June 24 2011 by BSC Communications

    Considering how to best train and equip the next generation in the truths of God may seem a daunting task — and it is, but even more so when churches and parents try to do it alone.  

    The dilemma is not, as Reggie Joiner writes in Think Orange, trying to figure out which is worse: “the church trying to assume a parent’s responsibility because parents are not…or parents stop assuming responsibility because the church makes them feel like the church should assume it.”  

    Throughout Scripture, in passages like Deuteronomy 6:1-9 and Psalm 78:5-8, the family is declared to be the primary agent in discipling children. Families in those same Bible passages, though, live out their responsibility in the context of a broader faith community that serves to resource, train and encourage parents.  

    The fact is, both the church and the family have room for improvement when it comes to taking responsibility for a child’s spiritual growth. Although two out of three parents in the United States with children under age 18 attend religious services at least once a month, the majority of parents spend no time during the week talking with their children about spiritual issues.  

    Yet, the local church sometimes tries to be the primary disciple-maker instead of helping equip parents to do what God intends for them to do. Joiner writes, “We do what feels like the right thing to do — we implement programs to replace the parents who should be the spiritual leaders. We gradually create a mindset that allows the parents to believe that the church should assume responsibility for the spiritual growth of their kids.”  

    On average, church leaders have about 40 hours a year with the youth at their church, while parents have about 3,000 hours with them at home.  

    This means parents and church leaders must work together in order to make the greatest impact.

    The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) is launching a new audio resource to help bring churches and families together. The Church & Family Connect podcast will help church leaders and parents answer questions about how to make fruitful disciples of the next generation.

    “Churches cannot give up on the family and the family cannot give up on the church,” said Brian Upshaw, BSC church ministry team leader.  

    “Many families want to teach and train their children. The church can help equip families, but also serve as a great source of encouragement. We pray that this podcast will motivate churches and families to elevate discipleship among our children and youth.”  

    The first two interviews are with Randy Stinson, dean of the School of Church Ministry at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Steve Wright, pastor of family discipleship at Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh.  

    “We are serious about creating a disciple-making culture in churches and families where lives are changed by the power of God,” Upshaw said.  

    Listen to the interviews here.
    6/24/2011 8:18:00 AM by BSC Communications | with 0 comments




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