Three hours a day! Five days a week! Two years!
While speaking recently at Calvary Chapel School of Ministry in Costa Mesa, I had an interesting conversation with Pastor Carl Westerlund, who started the school in 1989. He showed me pictures of every graduating class, identified the graduates and told where they currently serve in ministry. Many had graduated years before and yet more than 80% are still in ministry today! That’s an amazing success story.
I asked why so many of their graduates remain in ministry when it is common that many leave ministry after only a few short years.
His answer, “We train our people for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 2 years.” Contrast that to the fact that up to 88 percent of the children raised in evangelical homes leave church at the age of 18, never to return.
If so much can be accomplished with intensive training during a short two year period, how much more can we, as parents, pastors, Bible teachers, Sunday School teachers and brothers and sisters in Christ, influence our youth in the 18 years from birth until they leave the nest? Shouldn’t we be doing exactly what this school is doing — training our youth to be missionaries, ambassadors for the Lord, and equipping them with knowledge and understanding of God and His Word? I wonder how many homes spend even three hours a week biblically training their children? Our children are being “trained” by the world, so if we aren’t training them at home it’s no wonder that they’re walking away from their faith in such large numbers and turning from the Lord to the ways of the world.
I’m not saying that you’ll need to spend many hours each day teaching Bible lessons. What I am saying is that as parents we need to be involved, and we need to take the Christian education of our children as seriously as we do their other studies and activities.
In the course of researching family life in America, the Southern Baptist Council on Family Life uncovered some gut-wrenching statistics.
“The majority of children in America have less than 10 minutes of significant and meaningful conversation with their parents each week.”
Contrast that with the fact that the average amount of time a child spends in school each week is seventeen hours. Seventeen hours a week versus 10 minutes a week. Which will have the greater influence?
The research findings further stated...
“if you remove the mother, you can measure this statistic in seconds.”
Now, what does that say about the influence of fathers on their children? That’s a very sad statistic and it’s the reason that rforh is seriously challenging dads to “step-up” and get more involved in their children’s lives and education (especially biblical education). We’re in a battle — a battle for the minds and hearts of our youth. We need to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20) and get in the battle! We love our children. Let’s love them enough to fight for them.
At rforh our battle cry has become, “Know it! Live it! Share it!” — all for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our website, and innumerable others, provide biblically sound resources to help parents and other caring adults in strengthening, equipping, encouraging and challenging our youth to be faithful in their walk with the Lord. Find something and use it. OR...just open your Bible and start reading to them. The Holy Spirit is faithful and He will lead them into all truth (John 16:13).
Don’t be out-witnessed by the world. Don’t let the world steal, kill and destroy your child’s faith (John 10:10).
Intentionally and diligently set aside time every day to instruct and build into your children. Jesus commanded that we “go...and teach all nations…” That teaching includes right in our own backyards and in our own homes.
As I close, I ask you to think about your children and the other children in your life. What can you do to build into them with the Word of God? I challenge you to find three resources and/or Bible passages that will equip them to Know it! Live it! and Share it! and then begin teaching them to your children. You will bless them and, in turn, you will be blessed.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13