Becky and I were privileged to serve as youth pastors to some marvelous students when we were younger. We were fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to serve our home state as youth directors later in life. Along the way so many godly and great leaders poured into our lives and youth and families allowed us into their lives. My children were especially shaped by the influence of those students , as well as their leaders and parents, who had a heart for God. I am grateful beyond words to all of them. But especially to the many parents who prayed, fasted and raised their children to love the Lord. Additionally those parents opened their homes and hearts to so many students whose parents were not involved or were indifferent to faith.
Becky and I recognized early on our first church that our influence with kids was insignificant compared to the influence and time that their parents had with them. Even though we began over 35 years ago we still remember and talk about those parents, Martha, W.D., Faye, Don, Willy, Bob and Gwen, Bobby, Joyce, Don, Dan, Judy, Melba, Jim, Shirley, Dave, Denise, Mike, Lucy, Anne, Jimmy, …
Scripture tells us that parents are responsible to teach their children and even their children’s children. We are counseled to have spiritual conversations about faith, loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength in the home, around the table, throughout the day and when you go to bed at night. We are even encouraged to surround ourselves with symbols of our faith.
Conversation and symbols are important to youth! Time and attention are important to both. It seems that time and attention are something that many seem to be short of. This week, I’d like to write about what I believe it is one of the most important issues of the day, seeing the first people we are responsible to disciple as our children. Families will be healthier, kids whose parents are not involved will have safe places in their community to turn to and churches and communities will be stronger and encouraged.
Dream with me about a generation that will know God and fulfill his purpose in their generation!
Peace and Joy