Those of us who are busy ministering to the world need to be careful that our priority is to lead our own children to Christ. One third of all pastors say their grown children are no longer actively serving in the church. 40% say their grown children have gone through a period of profound doubt. While we can’t control the decisions our grown children make, we can do everything within our ability to make sure our children decide to be radical Christ followers. Here are some ideas on how to do that.
Use teachable moments. Look for opportunities to share testimonies with your children or to talk about how the Bible addresses every day situations.
Spend time with them. If you are always ministering to others and never spending time with your own children, they will consider you a hypocrite.
Lead your children to Christ. Constantly share the Gospel message to your children, and when they start to ask questions, lead them in the sinner’s prayer. Don’t wait until they are ten, twelve, or fifteen years old. My children were age three and four when they were saved. 85% of all Christians are saved between the ages of four and fourteen, and most who were raised in Christian homes are saved by the age of eight.
Encourage your children to grow in the faith. Read the Bible to them. When they are old enough, teach them to read it. Teach them to pray for themselves and others, and give them opportunities to lead the family in prayer. Have them help you do ministry. Make it so being a disciple of Christ is normal life.
Teach principles, not rules. Of course you will have rules for your children, but also teach the principles behind those rules. As they grow older, teach them to develop their own convictions based on those principles.
When your children have questions, answer truthfully. Sometimes the answer is, “I don’t know, but I trust God to work things out for the good.”