Hi, my name is Gary Webb, and I just want to spend a couple of minutes talking to you today about one of the really important dimensions of ministry in the local church—especially as we consider ministering to families.
You know, in recent times there have been conversations around the values of information as compared to life transformation. And it seems like the conversation is usually often one or the other. There’s like an exclusion that communicates you can’t have both.
And I think about that even as a kid growing up in the church. And I’m sure many of you have the same experience. I was raised engaging in some programs and church activities that said, “Memorize, memorize, memorize.”
And so that’s what we did. We “hid God’s Word in our hearts,” as it’s often said, but really it was only in our heads. We had the information, and it was there.
Is It About Knowledge or Emotion?
And then there’s another side of the equation. It seems like that often times there’s a pursuit of how we feel. And the transformational piece can kind of get lost in the sense that we just kind of do as we feel—maybe it’s based on emotion or things of that nature but void of God’s Word.
But really, the truth is we need to have both. We need to have actions and behaviors. We need our feelings to be based on the truth of God’s Word that He has revealed to us. We need to have both knowledge and emotion. It’s not one or the other.
Families Need More than Information
And so think about that as we’re ministering to families. I know I do. You know, over the years we’ve looked at Deuteronomy 6 as the passage. Probably the one that we look at often and say, “If we would shape our families around that passage to put God in the center of the home from morning until night in every activity that they’re doing, imagine how that would change us.”
But we know that’s not the case today. So we put that passage out there. We have our parents read it. And we use that in our workshops and in our events to put God first in everything. And that’s great information.
However, are we actually seeing parents live that out? Are we seeing their behaviors, their feelings, their attitudes actually changing? Because that’s what’s important.
Having the information and being able to go to their Bibles and find Deuteronomy 6, well, that’s great. But living it out is far more important to me, and I believe it is to you as well.
The Challenge Is Seeing Lives Changed
And so that’s our challenge. We need to have a great blend of spiritually helping parents to have the tools and the equipment they need to parent well. All the things that they need to know. But at the end of the day we really need to see lives changed. We want to see priority shift in the home. You know, we all know the reality of busyness today.
Parents are overwhelmed with activities. And when I hear another story where families say “You know what? We’re assessing our activities and we’re moving toward taking this out or moving this away so that we can make some time for God,” then I know life transformation is actually happening.
The Distance from the Head to the Heart
And so think about that in your ministry. We want to have great information, but let’s constantly be looking for actual behaviors changing. And I know then that God is truly at work and working in their hearts.
You know it’s been said that the greatest journey—maybe the longest journey that a man will ever take—is the 18 inches from their head to their heart. And so that’s what we’re trying to do; get that wonderful and helpful information embedded, but it’s making a difference in how people see life and behave.
So let’s do that together. As leaders who are impacting families, I know we can make a difference with great information who are pursuing spiritual and life transformation. God bless you.