Joining Parents on The Spiritual Journey of Their Child

Several years ago, I was approached by a deacon’s wife in my church.AdobeStock 101174553

She said, “Clint, you are asking too much of these kids to require them to do a daily quiet time.”

She was a friend. I said, “Julie, it is a good thing for your daughter to have a daily quiet time.”

Well, about three month later, she came to me and said:

“You were right! I see a change in Amy’s life. You warned us not to give up, and you were correct.”

How dare me to require a child to do a daily quiet time! 😊

 I am okay with parents getting upset with me all day long if I can get them to prioritize their child’s

spiritual life at home.

Moms and dads want the best for their child, but many times, they don’t know where to begin. 

I have heard some folks through the years say, “This is the parents’ responsibility.” Yes, it is!

And that is great if parents know what to do.

Many times, however, the church would literally back off and let the family shipwreck.

The Church of Jesus Christ has a calling that cannot be handed off (Matt. 28:19-20).

Parents have a major responsibility as well (Deut. 6:1-8).

So, how do we make this work?

We developed a platform for children to take on leadership roles in our church. At the same time, the kids were required to do daily quiet times.

This is where we helped moms and dads.

They began to make their child’s spiritual growth a priority at home.

Then, what the children studied at home could be reinforced at church by their Disciple (small) Group leader.

What made it exciting was the growth we would see in kids who were in the Word of God daily!

What brought about the change?

They learned how to pray and talk with God.

They learned to put Christ first—lordship.

They fell in love with God’s Word through reading the Bible daily.

This took some time, but by having a clear vision and direction for the church AND for the families, it worked!

Here are a few things you can do to work with families in your church:

  1. Seek the Lord for vision and direction for your ministry. Remember, if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. There are many good ideas, but you want “God ideas” and vision.
  2. Share the vision with parents in your church. If they don’t know where you are going, how can they join you?
  3. Have lunch after church one day to share your vision. Lunch doesn’t add anything to their schedule. Make it free and cheap if you have the budget (pizza or hot dogs).
  4. Share your heart with the parents in your church. They are busy, so having a simple meal will help them, and it will give you the opportunity to cast your vision for their child.
  5. Hold them accountable. It is okay to ask them to do something. They know deep down within that they have a spiritual responsibility.
  6. Don’t guilt them or you will lose them very quickly. Be careful not to make families feel guilty. It just doesn’t work. Build them up and give them small tasks they can accomplish.

Remember, we both have a calling. But we must help them understand their calling and give them tools to have the greatest success.

And know this, not everyone will be on board with you. That is okay. Move forward with those who are.

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