Many parents have misplaced priorities when it comes to the spiritual formation of their own children. The most common approach is to drop them off at church in the hope that someone else will take care of their child’s spiritual needs. They seldom bring up God in their own home, so they look for the coolest church in town with the best programs and the hippest leaders, and then expect the ‘trained professionals’ or church volunteers to spiritually raise their kids.
There’s a better way.
Scripture teaches that the evangelism and discipleship of children and youth should be directed primarily by the parents and oriented around the family’s day-to-day activities. Parents are supposed to be the primary spiritual mentors of their children. The solution is not the cool church in town with great programs and a large gymnasium where all the other kids hang out. The solution for your children is you. Kids need parents who are spiritual.
According to George Barna (Barna Research Group) most Christian parents do not spend time during the week interacting with their children on spiritual matters. Instead they rely upon the church to do ALL the spiritual training their children will receive.
No matter how hard a church tries, it is incapable of bringing a child into complete spiritual maturity on its own. That is the job of the family; and the church serves in partnership with the parents. The more willing a church is to take on the role of the parents, the more it reinforces an unhealthy co-dependent relationship in which the parents continue to abdicate their role and children are less likely to grow into adulthood as committed believers.
Children need their parents to take an active role in their spiritual formation. Parents need to be telling their children the gospel and other great stories from the Bible. Parents need to be modeling what it looks like to live for Christ. Our lives should be the greatest sermon they ever hear.
The job of the church is not to assume the role of parents, but to prepare parents for their role.
THIS SUNDAY’S MESSAGE: “Family Ministry Begins at Home”….. and this is what we’re going to be talking about.
1. Tomorrow afternoon (Saturday) the Ushers of PCC are having a chili cook-off. The event starts at 4:00 p.m. Men are invited to attend – even if you’re not an usher. The only requirement is that you bring a pot of chili when you come – (that is, man’s chili. Not that sissy stuff). There’s also going to be a judging contest with prizes given to 1st and 2nd places. We’re gathering at the picnic area, building a fire, and will be howling at the moon before the night is over.
2. Sunday after church we’re also having a fellowship dinner on the grounds for seating section 1.
3. Really looking forward the entire month of November. Dinner on the grounds each week, a baby dedication service, baptism service, communion service, Thanksgiving, and another guest speaker. Wow!
4. TIME CHANGE Saturday night. Set your clocks back one hour.
5. One final note. We live in busy times and it’s very easy to get caught up in doing too much while neglecting the most important things like your family, marriage, and personal devotion to God.
Church leaders and workers can get so busy trying to save the world that they lose their own kids/marriages. Not a good trade if you ask me. Working parents can get so busy that they don’t have time for each other. Church volunteers can get so busy at church that they neglect their home.
We should be more guarded.
On the outside it might look like things are great, but on the inside your soul will be struggling. Who cares how many people go to your church if your heart is dark? Who cares how many people showed up to your event last night if the dishes are still piled up in the sink at home and the kids haven’t been fed. Who cares how many followers you have on twitter or your blog if you’re not there for your own family? Who cares how many friends you have on Facebook if you if you’re not spending time with the people in the room right now? What good does it do you to gain the whole world and lose what’s most important?
Take care of your soul. Take care of your faith. Take care of your family.
Pay attention to faith, family, and friends. Getting these things right might not get you recognized, but they are the things that make life real.