Recently Lifeway Research asked Christian adults about their faith practices as children. The study surveyed 2,000 Protestant and non-denominational adults. If we understand what helped these adults grow in their faith from childhood, we can apply those practices to help our children grow in their faith.
First, we must understand that there are no guarantees that if we do everything right, our children will stay in the faith. Faith is a personal decision. Second, if you would like to read the entire study, you can find it here.
Third, these statistics shouldn’t be followed because they are statistics. They should be followed because they are actually things God already says Christians should be doing. Parents/guardians should be leading children in those ways anyway. This is a more helpful evaluator to see where we can help our children mature as Christians.
#1 BIBLE READING
God says His Word is “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). If children regularly read God’s Word, they will often see how it applies to their lives. They will get to know Who God is, what His character is like, and how He functions in life.
You can find small devotionals for children, or even help them develop a plan to read just a couple verses a day. Maybe after you read the verses together you can discuss it.
Praying develops our dependence on God and places our worries on Him. We can be “casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). If children regularly practice turning to God for help and guidance, this will build their faith. Since He does hear and does answer those who call on Him, your child will experience that building faith in Him.
#3 SERVING IN CHURCH
Many churches have taken the approach that they serve children primarily because children are the center of the universe of the church. Research shows that what builds a child’s faith is not only being served, but serving in the church. As parents, we can have our children serve in church side by side with us in many arenas if the church you attend is supportive of that.
#4 CHRISTIAN MUSIC
Singing or listening to Christian music is another way of talking to God or hearing from Him or about Him. We are commanded to listen to and sing to our God in worship (Ephesians 5:19). Regularly hearing about God or singing about God can build our faith in Him.
#5 MISSION TRIPS/PROJECTS
This goes side by side with serving in the church. It’s realizing that faith is not just about beliefs and proclamations, but that we are to live out our faith in part by serving others. We are called in Titus 2:14 to be “zealous for good works.” Once a child sees that God changes their life and the life of others, this is impactful on their faith.
If our children or teens are missing out on some of these it may be for two reasons. One, we ourselves are lacking in these areas, so we are not modeling for our children how Christ has called us to live. Two, we sell our children short. We only think about serving them, or that they won’t benefit from these things. Take time to evaluate where you and your children may need to grow in these areas.
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.