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Pastor’s Perspective 10-23-18

It takes only one generation. One generation to change the course of an entire nation. We see this truth demonstrated with the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. God had freed them from slavery in Egypt and miraculously delivered them into the Promised Land. In the course of that deliverance, He instructed His people to be diligent about passing on the faith to their children. The Shema, found in Deuteronomy 6:4-7, commanded them to cherish His commandments in their own hearts while intentionally impressing them upon their children daily and at every opportunity. Joshua urged the same generation, both before they crossed the Jordan River to enter the Promised Land and again after their conquest was complete, to stay true to God and His Word. They promised they would.

And then we read in Judges 2:10 these sobering words: “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord or what He had done for Israel.” What happened? The parents had failed their children. They failed to do what God had told them to do. They failed to pass the faith on to the next generation.

Fast forward to today. I attended a conference last week on equipping parents to fulfill their biblical role to be the primary disciple-makers of their own children. Somewhere along the way in our culture, many parents – intentionally or unintentionally – have abdicated their responsibility for the spiritual growth of their children to Christian schools and/or to the local church. That was never God’s intent. Recent research confirms that parents are still the single greatest influence on the spiritual development of their children. Moms are the most influential. Dads are second. And grandparents are third. The most important social influence on shaping young people’s religious lives is the religious life taught to them and modeled for them by their parents. Are we paying attention to the research and to God’s Word?

Approximately 70% of today’s “Christian” youth are leaving the faith when they leave home. We have to do better! And parents have to take the lead. Grandparents and the church can both make a difference playing supporting roles. It takes only one generation. It is time to reclaim the next generation for Christ.

See you Sunday! ~ John