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Like Father, Like Son

When you go to the doctor, they often ask about your family history. Has your father or mother had so and so? Does this run in your family? Why do they ask you this? Because if your parents or grandparents have struggled with a certain illness, there's a good chance you may as well. Recent research by Child Trends showed that a parent's health was a good indicator of their children's health. If parents are in excellent health, the percentages would say their child will have excellent health as well. If parents are struggling with a certain illness, the percentages would say their child may struggle with the same health issues, if not now, down the road. I believe the same thing could be said about children's spiritual health. If parents are healthy spiritually, then their children will be prone to be healthy spiritually as well. And if the parents are lukewarm believers, then their children will be prone to be lukewarm believers as well. You see, no one has more influence in a child's life than his or her parents. Like father like son. Like mother like daughter. Parents play the biggest role in shaping their children's faith. If we can help parents be spiritually healthy, then they in turn, will lead their children into spiritual passion and health. The truth is (and this is coming from the guy who loves children's ministry) we don't need more children's ministry. We need more "parent ministry." The Bible talks about generational sins and curses. Generational sins means you disobey God's commandments. You have idols that you place before God. These tendencies can be passed down to children from their parents. Yes, we know that each person must answer for himself or herself when it comes to their relationship with God. God doesn't have any grandchildren, only children. Even though sin in a family can be passed down through the generations, each person has to make their own decision about following Jesus. That being said, parents have a huge influence, the biggest influence, in cultivating children's hearts to follow Jesus. Parents can create a home environment that influences kids to step across the line of faith and go on the adventure of following Jesus. So how can you influence parents? How can you come alongside parents and equip them to be a spiritual influence in their child's life? Offer parenting classes. In the children's ministry world, for too long, we've depended on adult ministry to offer parenting classes and in many cases, the children's ministry doesn't get involved. It's time we, as children's ministry leaders, start playing a key role in facilitating parenting classes that teach parents how to raise their children to be a spiritual leader. Offer milestones. Milestones are significant spiritual markers in a family's life. And if you are intentional about what you do for milestones, you can see God use it to break generational curses. Here are the key times you can significantly influence not just children, but their parents as well.

  • Parent and Child Dedication

  • Bible Presentation

  • Stepping Across the Line of Faith