How to Teach Your Kids to Pursue Christ on Their Own
Some things in life are better caught than taught. A relationship with Christ might very well be one of those things. Read what Sean tells us about kids pursuing Christ on their own, another great article from our archives.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
This is the goal, isn’t it? All too often we hear the story of an adult who might have grown up in the church, but never really embraced their faith until later in life. While the “extreme prodigal” kind of testimony may seem the most dynamic, most parents I talk to would like their children’s testimony to be that of ongoing pursuit of Christ.
So how can we train up our kids to pursue Christ?? Well, it would seem like we have enough evidence that the answer isn’t simply to force them to go to church and hope for the best. According to Barna Research Group, “only one-fifth (20%) of twenty-somethings have maintained a level of spiritual activity consistent with their high school experiences.”
Don’t misunderstand; it’s crucial for a family to be plugged in to a Biblical, authentic, Christ-devoted church. But maybe the most important element is staring at us in the mirror: ourselves!
- Equip and Empower. Most kids involved in church know they should read their Bibles, pray, and encourage others through God’s Word. But do they really know how to do it? Equip them practically to read God’s Word and respond to it. I’ve had some great bosses at Camp and in ministry who modeled this simple formula: 1) I do, you watch. 2) We do together. 3) You do, I watch. 4) You do. It really is as simple as that with most aspects: bring them into your devotional time…where appropriate, let them sit in on spiritual conversations with others or your decision-making processes, all the while coaching them to one day do the same.
- Seen, not Just Heard. While the goodness of God and the joy of pursuing Christ is definitely something that should be taught, it’s likely just as important that it’s caught, that the evidence of it in our own life is so contagious people around us want it, including our kids. Kids need to see us, as parents, pursue Jesus; not just because we want them to pursue Jesus, but because He’s worth pursuing to us…simply because He’s good – in fact, the best! There’s so much power behind this!
- Consistency Counts. Be so careful not to say one thing and display another; they notice. For example, if authenticity & community isn’t something important enough to influence our actions, why should it influence theirs? Or if a Cowboys game is consistently enough to warrant sacrificing a church service for us, why expect anything less from our kids? Let them see through our life the God that makes hard hearts soft, broken parts whole, dead things renewed!
Parents, we can do this. It’ll bless our kids, our spouse, and us. May this desire push us deeper in prayer to Him who can change our kids’ hearts, knowing His word does not return empty, but accomplishes what [He] desires and achieves His purpose. (Isaiah 55:11)
Camper Corner: Ask you parents to tell you about who Jesus is to them, and how that influences their lives in big and small ways. Do you find yourself wanting to grow in your own relationship with God, or are you doing things because your parents want you to? Have an honest conversation about this with your parents – they will want to know because they love you!