[Parents] have observed their children’s spiritual development from a disengaged distance. They have watched youth and children’s ministers stretch and strain to promote growth.
Now, in a growing movement in churches throughout the world, ministers are suddenly turning to these parents and shouting, “It’s time to engage!” The problem is that many of them don’t know how or why, and part of the reason that they don’t know how is because we as church leaders aren’t quite certain why parents have disengaged in the first place. The result is frustration. The purpose of this article is to take away some of that frustration by helping you to understand three essential facts about families like the ones in your church—facts that a team of researchers worked with me to discover by surveying hundreds of parents in more than a dozen congregations throughout North America.Here are the three truths they discovered:
- The overwhelming majority of parents in your church know their responsibility.
- Most parents are not persistently or intentionally discipling their children.
- Parents aren’t being trained—but most of them are willing to be.
- Train more than you tell in family ministry.
- Train at times when parents are already present.
- Remind parents with grace and love who their children really are.
(Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)