In a recent study by LifeWay publishing, they found four predictors of a child’s life-sustaining faith. These predictors are the result of proper approaches from two sources of ministry to children.
- Family: Parents play a significant role at home in their child’s faith. The church typically has about 300 hundred hours per year with a child, whereas parents are with their child more than 3,000 hours.
- Church: The church has a key role in a child’s life in fulfilling its calling in alignment with God’s Word.
These predictors point to the responsibility of two major influencers in a child’s spiritual life, that is, what parents do at home and what the local church’s priorities are when it comes to children.
- The child reads the Bible daily while growing up.
- The child regularly spends time in prayer while growing up.
- The child regularly serves in the church.
- The child regularly participates in local outreach and mission trips.
What is interesting in the study is that it points to spiritual disciplines—at home and at church. Spiritual disciplines develop a life-sustaining faith. During the critical spiritual developmental times in life, children are learning habits for life. It takes 18 to 254 days to form a new habit. If a family makes daily reading of the Word of God and prayer high priority at home, this can be a game changer for their child. It will become a positive habit for life.
When the church makes it a priority to provide a platform for children to minister on a regular basis, they allow children to flourish in their gifts. Through ministry, children will discover God’s purpose for their lives. When the church provides training and regular outreach opportunities for children and their families, it allows them to align their lives with the Great Commission. The church takes its outreach to a new level when they plan family mission trips.
Helping children develop spiritual disciplines is very important, and it is not as difficult as it may seem. The top indicators point to a relationship with Christ and the two greatest commandments that Jesus mentions in Scripture: to love God and to love your neighbor. Loving God means putting Him first—to be in His Word daily and in daily communication with Him through prayer.
Loving one’s neighbor can be achieved by children ministering to others in the body of Christ and in your community. Through ministry, a child becomes the hands and feet of Jesus. Through missions, the child becomes the loving hands of Jesus in your community and in the world as they share the Good News of Christ. These are disciplines for life.
To learn more on how you can better align your ministry with these positive predictors, join us Thursday, March 21, at 11:00 a.m. Central time. Click here to sign up for this 30-minute webinar.