If you haven’t read the John Blake article featured on CNN.com, titled “More teens becoming ‘fake’ Christians”, then you should stop reading this blog and read it now.
Kenda Creasy Dean knows her stuff and this warning isn’t just for youth pastors. It’s for parents everywhere to know and embrace the fact that they are the number one reason why their children will or will not value and live out their faith as adults. If you need proof, just grab a copy of Soul Searching by Christian Smith and you’ll be convinced.
The entire article is worth your time but here is where it hit home for me.
Get “radical,” Dean says.
She says parents who perform one act of radical faith in front of their children convey more than a multitude of sermons and mission trips.
A parent’s radical act of faith could involve something as simple as spending a summer in Bolivia working on an agricultural renewal project or turning down a more lucrative job offer to stay at a struggling church, Dean says.
But it’s not enough to be radical — parents must explain “this is how Christians live,” she says.
“If you don’t say you’re doing it because of your faith, kids are going to say my parents are really nice people,” Dean says. “It doesn’t register that faith is supposed to make you live differently unless parents help their kids connect the dots.”
I want my own kids to grow up thinking that I’m more than just a nice person, I want them to see Jesus in me. I want them to emulate the Kingdom values that I share with them. I don’t want them to see God as a therapist that makes us feel better about ourselves. I want them to see God as our deliverer and teach them to live in response to that deliverance that we’ve found together in Christ.
Go ahead, read the article, be challenged and allow your role as parent to be the main reason why your kids follow Christ for the rest of their lives.
I noticed that you posted a blog about the CNN article Author: More teens becoming ‘fake’ Christians which covered Kenda Creasy Dean’s new book Almost Christian. I wanted to give you a heads up about some resources you may find helpful as you respond. The resources linked below are ‘Nutshell’ summaries–one which unpacks the findings of the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) and one of Almost Christian, which was based on the findings from the NSYR. These Nutshells overview the research, put it into context and highlight the major findings along with the implications for ministry of those findings.
The National Study of Youth and Religion in a Nutshell – http://ymtoday.com/articles/article.php?aid=2664
Almost Christian in a Nutshell – http://www.ymtoday.com/articles/article.php?aid=2…
You might also want to link to Kenda’s response to the CNN article at http://www.kendadean.com.
Please feel free to link to and pass these resources along to those in your circle.