Christian Discipline

I was not a very gullible child. I guess it was because we did so much camping in the Everglades.  My brother, sister and I grew up with a healthy understanding and respect for nature so it really should not have been such a big surprise to my scout leaders when I would not go on a “snipe” hunt. I knew just about all the animals in the glades and I knew there was no such bird that was half bird and half turtle. If that were not a good enough reason, who in their right minds would leave a nice tent to go out into the middle of the Everglades at night in the middle of mosquito season.

The next day, our leader told me that Troop 450 had a cot stretcher and that I needed to go get it for him. I went to Troop 450 and he said he had borrowed it from Troop 240. I fell for it. Off I went to try to find Troop 240 and as you can guess, he leant it to another Troop. After about an hour of going from Troop to Troop, I finally gave up. He could go find it himself.

I look back on that day as a total waste of time. Sure, it’s funny, but I should have been earning merit badges or some other meaningful endeavor instead of wasting time?

With all that in mind, as your children’s minister, I believe that everything we do when we are together at church needs to assist you in raising your children to be responsible followers of Christ. We strive that everything we do will help them to grow closer in their relationship to Him.

Did you know that 83% of Christian parents feel that they should have the most influence and responsibility for their child’s spiritual development? Only 35% of those parents acknowledge that their own religious faith is ONE of the most important influences on parenting. (that means that almost half of the Christian parents surveyed said that their faith does not play a role in their parenting)

Most parents are not discipling their children. By discipling, we mean that they are conscientiously teaching their children the things of God at home. Here are the stats: 62% of children from Christian homes attend Sunday School regularly which is defined 2 times a month. 29% regularly read their Bibles and 28% regularly pray.

What this means is that more and more parents are outsourcing their children’s spiritual development to the church without taking on any of the responsibility at home. We tend to have a whole different set of priorities for what is important. This does not mean that we don’t love God. It means that what we say is important, may not be as important as we think.

Francis Chan said, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” Jesus worded it similarly when He said, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul.”

Do you know that daily Bible reading is number one influencer of children/youth growing up to be a responsible follower of Christ who are excited about their Christian walk? Do you want your children to have a firm foundation to stand on so that when they get older they won’t crumble? Read the Bible with them.

This is why the first part of our Mission Statement is to Follow God. Following God is much more than asking Him to be your Savior. It also means to grow as a Christian. We can’t say that we are growing as a Christian if we are attending twice a month and we rarely read our Bibles. 

One more startling statistic. From Kindergarten through grade 12 we will spend 608 hours in church. That is for someone who has a 90% attendance record for those of us who attend regularly attend 2 times a month that number drops to 304 hours over a 13-year period. As parents, we have our children about 14 hours a day plus weekends. That is 79,950 hours in 13 years. What are we teaching our children? What are the most important things in your life? Where are you spending your leisure time? The 2 biggest questions we need to ask our selves as parents are: 1) Are we the type of Christians that we hope our children grow up to be. 2) Are we content with the spiritual life of our children?

My prayer is that we will make Bible reading and Church attendance a priority in the lives of our families, children, and grandchildren. If we want to change the world, we are going to have to start with our families.

Pastor Greg

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