I believe in the power of the involvement of a parent in the life of their child. While we may see an erosion of the parental influence in our culture, the role of the parent is still the most prominent role in the life of any child. And the younger the child is, the more that holds true. ( A recent study published in Parent Magazine by Lifeway shows that 25 years ago nearly 2/3 of kids named their parents as the primary influence in their lives. Today, only 40% do…)
As a children’s pastor, I’ve never believed it was my responsibility to teach kids. I do, of course, believe that I am supposed to teach them, but in a role that is supplemental to that of the family. In other words, if a kids gets the majority of their Bible knowledge and spiritual influence in Kids Church each week, then I fully expect that that child will fail spiritually. Not because we do a bad job in children’s ministry, but because what we do can’t be the main event in their life. Smith Wigglesworth, a great preacher, once said:
People feed their bodies three square meals a day, but they give their spirits one cold snack a week!
If that concept holds true in the life of a child, then they will never be equipped for the spiritual, relational, emotional, psychological, and even physical battles they will face more and more as they grow. Look at the trends regarding child and teen bullying and you can see the problem: A lack of guidance, direction, and purpose.
Whose fault is it? Do we blame the schools for giving our kids a poor education? Do we point a finger at the church for not being evangelistic enough? No. We have to start in the home. Broken families produce broken children. And while single parent situations and blended families can be put in this category, that isn’t what I am talking about. when i say broken I mean parents who have either abdicated their responsibility as parents to be the primary influence in the life of their kids to others or parents that are uninterested in taking the time, or parents that are so results oriented that their kids have to hide things from them-creating a relationship of mistrust and deceit- or parents that just simply don’t know what to do.
For those that are uninterested, results oriented or feel like it’s not their job, I would say have fun when you stand before God during the Great White Throne Judgement. If God parented us as His children that way, we’d be in such a terrible state you couldn’t even imagine it. However, most of you who read this blog don’t take this sort of position.
Most of you are simply busy with life- you work, you have kids in multiple things, you have PTA, 4-H, FFA, church, Scouts, swim lessons, trips to see grandparents, a house to work on…trust me, I work with enough of you that I know. Let me offer you some hope. First, go back in the archives of this blog and find the post on doing family devotions. read it, plan it, do it.
You may say: But we don’t have the time!
If you have time to watch more than an hour of television in a week, you have time to spend 20 minutes with your family doing a devotion together. Remember, if you feed your body because it’s important, how much MORE important is it to feed your spirit…and the spirit of your child!
The second thing I want to offer you is a simple resource. I happen to have a great mentor by the name of Jim Wideman. He’s a Children’s Ministry expert with over 30 years of experience. He has pastored a children’s ministry of over 10,000 and worked with parents, families, and leaders all over the world.
- developing you child’s gifts
- being open and honest
- respecting authority
- and much more
I happen to have several copies (about 40) left after our parent involvement push. While i bought them, they do no good sitting on a shelf in my office. So I want to make this book available to you for free. I cannot mail it internationally, as my church finance people frown upon that. However, if you are in the U.S.A and would like to have this great little resource, I want to give you a copy.
If you are a Cross Points person and didn’t get one earlier this year, you may request one as well. Simply send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me you’d like a copy of the book. Give me your name and address, and i will mail them out until they are gone.
We all need someone else to speak into our lives and give us a nudge. Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs I know of, and I respect parents to realize they can’t do it on their own. But realizing you can’t do it on your own isn’t enough. You still have the responsibility to connect with your kid and help them in turn connect with Christ. I get the privilege of being here to help, and I am happy to wage this war with you!
Remember, if you want a copy of the book, email me and let me know. I am glad to mail it directly to you!