Elliff: Family should be focus of discipleship
Arkansas Baptist News
JONESBORO – Addressing the pastor’s family, Bill Elliff, senior teaching and lead pastor of The Summit Church, North Little Rock, said, “The most important people you will ever disciple is your family.”
A father and grandfather, Elliff offered five guidelines on what he has learned through the years about building a home that honors God during the closing session of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention Pastors’ Conference Oct. 22 at Central Baptist Church, Jonesboro.
First, he said, “Let the Word of God be the authority for your home.” This priority, he said, “demands that we constantly, daily read the Word of God in prayer.” This wisdom helped him navigate the difficult waters when his youngest son “was a prodigal. No one knows the pain of that unless you’ve been there.”
Second, Elliff said, “Let a passion for God be the pursuit of your home.” He pointed to the biblical character David whose goal “was God’s heart.” Elliff also quoted a theologian, who said, “When Christ ceases to fill the heart with satisfaction, our souls will go in search of other lovers.”
Third, he said, “Let the presence of God be the atmosphere of your home.” As a pastor for almost 50 years, Elliff added, “Everything flows from the presence of the Lord,” urging pastors to “prepare the ground and remove the obstacles” that might impede God’s presence in the home. “We’ve only got one shot, and it goes so fast.”
As a fourth point, Elliff intoned, “Let the love of God be the heart of your home. … If you’re not driven and motivated by the love of God, it all amounts to nothing.” He shared how God changed his heart and miraculously allowed him to love his father and second wife, after the two had an affair that shattered his parents’ marriage.
“Love is the heart of the home because love is the heart of God,” he said. A home filled with love looks like heaven, he said, because “heaven is a world of love.”
In conclusion, Elliff taught, “Let the kingdom of God be the mission of your home.”
He told the story of his great grandmother, who was a Christian married to a non-Christian. As she lay dying as a young woman, she asked her husband to “come to Christ” and raise their daughter “to know Christ.” Elliff explained that his great grandfather “stayed on his knees a long time and got up a Christian.”
Since that time, numerous family members have become ministers of the gospel – all because of his great grandmother’s dying desire “to bring one more family into the kingdom.”
Contact Margaret Colson at firstname.lastname@example.org.