For two long the church has been in the wrong business. I’m not particularly sure when this happened, but the church has stepped into the role of primary spiritual leader in the life of children and students. Search the scriptures and you’ll find no support for the role the church has been playing. So why do we wonder why such a huge majority of kids walk away from their faith as they enter adulthood? The church must reactivate the family.
Reactivate the family means to help parents actively participate in the spiritual formation of their children. We have to see ourselves as the catalyst to help parents to do their job better. If we don’t, then we’ll continue to loose the youngest generation to apathy, cynicism and resentment. This is going to take a lot of undoing. So many children’s pastors are hypocrites when it comes to parental involvement. We complain the parents aren’t involved or doing their job yet we don’t offer any opportunities for parents to step up in the home. Many parents don’t take the reigns simply because they don’t know how to do what we know so well.
We have to believe in parents. Our attitude toward parents will determine our entire approach toward ministry to the family. If you believe in the potential of parents, it will cause you to change the way you program.
Why does this have to happen? Remember the “refine the message” element? On the best case scenario we know we only have 40 weekends a year with a child. In most of our churches, that’s a little more than 40 hours. Parents on the other hand have over 3000 hours a year to invest in their kids. Do the math. Who has the most influence? Wouldn’t it serve the mission and strategy of our church to leverage this great influence in the lives of our kids? What if only 10% of our parents truly wanted to know how to lead their kids spiritually? Our impact would increase at an exponential rate. So doesn’t it makes sense for us to invest more people, time and resources toward equipping the greatest influence in the lives of the kids?
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