Excerpts and summary from Dr. Tim Kimmel's new book Connecting Church and Home - released Feb. 19th at bookstores and online. There was a time when parents knew they were the leaders in the spiritual development of their children. Armed with only the King James Bible and the knowledge that if they didn't raise their children morally and spiritually, no one else would. The greatest generations were raised this way and at that time, the culture surrounding us backed up the biblical mentoring process and when parents said something was true "Because I said so." the culture nodded in agreement.
Today however, churches are armed with youth ministries, Christian schools and state of the art programming by highly trained ministry staff. Spiritual Leadership and training in the home, when done properly, requires a lot of time, commitment, and focus by the parents. If your already out of wind, out of ideas and out of your mind sometimes, many overwhelmed parents are ready to out-source their children's spiritual development to the church. Bring the child to church on Sunday, youth group on Wednesday and while we are at it, enroll them in the local Christian Academy and we as parents should be able to hit the spiritual cruise control button right? Besides the people at church are experts and they have flashy videos and games, we can supervise our child's outward behavior, keep sin/media/secular stuff out of our homes and focus on the spiritual image control. Then, we'll go to church to get the periodic report cards on their faith development and we can focus on grades, sports and providing them a better lifestyle and have some fun family memories instead. Easy!
This example is one of the reasons why the 18-29 year old demographic is the smallest in church attendance and faith in God according to Barna Group Research.
On top of this, society went through some "minor" plastic surgery since the good old days. The roles of men and women/husbands and wives went under the cultural knife. Too many kids are moved from being offspring of their parents' love -to- extensions of their parents egos. Marriage as an institution was sliced in two and 1/3 of children live without a father figure which further sends the (crime, abuse, poverty, sexual activity, obesity, emotional problems, drug and alcohol use and poor grades) statistics through the roof. The "Jesus Incorporated" Business Model moved churches main priorities from evangelism and discipleship to the 3 B's of Seminary - Buildings, Budgets and Butts in the seats. Furthermore, 24/7 immersion in media, reality shows and other technology have redefined kids and how they communicate and statistics show that kids today believe the internet more than their parents, pastors and teachers. Also, absolute truths and guidelines for living one's life have become debatable and not intellectually sound in the age of science. Postmodernism asserts that certain truths and rights are no longer self-evident. Also include that our children are the most marketed to and media targeted generation in history and this "friendly sales" culture also conditions them to be extremely weary and skeptical of everything, even faith.
Many parents I've met don't lay out a specific foundation, roadmap or strategic vision from their children from the beginning through to college and most often jump in the parenting river and start swimming upstream until ultimately they are floundering, tired and default to the helplessness and hopelessness mode. At this point they become "Google Parents" and simply look to books, churches or blogs like this for quick answer responses to specific problems and band-aid fixes for terminal cancer like parenting issues. While in the past, parents brought kids to church on Sunday full and on fire, now kids and parents are showing up empty and looking for spiritual hand outs and Pastoral EMT's to patch their spiritual wounds.
What if we could prevent this from the beginning?
What if the church and home become strategic partners?
What if we developed a simple, long-term biblical parenting strategy that the church backed us up on and other parents supported us with?
What if I gave you a parenting roadmap, resources and measurable goals from birth to college?
At this point, there are two observations we need to stop and acknowledge.
1. You cannot outsource your parenting role to raise moral, ethical and spiritual children.
2. Strong churches don't make strong families. Strong Families make strong churches.
The last question I have for you is if you are ready to stop floundering, ready to make this commitment for your children and you are ready to take the next step? If you are, I'm going to give you the tools and God's gift to make this happen but I want to know 100% that you are committed and I'm going to hold you accountable.
How To Take Action...
The first 10 people to tweet this post or share it on facebook and say 'Hey Legacy Dad, give me the book free!" - Will get Dr. Tim Kimmel's new book answering the above questions and laying out an amazing parenting plan, absolutely free. No Gimmicks from me, I'm just really committed to sharing this message and spreading the word to as many parents and church workers as possible. Tim was gracious enough to send me an advanced copy and it's a quick 130 page read. After you tweet or share this message, be sure to email me at email@example.com and give me your name and mailing address to send you book. I promise, I will not sell your address or sign you up for crazy mailings, the post office already does that anyways.
If you missed the 10 Free Books or you don't trust me with your address (thanks a lot :), you can also get the book from our new Legacy Dad Amazon Store Here
My goal is to help spread this message to as many parents, pastors and youth workers as possible so we can start getting everyone on the same page and creating a church and home that synch their efforts and back each other up every step of the way. I hope you'll share this message with others!!