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The Worldview of Today's Parents

We know that the greatest influence in a child's life is his or her parents.

No other conceivable causal influence...comes remotely close to matching the influence of parents on the religious faith and practices of youth. Parents just dominate. Christian Smith, Yale University

As we acknowledge this, we need to take a look at the worldview parents are passing on to their children.

Recent research by Arizona Christian University found that less than 5% of American parents who claim to be Christian possess a biblical worldview. The study also found that only 2% of all parents of pre-teens in the United States possess a biblical worldview.

The typical American parent is either fully unaware that there is a worldview development process, or they are aware that their child is developing a worldview, but they do not take responsibility for a role in the process. Or they are aware the child’s worldview is being developed, but choose or allow outsiders to accomplish that duty on the parent’s behalf. George Barna

Wow. That is some startling news. Plain and simple - the vast majority of parents (including Christian parents) are not passing on a Biblical worldview to their children. It's hard to pass along something that you haven't even clarified for yourself.

And the younger the parent, the less they follow a Christian worldview. This is especially true with Millennial parents. According to recent findings from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, only 2% of Millennial parents are passing on a Christian worldview.

If we are going to see this turned around, here's what we must do.

1. Understand what a worldview is. A worldview is a collection of attitudes, values, stories and expectations about the world around us, which inform our every thought and action. Worldview is expressed in ethics, religion, philosophy, scientific beliefs, etc...

2. We must help parents discover and follow a Christian worldview while their children are young. The first few years in a child's life are critical. Even at that young age, children and watching and absorbing the talk and walk of their parents.

One way I have found to accomplish this is through a parent & child dedication milestone event. Host a class that parents must go through before they can dedicate their child. In the class, spend about 15 minutes talking about the dedication and what it means. Then spend at least 30 minutes encouraging and equipping parents to raise their children to follow Jesus. If you'd like more info. about this event, you can get an entire kit at this link.

3. Partner with adult ministries. There is a tendency to fly solo when it comes to teaching and equipping parents. Silos go up. The children's ministry focuses solely on disciplining children and the adult ministry focuses solely on disciplining adults.

But I believe it is going to take both teams working together if we are going to see parents and their children follow a Biblical worldview. Work together to create and host parenting classes, marriage conferences and family events.

4. Be strategic in what you teach. If we want to see kids and parents develop a Biblical worldview, then we are going to have to strategically teach them about it. Teach apologetics to both groups. Teach Biblical doctrine to both groups. Teach foundational Biblical truths to both groups. We only have a small window of time to accomplish this. If we want kids to grow up with a Biblical worldview, then parents must adhere to the same Biblical commitment.

5. Focus on Millennial parents. Millennial parents number more than 22 million in the U.S., with about 9,000 babies born to them each day. They are the parents of Gen Z and GAlpha. If we are going to see children develop a Biblical worldview, we must help their Millennial parents lead the way in this.

I believe we can turn these trends around if we will be intentional in helping parents develop a Biblical worldview. And they in return, will pass it on to their children and grandchildren.


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