There is a lot of talk these days about the fact that parents should be the primary spiritual leaders for their family. I believe that the Bible is very clear on this (See Deuteronomy 6). There are discussions, meetings and brainstorming sessions in churches all over the country on how we can get parents to do their job. Churches everywhere are reforming their ministries to children and youth in order to try to give back this responsibility. The church these days is all about giving the parents responsibility back to them.
I think it is great that we focus on giving this responsibility back to parents. It’s great for us to talk about parents BECOMING the primary spiritual leaders for their kids. I love that we, as the church, are looking at ways to get them to do what the Bible has told them to do. However, there is something that we need to realize.
PARENTS ALREADY ARE THE PRIMARY SPIRITUAL VOICE IN THEIR KID’S LIVES!!
The question we should be asking isn’t how we get parents to BECOME the primary spiritual voice for their kid, but rather how we can help them to make the most of this voice. As the children’s pastor at my church my kids are there pretty much every time the doors are open. But, even they are only there for 2-3 hours per week. That’s only 100-150 hours per year and that’s for the kid that is RELLY plugged in. By comparison kid’s will spend around 1400 hours in school in a year. Parents get on average of 3000 hours per year with there kids. Looking at these numbers it is obvious that parents ARE the primary spiritual voice for their kids.
As you can see the question isn’t how can we get parent to BECOME the primary spiritual voice for their kids. They already are!
- This is true for the Christian parent working hard to help their child move closer to Christ and it is true for the parent far from God, leading their child in a different direction.
- This is true for the parent diligently and intentionally working to disciple their children and it is true for the parent that brings their kids to church hoping that we will do the job for them.
- Inside the church and outside of the church. Christian and non-Christian. Active member and pew warmer. Every person that is raising children is already the primary spiritual voice in the lives of this kids.
So, the question is no longer how to help parents BECOME the primary spiritual voice in their kids lives, but how to help them make the most of this voice. How a parent uses this voice, or doesn’t use it, will have much more impact on their kids lives than anything we do in the church. For this reason we need to plan programs, create materials, and find resources that equip, encourage, and empower parents to use their voice to have a positive impact on their children.Matt Norman
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