Faith for a Lifetime, Part 1 by Beth Aultman

Parents often wonder, am I doing enough or doing what is needed to pass on my faith to my children?  Turns out researchers have also been wondering that too.  What is it that makes a difference regarding whether or not kids who’ve grown up in church will hold onto their faith as they become young adults. In their books, Why They Stray, by Steve Parr and Tom Crites, and Sticky Faith by Kara Powell and Chap Clark, these authors have compiled a list of 15 issues that matter greatly to young adults that are still in the church.

  • Conversion as a child
  • Baptism
  • Home life that encourages and lives out Biblical principles
  • Child’s personality (Strong willed children, a little less likely to stay in church)
  • Parents’ style of discipline
  • Parents’ marriage
  • Families that sit together in Worship
  • Kids who liked their Pastor

The first two on the list have primarily to do with the child him/her self and their openness to responding to the gospel in both decision and obedience to follow the Lord in Baptism. Certainly the teaching and example of the parents as well as hearing the gospel presentation at church, home or other events provides opportunity as well.  If you are like me, you are going through the list at least mentally checking off which issues you/your family and your child meets.  As the list continues, the focus switches slightly to reflect things about a child’s family situation.  You will notice the last one on this list mentions a child’s relationship or thoughts about the Pastor.  We as adults can have a positive impact with this one as well by sharing the positives of our Pastor with our kids, being his cheerleader so to speak rather than frequently criticizing.  Consider this list if you will and then check out part 2 of this post next time with the second half.  The second half of this list shifts slightly to focus a little more on the role the church body plays in this issue.  So the good news is this: We are in this together! Yes, the parents have primary influence in spiritual matters, but the church has an important role also.  Please read the rest of this story next time.  Until then, stay encouraged parents, we’re here to support you!