Whether it is Pastor Story Hour or something else, we want our children to see us active in the world. We do not want them to grow up hiding from culture. We do not want them to believe that our faith is private, quiet, and secretive. We do not want them to grow up afraid to engage. We want them to feel encouraged to labor for Christendom. Excited and eager to see King Jesus reclaim territory for His Kingdom in their lifetime. And we want them to see themselves in that work, encouraged that God might use them to do something extraordinary for Jesus. When we model it to them, they will catch a vision of doing it themselves.
As people across the nation have been hearing about our Pastor Story Hour, I thought it would be helpful to sketch out some of my thoughts on why we are doing an event such as this. And while I prefer to sit and talk about this over a dark roast coffee, I would like to be brief enough here to be truly helpful. Of course, considering that I am a preacher, my goal may already be in jeopardy. Nevertheless, I would like to provide a few significant thoughts on why we believe this event is so helpful, useful, and necessary.
1) GOSPEL – The doctrine behind every conversion and the heartbeat fueling every Christian is the Gospel. It is the power of almighty God, and it is not only the MOST ESSENTIAL doctrine that we could ever learn as individuals, but it is the most essential doctrine that our children could ever learn as well! The Gospel is the doctrine that will guard their hearts and minds should they find themselves in a secular university. The Gospel is the balm for their weary soul when they walk through the pain and suffering life will inevitably throw at them. The Gospel is the life raft for their doubts, the comfort in their sadness, and the fuel for all their joy and gladness. As parents, we are responsible for preparing them for life without us. But, to do that well, we must actively, deliberately, and passionately teach them the Gospel.
As elders and pastors, we take that work seriously (1 Ti 4:1-2). We want to be a resource for our parents in helping you understand the Gospel so that you can also train your children to know God’s glorious Gospel!
2) PASTORAL LEADERSHIP – We believe pastors have been called to bring the truth of the Scriptures to bear on every facet of God’s people’s lives. We do not want to produce people who can behave like Christians during a Sunday morning service. Instead, we want to develop people who are impacted by the Gospel at every level, in every nook and cranny of their lives, so that all of their life looks like Christ. To do that, we must not take for granted that people are leaving the safety of our churches on Sunday to enter the battlefield on Monday. While we are reading commentaries and preparing messages throughout the week, our people are inundated with the enemy’s lies, saturated with every wind of cultural dogmatism, and pressured to compromise. Frankly, if we are not actively seeking to help our people develop a Biblical worldview, then we are preparing them for failure.
As pastors, we stand with one foot in the Biblical world of truth and theology and the other foot in the world of liberal and secular ideology. We stand on the wall and see the trends coming, the pagan philosophies forming, the secular ideologies gathering steam, and we are the exact people God called to help. We are the ones who help equip God’s people to think about things from a Biblical worldview, and that duty must never be abandoned. For this reason, an event like Pastor Story Hour is so helpful because we can pick and choose topics to teach that do not usually come up on a Sunday morning. Further, we can take those topics and use them as an opportunity to train our children and equip our parents. That is pastoral leadership.
3) FAMILY WORSHIP – The more we become acquainted with the Gospel, the more we realize that it is not just a Sunday doctrine and not the kind of thing that can be contained in a one-hour church service each week. The Gospel finds its way into every aspect of our life, which means we must also teach the Gospel in every area that our children live. This is why the Gospel must be read in books, sung in songs, prayed at dinner tables, tucked in with them when they go to bed, and the aroma of the home they will awaken into.
For this reason, Pastor Story Hour is not only for the children to learn the Gospel, but it is also an intentional environment for parents to come and watch us teaching their children and to observe how we do it. We want moms and dads to see how we do it and get ideas and inspiration on how to do the same thing for their children in their own homes. We want you to feel comfortable, competent, and confident in knowing how to instruct your children in the Gospel. We believe Pastor Story Hour can be a wonderful part of that! Our goal is that Pastor Story Hour will be a blessing to every member of the family and that it will invigorate family worship in our community and beyond!
4) CHRISTIAN EDUCATION – Along with family worship, we believe the Church has a God-ordained responsibility to educate all of our people in the Gospel and to help equip them for service in His Kingdom.