Arrows - Week 01

Arrows - Week 01

Discipling Kids for the day they move out

This is the first of a new series for parents called "Arrows". This week we'll talk about what the Arrow mindset is and why it matters.

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Why Arrow The Mindset?

 

Why Arrow The Mindset?

I can still remember when it hit me: I was free. 

 

My graduation cap was flying in the air, but what came down was the sense that the rest of my life was up to me.

 

Whether I walked with integrity,

whether I worked hard,

whether I was a faithful friend,

whether I lived an honorable life,

…and whether I followed Jesus

was all up to me.

 

Yet, the only thing that would determine what decisions I wouild make moving forward was the discipleship I received up to that point.

 

The Day You Move Out Changes Everything

To be perfectly honest, the next two years that followed in my life would be a roller coaster. I began that summer unsure of my faith. Fresh questions I’d never wrestled through like, “Why would a merciful God send people to hell eternally?” echoed in my heart. In the same moment, every opportunity for sin, making money, partying, and using my time and freedom for God or foolishness opened up to me. Meanwhile, the recession of 2008 (the year I graduated) made college and loans an overwhelming dilemma. 

Zero exaggeration: the next two years shaped the man I would become, and the trajectory of my life today. Period. Without question, the next two years after high school were what determined my direction. 

Over those two years I went from touring with a band, discrediting and doubting in God, living in sin, and headed for a life of failure…

to plugging into a life-changing college group, going to bible college, meeting my wife, and getting engaged.

 There’s big things at stake for kids after high school. The decisions they make could shape the rest of their lives. But here’s the good news: the decisions they make will be shaped by the discipleship they’ve had up until that point.

 

Discipleship Changes The Day That Changes Everything 

In my story, my life turned a corner after falling away from Jesus after high school in large part because of a friend’s influence. This was a friend named Skyler who I baptized and helped disciple. He and I both grew up in unchurched homes but walked with our youth leaders and were pushed hard toward discipleship, the church, and doing ministry. 

Skyler reminded me of all those things—those VALUES--when he preached to me in that season. That reminder reset my trajectory. But I wonder what affect his encouragement would have had if those years of discipleship hadn’t happened for me in high school. It was him bringing me back to the values that I was discipled with. Without that discipleship, where would I be today?

That’s why I encourage you to embrace the “Arrow Mindset.”

So, What’s The Arrow Mindset?

Psalm 127:3–5

    [3] Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,

        the fruit of the womb a reward.

    [4] Like arrows in the hand of a warrior

        are the children of one's youth.

    [5] Blessed is the man

        who fills his quiver with them!

    He shall not be put to shame

        when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (ESV)

The Psalmist teaches that Children are like arrows. You are like the warrior. You will one day send them forth from your bow. They will fly away. This isn’t new information. You know this. It’s not the goal to raise kids who depend on you forever but to send out mature, motivated, self-starting, disciples of Jesus who persevere as Christians long after they’ve left your home. But before they go, you can set the trajectory for the long distance they travel. 

 The arrow mindset is discipling kids for the day they move out. Are your kids ready for that day? It’s coming quicker than you think.

Let me ask you just one question today: 

What are you doing to prepare them to be fully devoted disciples on that day?

They next few weeks I will share some things that govern my home and our youth ministry. I’m no expert, but I think constantly about a few anchor points or VALUES that want to shape my kids and our youth before they move out. I would love to hear your!

Let me know what you do in the parent Slack channel. Not a part of the conversation? Email me and I’ll get you plugged into the parents-of-teens conversation on Slack.

 

Nolan Tjaden

Nolan Tjaden

I grew up in Gresham where I first met Jesus and now I'm on mission with him at Rise with my wife Lindsey and two little rascals Ollie and Remy.

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