I was blessed by the opportunity to attend a ministry conference at the end of January where gifted speakers from around the country gathered to impart the knowledge they have been cultivating through their research and life journeys. I have so much I could share, but a presentation entitled “Helping Parents Translate Faith at Home” seems most appropriate at this time. Below is a summary of what Kenda Creasy-Dean, United Methodist Pastor and scholar shared and I hope that it both resonates with and challenges you and your family.
6 Practices for Parents and Congregations to Grow a Child’s Faith
1. Invest in your own faith.
Do your children and teens see your Bible study and prayer life? Do they see the fruit of your practices?
2. Share what you love not just what you know.
How do your children and teens see you demonstrate your love for Jesus and church?
3. Share your faith story with your kids.
They need to hear how you came to faith in Christ.
4. Emphasize Good News over good behavior.
Being a Christian is who you are, not just what you do, and kids need to hear and see that lived out. How do we embody the faith for our kids?
5. Speak Christian language as a way of life.
(The National Study on Youth and Religion found that teenagers, and particularly Mainline Protestants were extremely inarticulate about their faith.) Do you speak to God, or just about God?
6. Do radical things for God.
Let your children and teens see you do acts of hospitality, acts of mercy and justice, acts of prayer, acts of grace, and let them know that you have done it because of your faith in Christ and not simply because you are a nice person.