Thursday night I attended the “Bringing Home The Prodigals” conference sponsored by Focus on the Family and the UK based Caring for the Family. The conference was held on the campus of Furman University in the McAlister Auditorium. The lead speaker was Rod Parson. Using the story of the prodigal son from Luke chapter 15, Rod Parson makes five points about how to live through a “prodigal” situation. Primarily the message is aimed at parents but the material could also be applied to the church as a whole.
Here is my summary of five points:
- We may have made prodigals of people who were never really prodigals.
- Personally, as a parent, you must lay down any guilt who hold for the prodigals.
- When the Father’s house is filled with the Father’s love the prodigals will come home.
- Pray that the prodigals, when they return, meet the Father before they meet the older brother.
- Bring your prodigals to the cross through the power of prayer.
Although I don’t agree with the exegesis of the parable, I believe the evening would be very comforting and edifying to a person who has a prodigal in their life. There was much time exposing the differences between sin and preference. Here are some of the good quotes:
“Many today are close to God but far from the cultural norms.”
“When you try to make someone into someone they cannot be you will miss the person they are.”
“If the ear never hears praise then the heart will loose the will to try.”
“Never be ashamed of you children. Be ashamed of what they do but don’t be ashamed of them.”
While I would critic the leaders focus on the sons and the lack of focus on the grace of the father in this parable, I was able to glean a better perspective on the struggles of a having a prodigal in your life. If a person was struggling with what to do if they found themselves in this situation, I would recommend that they would be helped by studying the material available from Focus on the Family’s Bringing Home The Prodigals set.