I LOVE to learn. And at this event, I learned alot!
Tonight, I am going to share what I learned from speaker/author/pastor/father/husband (and not in that order), Mark Holmen.
Do you know who/what is the #1 most significant Faith Influence in a child's life?!
Huh? Do ya!? Well, I do, I do, I do! (That's my impersonation of the annoying show-off know-it-all that resides inside of me. She's ugly ... so I generally keep her locked under the stairs, but not tonight ...)
Anyhow, here it comes ...
If you're a mom, the answer will either terrify or thrill you ...
The Number One most significant faith influence in YOUR child's life is most likely ...
Yup, good old Mom! She was cited by (and don't quote me - this is from the chicken-scratched, amateur scribbles I found in my notebook) 74% of girls surveyed and 81% of boys as the biggest influence on their faith lives. Wow! Way to go, Mom!!!
Dad came in at #2 (sorry, Dad) with nods from 50% of the girls surveyed and 61% of the boys. Still, Mom and Dad together are 2-3x more influential in their kids faith lives than anyone or anything that goes on in the church.
After Dad (in this order per my notes) are Pastor, Grandparents, Sunday School, Youth Group, Church Camp, Retreats, and Youth Pastor.
I appreciate the news that Mom is #1 in this area. After years serving in ministries for moms (MOPS and SAMmy's), I've come to believe that the greatest changes in the Kingdom are those that stem from transforming Mom!!! When Mom comes to know the Lord and is lit with a passion for Him and for her faith - her kids often follow - and her friends - and her husband - and on and on. I've seen OVER and OVER again the ripple effect moms create.
I feel passionate about ministering to and encouraging moms because moms can change the world. They really truly can. And if moms invite God to change them, then they will change the world for God.
Something else that I learned from Mr. Holmen: 61% (nearly 2 out of 3) Christian kids walk away from their faith in young adulthood.
The #1 reason that they walk away is ... (drum roll, please) ... Hypocrisy.
And WHO are the hypocrites?
Too often, Mom and Dad.
Mom and Dad have a "drug problem". They "drug" their kids to church every Sunday to get some religion, some morals, some ethics, an education, a social life ... But the rest of the week, God is M.I.A. There is no sign of him in Mom and Dad's heart or actions. Mom and Dad are hypocrites.
My paycheck comes from directing Children's Ministry, but my children in Children's Ministry come from moms - and dads - and sometimes grandparents - and my hope and prayer is that these moms, dads, and grandparents are not suffering from a "drug" problem. I pray that they are passionate about their God 24/7. I pray for the kids, but man, I PRAY for the parents!!! God wants YOU, Mom and Dad!!!
When Mom and Dad get to know God - when they love Him and obey Him ... kids have a model to follow, a model for loving and obeying God. More often than not - kids love what/who Mom and Dad love.
Sooo ... the question is ... What/Who do YOU love?! What/Who do you treasure both in word and in deed?
Our kids are watching!
Lead the Way!!!