The Role of Parents in Discipling Children

brawl-simpsonBook: Redefining Children's Ministry in the 21st Century
Author: Becky Fischer
Chapter 6: The Role of Parents in Discipling Children

Premise of the Book: We have a crisis in the modern and postmodern church concerning ministry to children. According to George Barna, 70% of the children we have raised in church will leave the church as young adults.

Chapter 6: The Role of Parents in Discipling Children
Over the years, many parents have abdicated their responsibility to be the primary discipler of their children. According to recent Barna polls, a great children's ministry is one of the number one things parents will look for when selecting a church. As a result, churches feel pressured to take on that responsibility.

Becky suggests that Jewish model of parents training and discipling their children deserves more attention. The Bible is full of instructions for parents to take on this responsibility. However, many parents feel inadequate to fulfill this responsibility so it puts children's minister is the awkward position of helping guide the parents.

The Barna polls reveal that the inadequacy is quite obvious. Even though 85% of parents recognize their responsibility as spiritual leader, more than 66% place that responsibility on the church. In a typical week, less than 10% of parents who regularly attend church: 1. read the Bible together, 2. pray together, or 3. participate in an act of service as a family. And, less than 5% have any worship experience together in a given month (outside of church).

Becky believes that parents who intentionally have a stronger devotional life and a desire to seek God for themselves will be more likely to do the same thing with their children. The thought is that the priorities and practices of the parents will become the priorities and practices of our children. Therefore, an effective children's ministry will do their best to help equip parents with the tools, confidence, and understanding to nurture the spiritual lives of our children at home.