'The Great Commission should begin in the home': Seminary heads stress witnessing to one's own children

by Michael Gryboski |

(Screenshot: YouTube/The Gospel Coalition)Ligon Duncan, chancellor and CEO of Reformed Theological Seminary, gives remarks at The Gospel Coalition pre-conference event on Monday, April 1, 2019.

Two seminary leaders have stressed the importance of parents evangelizing their children through teaching and practice, with one declaring that "the Great Commission should begin in the home."

The Gospel Coalition began its latest evangelism gathering in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Sunday and Monday with a pre-conference featuring multiple speakers on the theme of reaching the newest generation.

Ligon Duncan, chancellor and CEO of Reformed Theological Seminary, explained that he believed the three key elements of witnessing to one's children were "prayer, example, and teaching, in that order."

"Pray for your children. You pray for what you care about. I cannot tell you how many testimonies I have heard of the impact of children realizing that their parents prayed for them," he stated, stressing that "the power of praying parents is unbelievable."

"My wife had cousins who would sneak next to their parents' bedroom doors and listen while their father prayed for them by name. And the impact ... at his funeral, these two adult women testified to the power of hearing their father pray for them on his knees, by his bed, at night."

Regarding the theme of "example," Duncan told attendees that the way that Christian parents act before their children was an important doctrine lesson.

"In your life, you live out doctrine, one way or the other. You either live out true doctrine or you live out false doctrine in your life. And living out the truth shows young people that the truth is true and that you embrace it," noted Duncan.

"Think of it: by going to church on Sunday and taking your children with [you], you teach them that God is more important than anything else in the world. Why else would you take a day aside to devote to Him if He's not the most important thing in the world?"

Duncan believed that teaching doctrine to one's children was an important part of them growing up and accepting the faith, with the seminary head imploring the audience to "catechize your children."

"It's very important when we convey truth, theology, doctrine to the next generation, that we understand what it is for, because doctrine is meant to produce certain things in the Christian life," he said.

"And if it is not producing those things, that we need to quickly check our doctrine and make sure that our doctrine is biblical or we need to make sure that we understand what doctrine is for."

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