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Help Christian Parents Disciple Their Kids

I have come to realize that most youth leaders are young. Most of you are closer in age to the kids in your group than to their parents. No wonder you feel intimidated when the task is to teach & encourage parents to disciple their kids. But this is the task, the surveys say, that needs to be addressed as a top priority to stem the flow of youth away from the church. My best suggestion if you are unable to overcome your feelings in this area is to delegate this important task to trusted older adults in the church. It's a big job and will take the cooperation of the entire church.

Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research is quoted as saying this:
"There is no easy way to say it, but it must be said. Parents and churches are not passing on a robust Christian faith and an accompanying commitment to the church. We can take some solace in the fact that many do eventually return. But, Christian parents and churches need to ask the hard question, ‘What is it about our faith commitment that does not find root in the lives of our children?’"

438981: Shift: What It Takes to Finally Reach Families Today Shift: What It Takes to Finally Reach Families Today
By Brian Haynes / Group Publishing

Whether you're just getting started ministering to families or you've got a full-blown family ministry, Brian Haynes helps you equip parents to become spiritual leaders in their homes. Get a practical, workable plan for leveraging the milestones your church is already celebrating...already marking as families move through their faith journey together. You'll tap into the natural pattern of childhood development and family life, equipping parents when they're most open to shaping their children's faith.

Parents attending churches that have youth programs seem to have completely abdicated the responsibility of discipleship of their kids to the youth leader or the Sunday school teacher. In fact the data seems to show that Sunday School and youth group is having a detrimental effect on kids spiritual growth.

More is caught than taught.

While a youth pastor or Sunday School teacher can have a pivotal relationship with a teen, the parent/child relationship is by far the most influential relationship in every kid's life. Kids learn to be Christian adults by watching their parents react to life in a Christ-like manner.

764478: Spiritual Parenting: Igniting Faith in Your Family  
 Spiritual Parenting: Igniting Faith in Your Family
Help the parents in your church
create spiritual environments that God can use to work in their childrens lives.

Building Your Family to Last By Kari Torjesen Malcolm

In "Building Your Family to Last" Kari Torjesen Malcolm reminds us that this world is not our home, but our life here is a journey we walk with our loved ones as we move toward the City of God. Any distractions from this journey toward God's city ultimately reroutes our priorities and leads to difficulties down that road.

Our marriages are the starting point and a Christian marriage begins with commitment, "the decision to act lovingly even when you don't feel like it." This Christian marriage is marked by mutual respect and understanding which births a mutuality in marriage and ministry.

Malcolm exposes those things that slow down our walk: sex, money, and power. She uses Scripture to reveal God's heart on these issues. The responsibility for the nurturing and upbringing of our children, she stresses, are both the mother's and father's biblical mandate.

52581: Ministry of Nurture  
How can you build a faith into your kids that will stand up to real life? Duffy Robbins answers it definitively in this sensitive, in-depth, and practical look at building real-life discipleship into your kids.
Eating dinner together is known to be one of the best things a family can to together. My dad would read a chapter from the Bible after dinner every night then close in prayer. While some of the Old Testament stories can be quite gruesome I learned the Bible by reading it through many times during my child hood. This has served my faith well. Try this book by Nancy Gutherie for family-friendly devotions after dinner.
318950: One Year of Dinner Table Devotions & Discussion Starters: 365 Opportunities to Grow Closer to God as a Family

One Year of Dinner Table Devotions & Discussion Starters: 365 Opportunities to Grow Closer to God as a Family
By Nancy Guthrie / Tyndale House
A daily serving of spiritual nourishment for your whole family.
Between sports practice, music lessons, and homework, we can feel like our days pass by without ever really talking with each other about the most important matters of life and faith. This family devotional by popular author and mom Nancy Guthrie serves up a year's worth of daily truths from God's Word to chew on and apply to real life. Going beyond Bible stories, your whole family will enjoy discussing biblical words and themes.

Transform family devotions from a dry lecture into a dynamic conversation around your family dinner table as you draw closer to each other, and closer to God himself.

