GPS – Leading my Son to Faith in Jesus Christ

Image Goes HereGOAL: LEAD MY SON TO FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST

GOAL SUMMARY: I was hesitant to even think of making up a Goal Planning Sheet for this. Why? Well, for starters, the whole point is that I want my son’s decision about his eternal destination to be just that… his decision. I remember next to nothing about my own salvation experience at four years old, and while that doesn’t invalidate it by any means, it’s also not something I can look back to and point out the steps I took to make it my own decision, versus something that was just told to me, I believed, accepted, and that’s that. And I don’t think that’s bad. In fact, it’s tremendously good. Should my son come to faith at that early of a place in his life, I think I’d be overjoyed. I also wonder if I’d wonder for quite a while, “was it real, or did I push him too hard?”

So that’s what this is here for… not to come up with some strategy that will get him saved by the time he’s seven or eleven or twenty seven, but for me, to set this as a meaningful goal, something that would obviously bring tremendous fulfillment to my own life, and also something that would alter the course or another life, for eternity. I want to do all I can to lead him to that point in his life, both in preparing him, teaching him, and modeling FOR him what an authentic relationship with Jesus looks like. Should that time come while he’s in my care, I want to write things down about it, to share with him later, so he can know the details… not just a retelling, but documentation, something to look back on, the process, the change in his life, the reality of his becoming a new creation.

So here we go….

GOAL:

Lead my son to faith in Jesus Christ

TARGET DATE:

MM/DD/YYYY

TODAY’S DATE:

August 30, 2010

REWARDS FOR ACHIEVEMENT:

  • My son’s eternal destiny will forever be determined.
  • I will be able to share with my son, both now and in the future, how he came to know Jesus. Should this time come early in his life, being able to look back on it in detail will be a source of encouragement and confirmation to him.
  • I will have had a hand in seeing my life’s eternal destiny set. While my own gratification means little in the grand scheme of seeing my son obtain new life, it will be tremendously fulfilling to see the part I played. Even if he accepts Jesus in a situation outside of my control, having this goal as an important part of my life means that I will do things every day to point him in this direction.
  • My son’s changed life may further affect other lives, further opening the door for others to be influenced for Christ (and as a side note… influenced, by actions taken by me)
  • My relationship with my son will take on new meaning, both as spiritual father and also as brothers. My influence in his life, and our bond itself, will be drawn tighter forever.

CONSEQUENSES OF NON-ACHIEVEMENT:

  • Between my wife and myself, we have more influence over our son during his early years in life than any other human being. We will lead him in some direction, regardless of whether or not we “try.” If we do not lead him in the right direction, that means we are either leading him away from it, or simply leaving him to flounder without a sense of direction.
  • I know fathers who have trained up their children as they should and seem them reject Christ. My goal here is not to make the choice for him, but to lead him to where he makes it on his own, in whatever state of childhood, youth, or even adult that he may be at the time he makes that decision. Should I not lead him in this direction, I will be forever regretful that I “could have done more but didn’t.”
  • My son may get influenced away from Christ by other sources.
  • My son may never come to the point of seeing that he must make his own decision of where to put his trust.

AFFIRMATIONS:

  • I am an influential part of my son’s life, if not the most influential part of my son’s life. What I do matters to him, and affects decisions he makes.
  • I am myself a new creation through Jesus Christ, and have seen what a change salvation brings.
  • I recognize the value of documenting this journey with my son, so that at a later time, we can look back and see where God had brought us.

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE
DELEGATED TO

SOLUTION

My son will be resistant to the gospel

My role is not to make any decisions for him, but to lead him to the point where he realizes that he must make his own decision.

  1. PRAY for his heart to be softened beyond anything I say or do.
  2. During his early years, before I start losing influence to friends, school, and the fact that he is growing up, utilize both story telling, open conversation, Bible teaching, and even appropriate disciplines to bring him up in a parent/young-child relationship
  1. PRAY daily for my son’s salvation and journey toward Jesus. Make a record of these prayers so that I can do more than tell him “I prayed for you ever day.”
  2. Take advantage of the opportunity I have to have story time every night before bed, and read through a child appropriate bible or other stories pointing the way for him towards the gospel.
  3. Don’t try to be his best friend. Above all else at this stage of life, I am his PARENT.
  1. xxx
  1. xxx

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE
DELEGATED TO

SOLUTION

I will not know the words to use or stories to tell to “lead” him towards Jesus.

  1. PRAY.
  2. Read a children’s bible or stories pointing toward the gospel.
  3. Get involved in the lives of others teaching my son, such as his Sunday School teacher or influences at school, and learn from them how to “get through” to my son.
  4. Talk to others who came to (or have children that came to) know Jesus at various stages of life about the influences that led them to Jesus.
  1. Pray every day and make a record of it.
  2. Plan ahead for reading tim ewith my son each night before bed. Do more than just read, pray, and go to bed. Ask questions, let him ask questions, and see where God is leading him.
  3. Go out to dinner with Colton’s teachers / influences and let them know we support them and what we hope for them. Also find out things they may know about my son that I do not, and put them to work.
  1. xxx
  1. xxx

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE
DELEGATED TO

SOLUTION

Other influences in my son’s life may compete for what I want to lead him towards

  1. Make habits NOW.
  2. Make my home a place where my son’s friends want to come, instead of not knowing where he is at or what he’s doing when he’s at their homes.
  1. Continue evening story / Bible / Prayer time, but adjust it as my son ages.
  2. Invite my son’s friends and their families over to our home, or to activities we initiate, as often as possible, especially as he begins to get involved in the local publis school system.
  1. Erin will be a big part of all daily activities.
  2. Erin will also be heavily involved and even initate / make happen many play dates and activities with friends.
  1. xxx

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE
DELEGATED TO

SOLUTION

I might be taken out of my son’s life earlier than expected, or vice versa

  1. Make the most of every opportunity NOW.
  2. Find and enlist another man to take responsibility to the spiritual wellfare of my son, should I (and / or my wife) be taken out of the picture. My wife has tremendous influence, but nothing can simply replace a father (or mother, of course)
  3. Write things down so that my son can have them to look back on later in life.
  1. Continue evening story time, and adjust as he grows older.
  2. Enlist another man to take responsibility for my son’s spiritual wellfare, even while I’m IN the picture.
  3. Continue journalling, especially by writing notes to my son that he can look back on later.
  1. xxx
  1. xxx

This “goal” is certainly a motivator in my life. And at the same time, it’s not one you can simply “achieve” at a given point in time… unless I guess that day my son would find his Savior, but even then, that’s not the end of my responsibility to spiritually care for him. This is much more one of those the journey is the destination goals, where the things I do every day matter, even when it seems they don’t.

On the other hand, many parts of the planning for this goal are very practical, and I can measure them day to day as I spend time with my son talking about and modeling to him what it looks like to be in relationship with God. There is no letting myself off the hook by saying it’s just his decision and I can’t influence it… because I can, and I am charged to. That alone makes this goal, along with my daughter, and the spiritual well-being of my family as a whole, a very motivating goal. As I use this as a goal, it can and should change the way I spend my time each day, both in what I do, and how and why I go about doing it.

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