Friday, March 5, 2021

It is Time for Another Change

I have been writing this week about studies from the Barna Group. Gen Z - the generation which includes many of the young adults in our church - are turning away from their faith in double the numbers of previous generations. These children/teens/ young adults have a basic understanding of the Bible - likely from Sunday school - and yet are turning to Atheism. They are listening to people on-line who are angry and bitter, filled with hate for God, and are receiving a warped and utterly wrong view of God. We - parents, grandparents, churches, publishers - did not realize we needed to teach apologetics to the ones we love and while they have a basic understanding of the accounts in the Bible, they do not know why they are able to believe God is real and trust Him with confidence.

Barna's Research Motivates Us to Act

I've been writing this week about why we need to commit to equipping parents and grandparents so they are able to hand down confident faith. There are many reasons for us to do this, such as, it is the responsibility of parents and grandparents to hand down confident faiththe church realizes equipping parents and grandparents to hand down confident faith is something they need to do, and of the 168 hours in a week, a church is only able to influence children for maybe three of those hours - it makes sense to equip parents and grandparents to hand down confident faith as they are with the children they love for more hours each week. Today I want to give you another reason.

Don't Let Another 20 Years Go By - Help Parents & Grandparents Now

Nearly twenty years ago a Barna study showed 85 to 96% of parents believed it was their responsibility to hand faith to their children, but beyond taking their children to church, parents did not do anything else at home. The study says; "The survey data indicate parents generally rely upon their church to do all of the religious training their children will receive. Parents are not so much unwilling to provide more substantive training to their children as they are ill-equipped to do such work. According to the research, parents typically have no plan for the spiritual development of their children; do not consider it a priority, have little or no training in how to nurture a child’s faith, have no related standards or goals that they are seeking to satisfy, and experience no accountability for their efforts.

This situation represents an opportunity for churches to prepare parents for a more significant role in the spiritual development of their children. However, while churches offer classes and other programs for children, they do relatively little to equip parents to be effective spiritual guides. The survey found that only one out of every five parents of children under 13 (19%) has ever been personally contacted or spoken to by a church leader to discuss the parents’ involvement in the spiritual life and development of their youngsters." (You will find the full study at this link.)

Let Animals Help You Hand Down Confident Faith

Handing down confident faith is not as difficult as it once may have been - there are now seven books available to help you do this all-important "job"! Giant Anteaters, Peacock Mantis Shrimp, Rufous Potoos & More! is now available on Amazon - you will find it at this link - it will be in our bookstore in a few days.

Monday, March 1, 2021

We Know the Truth - Make it a Priority

Barna Research Group has a new study on how churches view their role when it comes to handing confident faith to children. I highly recommend reading the full report - you will find it at this link, but while 99% of church leaders say parents/family are the ones responsible to hand down confident faith, only 20% train parents/family to hand down confident faith and just 10% provide resources for them to use. They said; "Despite the fact church leaders overwhelmingly agree parents are most responsible for a child’s spiritual formation and development, the data demonstrate how churches place little emphasis on training and equipping said parents. In fact, only about one in five clergy (20% Protestant, 17% Catholic, though this number is higher for larger churches) say they prioritize training for parents, and even fewer provide parenting guides or other resources (15% Catholic, 10% Protestant)."

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

From One Generation to the Next

I have always found a reading of the Old Testament to be exciting . . . and heartbreaking. You find real people and how their real lives were impacted and changed when they came to know and walk with God; such as David. He went from being a lowly shepherd boy to being the King of Israel. Yes, there were a lot of years between the two, but he knew and walked with God; even as a young teen . . . so much so he was able to trust God to fight for him when facing a real giant none of the older soldiers in the army were willing to fight . . . they just ran and hid! He knew, walked with, and trusted God to keep him through the years when he was being chased by Saul. Yes, he made some really horrible choices over the years, but when faced with his sin he turned from it and asked God for forgiveness and grace. He wrote the Psalms and modeled for us, even today - how to talk with God as well as how to worship and praise Him!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Do Your Job - Close the "Cracks"

What is our job if we are on the staff in our church's Children's Ministry? How should we be spending our time if we are on the staff in our church's Children's Ministry? What should our priorities look like?

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Resources for Churches

The "Life on the Goldilocks Planet" series is certainly a resource parents and grandparents are able to invest in to help them hand down confident faith, but it is also an excellent tool for churches to use with the goal of equipping their parents and grandparents so they are able to engage with the children they love at home, and in so doing, hand down confident faith. I have priced the digital books so when churches use them, they are just $1 per digital book per family or $3 per four-in-one digital book per family - effective and affordable!

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Make a Difference in the Other 165 Hours

While serving in Children's Ministry is something which matters and gives us an opportunity to impact lives and make a difference, we are limited by time. A week has 168 hours - 168. Of these 168 hours, even in the best situation, we have children in our ministries for three of those 168 hours - just three. Yes, we are able to make a difference in those three hours, but we are greatly limited as we are not able to be with those children for the other 165 hours of the week - or anywhere close to those 165 hours. But their parents are. And their grandparents have the potential to influence them for many of those 168 hours as well.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Scorpionfish, Clouded Leopards, Pygmy Hippos & More! is Available!

I am very happy today to let you know book six in my "Life on the Goldilocks Planet" curriculum/book series is now available on Amazon at this link and will be available in our bookstore this weekend (February 7, 2021)!  As are the other books in this series,  Scorpionfish, Clouded Leopards, Pygmy Hippos & More! is a multi-purpose book. While it makes an ideal gift for the children you love, it is also a curriculum resource which will equip grandparents and parents as they strive to hand down confident faith.