An alarming trend of summarily dismissing parent teacher/volunteers when a youth pastor is hired is only exacerbating the isolation of teenagers from their primary imitative relationships. Parents should be encouraged to join in every aspect of youth ministry. The ministry of the entire church should be aimed at reinforcing the family.
447941: Simple Student Ministry: A Clear Process for Strategic Youth Discipleship  
  Simple Student Ministry fine tunes the proven methods of #1 best seller Simple Church for the unique field of youth discipleship.
123915: Raising Kids to Extraordinary Faith: Helping Parents & Teachers Disciple the Next Generation Raising Kids to Extraordinary Faith: Helping Parents & Teachers Disciple the Next Generation
By Debbie Salter Goodwin / Beacon Hill Press

Raising Kids to Extraordinary Faith is a valuable resource that gives parents and teachers a practical guide for developing Christian virtue in children. Filled with spiritual growth ideas and suggestions for developing a faith-enriched home and church environment, it provides everyone who influences children purposeful advice, spiritual insight, and essential awareness to help them make discipleship the key component of their parenting, teaching, or mentoring. Paperback.
In one of my groups most of the kids were in a single parent situation. Teaching parenting skills to the remaining parent was helpful but an additional strategy needed to be employed. We needed to equip the congregation to be extended families. Teaching church members to consider themselves older brothers and sisters in Christ to the teens is what Jesus recommended in Mark 3:31-35. If kids receive nurture and support from their church family they will be more likely to return to church for these same reasons as an adult.

Character Building For Families
Topical Bible Character Educations Studies for the
entire family.

656790: Connecting Church & Home Connecting Church & Home
By Tim Kimmel / Randall House Publications

Connecting Church & Home equips parents to understand grace-based family ministry and transfer every part of their faith into the lives of their children. In his book, Dr. Tim Kimmel, one of America's top advocates for the family today, provides parents with a plan to reflect the heart of God in front of their kids and gives churches a comprehensive plan for family ministry. This is a must-read for both parents and ministry leaders involved in sharing faith with the next generation.
10-Minute Moments: The Red Stuff: Exploring the Words of Jesus Ten Minutes at a Time

10 Minute Moments: The Red Stuff  

Suggest this resource to parents as a devotional for their kids.The Red Stuff is a 31-day devotional and journal that gets kids into the words of Jesus - aka "The Red Stuff" - and keeps their spiritual

More devotional suggestions.

24200EB: Building a Youth Ministry that Builds Disciples: A Small Book About a Big Idea - eBook  
  Helping teens embrace a whole-hearted devotion to God that lasts.  

You're A Youth Minister (full page)
Bulletin insert (half page)
You're a Youth Minister

Use this article as a church handout to increase your church's awareness of the need to include young people in their lives.

Many news reports of coaches, day-care workers, even youth pastors accused of child abuse and sexual ms-conduct have caused parents to be very guarded with the relationships their kids have with other adults. The isolation of nuclear families alienates children from the strength of extended families.

Mature christians need to be aware of the incredible blessings that come from being a surrogate grandparent, uncle, aunt, older brother or sister, to the youth in their church.

832432: Family-Based Youth Ministry Revised and Expanded Family-Based Youth Ministry Revised and Expanded
By Mark DeVries / Inter-varsity Press

In a culture that worships youth even as it abandons its young, this book gets adults, families and congregations involved. If you are disappointed with the results from the glitzy programs and entertaining activities you've used with your church's young people, then this is the book for you. Family-Based Youth Ministry is a multigenerational approach that takes seriously the job of discipling teens and building mature believers. This revised and updated edition continues to hold out its bold challenge: Young people belong in the life of their church, and the church belongs in the lives of its youth. Now featured is free curriculum for use with youth and young adults together.
Doug Fields, in his book, Your First Two Years In Youth Ministry says, " You're an influence, not the influence." Here are resources to help parents disciple their teens. Christian parents are your allies in youth ministry, not your enemies.
405560: Spiritual Parenting DVD Curriculum Spiritual Parenting DVD Curriculum
By Michelle Anthony / David C. Cook

A DVD curriculum that will empower parents to be the primary nurturers of their children's faith and teach them how to create a home environment that God can use to work in their children's lives. Families will be transformed when they learn how to create space for God-encounters in everyday life.

8 DVD sessions with a Leader's guide, worksheets, and Spiritual Parenting Book.
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