How Do We Get Our Kids’ Faith to Stick?

Jason Micheli —  April 15, 2013 — 2 Comments

Sticky-FaithMany of you like to point out- crank about- the thread of snarkiness that runs through my blog. Caveat Emptor: The blog’s called Tamed Cynic. What did you expect?

Nonetheless I’ve dutifully listened to these ministrations and decided to enlist the help of others who have a more compassionate and tender disposition than me.

photoElaine Woods is our Director of Children’s Ministries. Here’s some thoughts from her on the recent book, StickyFaith.

The book, StickyFaith, by Dr. Kara E. Powell and Dr. Chap Clark, encourages young people to develop a faith that “sticks” to them as they mature and come face to face with the challenges of college and beyond.

Research shows that 40 – 50 percent of kids who graduate from a church or youth group fail to stick with their faith in college.

Loneliness and the search for friends seem to motivate the behavior of college students.

One of the key points of the book is that trusting God is a necessary discipline for sticky faith to develop. It’s more than doing “good works.”

The lifestyle of doing “good works” or external faith is not enough to sustain sticky faith.  It needs to come from within.

Faith that TRUSTS God understands that obedience is a response to that trust.  We don’t obey because of something we will get, we obey because we trust and love God to do what’s right for us.

The Greek word for faith is pisteuo.  In the New Testament, pisteuo can be translated as three different words: “faith,” “believe,” and “trust.”  So when you see the words faith and believe in the Bible, they come from pisteuo and can be translated as “trust.”

In the elementary years, it’s important to teach the foundation of our faith: obeying God’s word, forgiveness, prayer, and sin.

But as children mature, more emphasis is placed on a personal relationship with God.  Praying daily and listening to his words

God promises to change us from the inside out if we trust Him.  When you are changed from the inside out, all aspects of your life are affected:  your personal relationships, your job, and your habits.  It changes your mind, heart, and behavior.

Check out the book, StickyFaith.  It will give you ideas and suggestions to implement a lifelong faith with your children.  Keep in mind, however, that a person’s faith walk becomes his or her own.   We can’t do it for our children.

Thankfully, we have a God who sticks with us forever.

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Jason Micheli

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2 responses to How Do We Get Our Kids’ Faith to Stick?

  1. One of the key things is to start early. A small tree can be shaped easier than a large one. It takes years of nurture to grow into a healthy tree.
    http://textsincontext.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/gods-assignment-teach-your-children-his-word/

    http://zeitgeistcontext.wordpress.com/

  2. Why assume that kids who leave their faith in college necessarily had faith to begin with? I’m a young atheist brought up in a Christian family and community and regularly attended church. The teachings never made sense to me at any time in my life but did anyone ask for my thoughts and feelings? No they just assumed I went along with what I was being spoon fed just as they did. It doesn’t pay to rock the boat when you live in a bible belt and dependent on your parents. I had no desire to invite a backlash by outing myself as an atheist. So once on my own and financially independent, surprise, surprise… now they know.
    If you really want young people like me to stay in our “faith” I’d recommend teaching us things we are capable of believing instead of ideas and doctrines we cannot help but find absurd, irrational and untenable. And that’s the real problem… we simply don’t believe what you Christians are asking us to believe.

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