Parents Who Disciple Their Kids

In our previous post, we talked about how one of the most important things any parent can do is love Jesus. This naturally rubs off on their children over time. We talked about making Jesus a priority, making Jesus’ church a priority, and doing the right things.

One temptation for parents who are stressed out, burnt out, or bummed out, is to take their kids to the youth minister or to the church in hopes that they’ll get fixed. As a student pastor, there’s just one big problem with this well-intentioned strategy:

It doesn’t work.

Our student ministry has access to your students a grand total of about four or five hours a week. That’s true if they are here on Sunday morning and active in everything else we do. To have influence over them more than that, they would need to be spending extra time on trips, online, and on their own time hanging around church. Most don’t.

But even those who do are influenced by us maybe six hours a week tops. There are 168 hours in a week. That’s less than 4% of their time. Not much discipleship can happen in 4% of their time.

On the other hand, they live with you. They are in and out of your house, they wake up in a bed you bought them, and they are eating your food. Whether you think so or not, you are still the main influencer in the life of your child--not MTV, not their friends, not Facebook. It’s you.

Most parents disbelieve this. Popular opinion is that teens are most influenced by celebrities, peers, or music. But when students are asked who influences them the most, they are discerning and honest.

    • Teens state that their parents are their biggest influence when it comes to decisions they
       make  about sex.
    • Teens say the same about their view of alcohol.
    • Teens usually practice the religion practiced by their parents.

The most important thing any student ministry needs is parents who are discipling their own kids.

This is a life-to-life discipleship that doesn’t just happen when they are at church. Deuteronomy 6 advocates for this “as-you-go” approach, imploring parents to disciple their kids, “...when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when yo lie down and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:7)

How are you capturing ordinary moments of life to disciple your student?

    • Could you pray over them before they go to bed at night?
    • Could you have a spiritual conversation in the car on the way to school?
    • Could you make a commitment to eat as a family 3-4 times a week?
    • Could you ask them how their day went and how they saw God move?
    • Could you go out on a daddy/daughter date and set the standard for how your little girl is to
       be treated by boys?
    • Could you go on Rites of Passage trips with your son when they turn 12 and talk to them
       about what it means to be a man?
    • Could you put notes in their lunchbox, bathroom, or car with Scripture on them?

Parents, you have more than 40 times the amount of time we have each week to impact your son or daughter for Christ. To think that we can effectively help your student meet and grow in their walk with Jesus without you is not realistic.

Please let us know how we can help as we journey together through the tough teen years.

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