I was recently introduced to a very interesting study entitled Nothing Less: Engaging Kids in a Lifetime of Faith. The study looked at adults who are lifelong disciples of Christ and the specific ways that their parents had influenced them in their faith. Following is a list of real-world, hands-on things you can do to influence your kids in this way,
1. Participate as a family in mission trips. A mission trip doesn’t have to be to an exotic land far away, although it certainly can be. Your mission trip can be to a nearby town or even right here in our little hurricane ravaged community. The important part is that you are engaging in missionary work as a family.
2. Participate in ministry or service projects with your kids. There are so many opportunities to serve right here in our church. If you’re not sure how your service is needed, Just check with the Serve Team or contact any of the church ministerial staff. Again, what you do isn’t the important part. What matters is that you serve together.
3. Share Christ with unbelievers. What a great example you set for your kids when you tell others in your neighborhood or circle of friends about Jesus Christ! Your willingness to tell others about Jesus will have a profound impact on your kids.
4. Read the Bible. Your kids need to see you personally reading your Bible frequently. The research indicates that kids whose parents read the Bible at least three times a week positively influence their kids’s long term discipleship.
5. Encourage your teens to serve in the church. Kids from age 15 and up are invited to volunteer in the early childhood department at First Baptist Rockport. And there are many other opportunities for them to serve in different ministries. Just ask!
6. Ask for forgiveness when you mess up. It is a powerful example for your kids when they see you admit your mistakes and seek forgiveness. Model this behavior and you will see it taking shape in your kids as well.
7. Encourage your children’s unique gifts and talents. The study showed that kids whose parents recognized and supported the development of their talents and interests while they were growing up were more likely to remain faithful throughout their lives.
8. Attend a Bible-based churc
h. Attending a church that places emphasis on what the Bible says as their kids are growing up are more likely to have kids who grow into lifelong disciples.
9. Teach your kids to tithe. Regular, faithful giving throughout childhood leads to adults who continue the practice throughout life.
If you’re interested in reading the complete study, it is available through LIfeway.com..