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Alto Christian Reformed Church
Forsell Gappa  |  Waupun, Wisconsin
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The Answer for Producing Spiritual Children
PERMANENT NOTICE
Posted by: Alto Christian Reformed Church | more..
Fifteen years ago, God impressed upon me the answer to the question, “How do you produce spiritual children. At the time I was a teacher and principal in a Christian school in Oconomowoc, WI. We had approximately 125 to 140 children in our school. I had a heart for my students. I wanted them to know the things I knew. I wanted them to love God and obey Him.

However, it was during my five years at the school that God demonstrated something to me that caused me to pack my bags and begin a new journey. God impressed upon me the primacy of Christian fathers and the necessity of a godly home for the production of Christian children.

I specifically remember Him giving me these two insights. The first came through a god-fearing family of eleven, nine children. (Thankfully we gave family discounts.) The children were respectful to adults. There was evidence of spiritual fruit in their lives. They were acquainted with the Scripture, and God mattered in their decision-making. It was evidenced in their self-government; even the young ones possessed it.

They were children that you marveled at. How could this be? What did their parents do to create such poetry? The answer came quickly. And it came through the fears of the other staff members prior to parent/teacher conferences. They warned me, “Look out for Mr. Westendorf.” It was almost humorous, as if meetings with this man included a microscope. This was no anxious parent going off to school to meet with the “professional” teacher, but rather our teachers feared his analysis. His godly presence somehow reversed the roles. I guess it was evident that he was the “professional” when it came to teaching children.

It turned out that Mr. Westendorf was a humble yet intentional man. He loved his children and was willing to sacrifice his time and give his attention to them. He cared for them because they were under his authority. And to this day, he remains my prime example of Malachi’s, “turning the hearts of the fathers to their children.” This father of nine was raising godly offspring. And for the next five years I committed myself to grabbing the crumbs that fell from his table. Mr. Westendorf was not to be feared, but he was to be treasured. He displayed to me how God intended for children to be raised.

The second insight came as a result of trying to fill teacher vacancies. We wanted an emotionally and spiritually healthy, but also an academically effective atmosphere in the school. And in order to produce that environment we found ourselves looking for older women to teach the younger grades, women whose own children had grown. We also looked for godly and disciplined men for the later grades.

We determined that little souls are too tender for cold, young, “professional” women, women who have never wiped tears and bandaged knees. No. We knew that children needed someone like “Mom,” in order to grow and thrive. They need the security of a seasoned woman’s heart.

On the other hand, the older children, especially boys would require a man’s man, adventurous yet always limited by God’s parameters, strong yet willing to “keep an eye” out for the most timid to make it onto the playground. The amount of pay never really allowed us to hire an older gentleman. Usually younger men, still starting out in life, could live a little leaner.

Well, as we tried to find these types of teachers, I guess at some point I just slapped my forehead, realizing what we were doing. It was a “eureka” moment. We were trying to recreate the home. What God designed parents to do in the lives of their children, we were trying to emulate for the benefit of the school.

So those two insights, the primacy of Christian fathers and the necessity of a godly home environment are the keys that unlock the secrets of producing spiritual children. For the Church to reach its youth, it must reach into the homes. And the home is where fathers reign, so the Church must focus its attention on him.

Forsell Gappa Forsell Gappa

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     PAST BLOG ENTRIES     

The Way Children Learn the Importance of Worship
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2006
Posted by: Alto Christian Reformed Church | more..
Question: "What if the church, in seeking to follow the model you outline in your blog, bores the children in a way that makes them grow up thinking that the church is an unhappy place to be? This is no doubt partly what happened to me. Yes, yes,...
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How the Church Can Really Help Children
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2006
Posted by: Alto Christian Reformed Church | more..
I was staggered, recently, when someone quoted to me that 70% of “Christian” youth leave the Church between ages 18 - 24. If the number is true, then that’s horrific. In fact, it is unchristian. What’s going on? Does God expect such failure? But...
[ abbreviated | read entire ]
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Whatever Happened to the Man Being the Head of His Home?
MONDAY, JANUARY 30, 2006
Posted by: Alto Christian Reformed Church | more..
“For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” Ephesians 5:23-24 The whole...
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Tactical Homosexuality - Part 1
TUESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2006
Posted by: Alto Christian Reformed Church | more..
Most Christians might consider this a bit odd, but rather than wanting to escape from a “label” for which a person should be ashamed, like thief, slanderer, drunkard and adulterer, our generation’s homosexuals have decided to embrace the name, but...
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Tactical Homosexuality - Part 2
MONDAY, JANUARY 16, 2006
Posted by: Alto Christian Reformed Church | more..
In the previous blog I described how today’s homosexuals have performed an extreme makeover. They have redefined homosexuality, removing the word homosexual from the list of abominable labels (as found in such passages 1Cor. 6:9-11) and placing it...
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