As Marcus Bieschke, Lead Pastor for Willow Creek’s Crystal Lake campus, reminded us this past weekend, we all want influence, especially as we lead our families. This is true whether we’re moms or dads, grandmas or grandpas, empty nesters, or if the family we’ll lead is still years down the road. We all want influence. But influence doesn’t just happen on its own, it only comes as we sow “seeds of influence” through the hard work of fierce intentionality. We all know the challenges that work against growing a strong, vibrant family. In fact, many of us experienced these challenges personally. Some of us experienced these to the point that the only word we can use to describe our upbringing is “dysfunctional.” We may wonder, either based on our past or because of current struggles, if it’s even possible to enjoy healthy relationships in our family.With God’s help, and our deliberate focus and energy, Pastor Bieschke taught us that dysfunction doesn’t have to be our destiny. Our focus this week will be on Deuteronomy 6.4-9, which includes the Shema, a text the Jews were not only to recite every day, but one that was to dramatically affect their behavior. They were to recite it and then they were to live it.
Today, as you welcome God into your week, slowly read these verses several times and allow their impact to sink deep in your heart. Then conclude with a prayer asking God to make your heart receptive to the truths we’ll explore this week.