When I saw the subtitled of Voddie Baucham’s book Family Driven Faith, I knew it was a book I would be interested in: doing what it takes to raise sons and daughters who walk with God. This is one of the books I worked through for the series I’m doing in July called The Perfect Kid.
The problem that Voddie devotes a book to is something that pastors and student pastors have known for years. When a student graduates high school, there is an 85% chance they will leave the church and most likely not come back. What is the problem? Lots of things get the blame. From schools all the way to saying, “We need to spend more money on student ministries.” As Alvin Reid points out, “In the last 30 years, we have spent more money on student ministries, have more qualified youth pastors than ever before, and yet, we have more students leaving church than ever before.”
I think Voddie is right on when he says the culprit in all of this is that parents have started to expect someone else to do what the Bible calls them to do. In scripture, do you know whose job it is to evangelize, teach, train and disciple children? The parents of that child. No one else. Now, this isn’t to say that pastors, friends, or relatives can’t help in this process, but that in no way means parents can abdicate their roles on this.
What is interesting according to Voddie is that every pastor knows this because it is all over scripture, yet, no one wants to hold parents to it. While I don’t see Revolution embracing the church model that Voddie encourages, the principles he talks about are ones we are trying to embrace as a church. Things like:
- Upholding the value of marriage and children. Churches say they do this but Katie and I have had Christians look at us and ask if we know what causes our 3 kids. Um, yes. What is interesting and sad about this is Scripture talks about how children are a blessing. But many Christians have begun to see kids as a distraction and a nuisance from their dreams and lives.
- Upholding biblical roles in marriage. This is a big problem in churches today as most people who attend church think of marriage and roles in the same way as our culture. Say words like headship, roles, submission and you are sure to stir up a firestorm. We have the arrows at Revolution to prove this one, yet Scripture is very clear that men and women play distinct roles in a family.
- It is the parent’s job to evangelize and disciple their kids. As I said before, you can’t read the Bible without seeing this fact. Yet, most Christians and churches don’t follow this. The list of reasons is long, and honestly, I understand them because I have felt them. It is an overwhelming task, one that I don’t always feel capable of. But as Voddie points out, “If you can read, you can teach your kids scripture.”
All of these are things we will be talking about in The Perfect Kid series.
If you are a parent who wants to know how to pass on your faith to your kids, this is a book worth picking up. The reality is that our kids will pick up a worldview, a theology somewhere. They will grow up with an opinion when it comes to human life, sexuality, money, ethics, community, etc. The question is, what will that theology be? Will it be one that resembles what Scripture says or what their friends or culture says?
One of the things we are striving to do at Revolution is not let parents, particularly men, off the hook in this area. We uphold this value of parents discipling their kids, preach on it, but we also do our best to put resources in parent’s hands to help with this. If your hope as a parent is that by taking your child to church every week they will grow up with a biblical worldview and that is all that you are doing to enable this, statistics almost guarantee this will not work. Why? The simple fact of the lack of time comes to mind, but mainly because it was not designed to work. If it was, God would have said to take your child to church, drop them off and let someone else evangelize and disciple them.
As a man, this is a huge task to undertake because Scripture is also clear that I am primary responsible for this. I am to drive the ship on this. It is not just up to me, but I am to take the lead on this, not Katie. But as a man, I love the challenge of this. I love that I am in over my head on this.