


RESOURCES THAT MAY BE HELPFUL!

• Discussing How To Restore The Early Church — 50 lessons for discussion (a free download at our website, Restorationministries.org) that offer foundational truths for biblical life application with your family and extended spiritual family.

• Jesus In Your Home — This DVD series (also a free download) consists of short training segments for you to discuss so that your home can be the primary place for spiritual growth and relational intimacy for you, your family, and extended spiritual family.

• Amazon.com — Once you have an author or a title of material you’re interested in, Google it. Amazon is a great resource for discounted books, especially if you don’t mind used! (I recently got a book for one cent plus shipping!) The seller describes the condition of the material and often whether it’s helpful.)

• usedhomeschoolbooks.com — Offers numerous discounted materials at all grade levels. However, I was unable to access the section designated Character Building, which may have had some good material.

• Christianbook.com — You may know this resource as CBD, which has a discount catalog specifically aimed for home schoolers. Helpful because the catalog gives a synopsis of material you may be considering.

• homeschool.com — While not aimed specifically at Christian home school families, this site does offer a wide variety of means to make contact with other home schooling families in your area — and having contact with others who can help answer your questions is a wonderful asset!

• Christianhomeschool.com — A very impressive site that not only offers recommended materials but also links for special interests such as the military, the persecuted around the world, and great resources for beginning home schooling families.

• wisgate.com — The website address stands for Wisdom’s Gate and specializes in materials for “Homeschool, Betrothal, Courtship, and Biblical Worldview Resources for Homeschool or Christian Families”. Their catalog of resources featured materials to remind you WHY you’ve chosen this path for your family, rather than a “how-to” focus. Chris Klicka was the only author with whom I’m familiar, but there may be some really helpful stuff here!

• heartofwisdom.com — This site is the first I’ve seen that differentiates between the “Greek vs Hebraic” methods and means for home educating your children. It also references the State’s God-less purpose and goal for public education. A number of the materials offered have a decidedly Messianic slant. Generous excerpts of the site’s materials are offered for preview. (See also homeschool-books.com for other connected resources and helps.)

• homeschoolinformation.com — A delightful site with lots of great features such as area support groups, used books and resources, as well as such topics as frugal living and using various Internet resources. Offers materials from the above Heart of Wisdom organization as well.

• rainbowresource.com — This site offers numerous discounted materials under various academic categories. Also has a useful Search section if you know which resource you’re looking for in advance!

• Teachinghome.com — A user-friendly home page that directs you to articles on getting started, support group links, and a resource directory for materials/publishers you specifically have in mind.
• store.iblp.org — The Institute in Basic Life Principles, originated by Bill Gothard, has produced some fine quality materials to develop character according to God’s Word. Among our favorites are the three Character Sketches volumes which provide unique insights into various animals/plants that typify righteous character.

• kidsofcourage.com — This is the children’s edition of the persecution.com website for Voice of the Martyrs. The site spotlights specific prisoners of faith and enables your children to receive regular updates. VOM offers a wonderful series of activity books for specific countries.

• bjupress.com — We haven’t personally examined these Bob Jones University materials, but their Heritage Studies for all levels of history have been touted as excellent for their Christian perspective; also their English curriculum.

Some especially recommended materials by home schooling families. (You can get them discounted from Amazon.com and other websites.)

• The Mystery of History (Creation to the Resurrection, Volume 1)
While geared for grades 4-8, I’m told you can adapt it up or down. A Christian perspective to what was going on in OT/NT times during other civilization’s history.

• Considering God’s Creation by Sue Mortimer and Betty Smith (Eagle’s Wings)
“A creative biblical approach to natural science”. Highly recommended by reliable friends!

• Saxon Math program
Somewhat pricey even at Amazon, but an incremental approach that builds on previous steps to introduce new ones. We used this for algebra with our own son and it was very helpful!

• Total Language Plus — A series referenced as “Language Arts  with a Christian Perspec-tive for Middle and Upper Grades”. Incorporates fiction (such as The Incredible Journey, Carry On Mr. Bowditch, The Scarlet Letter, Caddie Woodlawn) as a basis for reading, writing, grammar and spelling. Highly recommended by homeschooling friends!

PLUS, don’t neglect your public library for all sorts of free materials! Training up your children doesn’t have to be costly, just creative according to how our Lord directs you!

DO find other families with similar goals for their children, and intentionally plan at least weekly times together for their benefit as well as yours!

REMEMBER,  you’re not trying to create a public school classroom in your home! Be a parent as you’re teaching, not a teacher who happens to be a parent!

With the help of your home fellowship discover the particular bent of each child and pray for opportunities that will meet that bent. For instance, our son was spiritually gifted in mercy and would have benefited greatly had we made the effort for him to spend regular time helping the elderly, some needy children, or volunteering at a hospital.

PURPOSELY SEEK ways in which you and your children can serve others. It’s all too easy for children to think their interests supercede all others, and that they’re the center of their family’s world, if not the universe. Explore opportunities to represent Jesus through loving service rather than from a misguided sense of religious obligation.