Kids largely act, think, and display attitudes that are imitative of their parents. Yet, churches spend nearly one hundred percent of their efforts to be the greatest spiritual influence event each week for one to two hours. Research has shown the top spiritual influencers of teens today are (and in this order) mom, dad, pastor, grandparent, Sunday School, youth group, and then church camp. Parents teach their kids—good or bad—more than anyone else from the earliest stages.
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If parents bring to bear more influence in shifting the worldview of children and teens, can the parents in our churches carry the weight of weighty questions of life? Does the church set parents up to consistently help their kids successfully grapple with tough topics with the grace of Christ’s heart to reach people? Or, does the church continue enabling the drop-off and expect the church to do it all?
For the last three decades, parents have delegated the spiritual coaching of their kids to the church, the ministry leaders and teachers. The result finds families in a compartmentalized world, the church one and the real one with minimal overlapping.
Deuteronomy 6 (D6), establishes God’s command for parents and grandparents to be the primary spiritual influences of their children and grandchildren. Ephesians 4 teaches the role of the church as equipping the saints, which include parents and grandparents who ultimately help to dress their kids in the armor of God (Ephesians 6).
Discipleship may begin at church but must be lived out in the intentional moments of the home. D6 Ministries helps church leaders engage parents and kids so that discipleship is not an event only at church, but a way of life to be lived out in the teachable circumstances of life.
Written by Ron Hunter Jr.
Since 2002, Ron Hunter Jr. Ph.D., has been the executive director & CEO of Randall House and D6 Family Ministries, the publisher of D6 Curriculum. He is the co-founder and director of the D6 Conference and an international speaker who has authored several books, most recently The DNA of D6: Building Blocks of Generational Discipleship, which has been translated and distributed in France, Korea and Singapore.