The people who have the most access, the best opportunity, and the greatest potential influence—not to mention the biblical responsibility for helping children walk in the truth—are their parents. My plea to parents and grandparents is that they make the most of the fleeting opportunity they have.
The life of a parent today can quickly become consumed by so many good things that there is little time left for what is most important. Parents must not trade the greater things for lesser things.
Imparting the truth to our children is essential and should be the primary focus for the church’s ministries to children and youth. However, the best two hours of children’s programming is no substitute for the passionate and intentional pursuit by parents of everlasting joy for their children. The church is best equipped to encourage, support, challenge, and develop resources for parents in their work of discipling their children.
George Barna, [in his book Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions1, writes that he] asked the churches in his study how they measured success in their ministry to children and youth. Most, he said, pointed to “growing numbers of students enrolled, consistent attendance, completion of curriculum in the allotted time, parental satisfaction, minimal discipline problems, etc.” However, the most effective churches, Barna observed, identified three very different indicators of success. In summary:
For some practical help in partnering with parents, click here.
Note: This blog post is an excerpt from “No Greater Joy: Leading the next generations to walk in the truth” by David Michael, a chapter in Indestructible Joy for the Next Generations, edited by David and Sally Michael.
1George Barna, Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2003), pages, 109, 110.