Biblically, we would all agree that parents are ultimately responsible for the spiritual development of their children. The Bible clearly teaches in Deuteronomy 6 whose job it is to teach the next generation about God. But first, there are some things parents need to do on a spiritual level themselves:
5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart.
And then there are some things parents are commanded to do in leading a house as well as helping the next generation understand the ways of God:
7 Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Parents have always had the responsibility of raising their children to know God. That is how God designed it, yet in recent years, that responsibility seems to have shifted to the student pastor. Parents get used to trusting the church to teach their students about Jesus. After awhile, there are so few spiritual conversations going on between parent and student that the parents suddenly feel unable to engage discussion in those areas. This just further fuels the problem and increases the responsibility of the student pastor.
You might ask why it is that parents have difficulty initiating spiritual conversations with their own children? Most parents say they feel awkward, unequipped, or even embarrassed as they attempt to talk about spiritual matters with their students. The goal of one spiritual conversation each week isn’t “mission impossible,” but if you mention this topic to most fathers in your church, you might notice them start sweating and retreating immediately. That is why we are so focused on helping student pastors equip parents with practical tools they can use.
Each week, we will offer a free resource called “One Conversation.” This downloadable resource is simply a tool any parent can use as a starting point for that one spiritual conversation. Our hope is that one discussion will turn into two, and that doors of conversation will be open again.
Nothing difficult. No super theological debates. Just easy conversation starters. Our desire is that every time a parent starts that conversation, future conversation will become easier and a more natural part of their relationship.