Fine Fire: Passing the Faith to the Next Generation

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About Marcia Lebhar, Author

The wife of the Gulf Atlantic Diocese's bishop, Neil Lebhar, Marcia has been actively involved in lay ministry since her college years. Neil and Marcia met and came to faith through the secondary school ministry of FOCUS. As a FOCUS leader, an associate staff member for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a Bible teacher in both churches and secondary schools, a ministry director and frequent speaker... but first as a discipler of the saints under her own roof, Marcia’s passion has always been to share the treasure of the Scriptures. Her column, Discipleship Journal, can be found in three different blogs: Fine Fire - Passing the Faith to the Next Generation, Wilderness Series, and Bare Branch, which is also available on Amazon in ebook and paperback versions. 

In 1981, the Lebhars traveled to Israel on a study tour associated with CMJ (Church’s Ministry among Jewish people), based at Christ Church in Jerusalem. They have since led countless study trips to Israel and both say that few things have had a more profound impact on their own lives as disciples or a greater impact on their church. Marcia served as the Executive Director of CMJ USA during a period of rapid expansion.

Married for 45 years, the Lebhars have four children and eight grandchildren. They consider the friendship and mutual ministry they share as a family to be their life's greatest treasure. 


About Fine Fire: Passing the Faith to the Next Generation

What Christian parent of a newborn, or a teenager for that matter, hasn't trembled at their responsibility to help their child onto the path of a faithful life? From the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures to the apostles of the New Testament, the call to raise godly children is unequivocal ... and, to most of us, pretty overwhelming.  How does the faith actually take root in the next generation?

When the apostles are instructing those they are training in the faith, it is striking how often they reach for the language of parenting. Whether we are called to make disciples of our own children, or of the new believers who are the next generation in the Body of Christ, the same principles apply.

This series explores seven principles for calling the next generation to discipleship. Here they are in bookmark form.

They come from our hard-won lessons as new Christians and new parents with few role models, and from the wonder of seeing grown children apply those principles in their own lives as disciplers of adults. These ideas were sovereign gifts to us as a young family, like a spring in a desert, and, many years later, they continue to refresh us in our various callings.

 

Hospitality and Heartbreak

Neil likes to say that for many people, their living and dining rooms are designed solely for when the president stops by unexpectedly for dinner. Our western notion of hospitality is drawn more from gourmet columns than it is from any biblical notion of hospitality. Biblical hospitality is entirely different. It requires vulnerability and it can inconvenience, even hurt ...

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Growth by Imitation

Is everyone out there brimming with confidence, or, like me, do you find the following exhortations of Paul hard to imagine saying to another disciple yourself? I urge you to imitate me. (1 Cor. 4:16 NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. (Phi. 3:17) Our adventures in discipling the young believ...

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Risking Obedience

Risking Obedience The 'OH-NO!' Principle For parents, and anyone who disciples others: What's one, sure-fire thing you can do to help root the faith in those you are leading . . . to protect them from falling away later in life? I learned the oddest statistic a few years ago. Research was conducted over several decades to discover which factors led kids who grew up in C...

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Dear Friend...On Anxiety

As a frequent retreat speaker, I often find the conversations that follow a gathering to be the most fruitful. This month I'm taking a break from the Fine Fire topic to share a bit of post-conference correspondence which seems particularly relevant to our current stressful cultural climate. Dear Friend...On Anxiety, It was great to see your name pop up in my inbox again,...

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Pray Scary Prayers - Part 2 (The Prayer Lab)

The picture of Jesus surrounded by children is in all our Sunday school books. It's a tableau so familiar and so tame. Yet somehow in its tenderness, we have lost the sense of what a radical point Jesus was making by welcoming such young ones. Why were the disciples so disturbed by the presence of children? The Gospels record that they rebuked people for giving children a...

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Pray Scary Prayers - Part 1 (God's Got This)

You think you've learned something. You think you know something . . . only to discover that you'll be schooled in the same truth, over and over, all your life. Our lessons in praying scary prayers began when our family was new, yet the power of this one truth still surprises us, and the Lord often reminds us that we still haven't learned it sufficiently. The icy Februar...

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One Warning and Two Anti-Virals

I'm constantly intrigued with the threads of plot or character that run through the whole of the Scriptures. Like repeating melody lines in a symphony, or themes in a novel, they speak to the unity of the text and the sovereignty of its Author. One of those threads feels particularly pertinent to me as we endure this traumatic Covid-19 season. God frequently renders his p...

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Let Them See!

Psalm 78 voices the strangest declaration. The people of Israel are rehearsing the wonders the Lord accomplished in the Red Sea parting, and in their sojourn through the wilderness. Yet they begin with such an unlikely resolve: "We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mi...

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Now Watch

When the car door closes, anxiety rises. The experience of being sent home from the hospital after the birth of a baby is practically universal, at least in the West where most babies are born in hospitals. And to new parents, it all seems perilously close to criminal negligence. The time comes for the new family to take their baby home, and the staff is so concerned to ke...

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Vision

Wait For It Vision. We want it. We need it. In a way, the God of the Bible promises it. God declares, "I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying,'My counsel shall stand,and I will accomplish all my purpose . . .'" (Isaiah 46:9b-10). The whole biblical story begins with a promise that the e...

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