by Pastor Ben Holden
Five members of our Family Ministry team and myself just got back from spending three days in Nashville, TN attending a conference. The purpose of the conference was to help equip the church and the home. It was a great time! Not only did our team have a lot of laughs and eat some good food, we also had good discussion and were challenged in each session we attended. We heard good gospel-centered teaching. I wanted to share one thing that really stood out to me during our time there:
In a study released by Lifeway in January 2019, they found that 66% of students who were involved in the church during their high school years were walking away from their faith.
Yikes! This study was done about 10 years after similar studies were done that yielded only slightly higher results. With all of the efforts to change this reality over the last decade, not a whole lot has changed. This isn’t what I want to share with you though.
In the study, a whole bunch of questions were asked leading them to multiple findings. One fact stood out to me. The number one reason students STAY involved in the church and maintain an active faith after they leave high school has to do with the role of spiritual mentors in a student’s life.
Lifeway found through their research study that someone who has three or more spiritual mentors in their life during their high school years is three times more likely to stay connected to the church and their faith in their college years. Three times!!!
I think we can easily draw the same conclusion…
It is critical to not only see mom and dad taking the spiritual lead in the life of their children, but they shouldn’t take on this responsibility alone. The church and the home must be in partnership with each other! Having your child engaged in the life of the church in order to place them in the same orbit as other committed Christ followers, those that are more mature than them and have a heart for the gospel, and allowing them to influence your child will have a major impact. It can be the difference between a lasting faith and one that is abandoned and forgotten.
At Berean, we want to partner with parents to see kids and youth develop a firmly-rooted authentic faith.
We have environments for your children that are filled with incredible spiritual mentors. As a church, we want to come alongside of parents and help to disciple the younger generation. Two influences working together will have a greater impact than just two individual influences.
As a church we are here for your children (and for you!). Let’s lock arms for the sake of the gospel and the sake of the generations.