Sunday, October 30, 2011

Getting Your Kids Through Church Without Them Ending Up Hating God the provocative title of Rob Parsons latest book, based on his (sadly) extensive experience of adults for whom their childhood experience of church is the main reason they now are no longer part of one.

There's a national tour in November, here's some of the blurb:

We aim to present a challenge and to encourage and equip parents and leaders to meet that challenge by:

•Taking a fresh look at what may cause young people to turn away from the church and how we can play our part in reversing this trend

•Thinking in new ways about what is happening in the lives of young people and what really matters to God

•Considering how the way we live out our own faith impacts young people

•Learning from the wisdom and experience of other parents and leaders who have gone through similar challenges

I heard Rob Parsons on this at New Wine and it was helpful and powerful stuff, very impassioned, and as a parent something that's becoming more and more of an issue.

Care for the Family also has lots of helpful stuff on parenting. Often very simple, but vital insights.


  1. I tend to be sceptical about the expectation that new and improved youth programs and such will keep kids in church. I think we've relied too heavily on that. One of the problems is that we put so much effort into youth-focused things that we actually end up driving young people out of the church because they become so separated from the life of the rest of the church. When they've outgrown the youth programs, they feel like they cannot assimilate into the congregation any longer.

    Studies show that young people are more likely to remain in church if they are made a part of the regular worshipping community. We tend to forget how much children learn by example. When they get to take part in the regular rhythm of worship – singing, praying, reading Scripture, hearing the message – those practices shape and mould them, and especially when they see their parents doing it. What we do makes such an impression on them, but they miss that if they're always taken out of worship and put into different programs and clubs.

    I do think Parsons is exactly right, though, that we need to seriously consider how the way we live out our faith impacts young people. But again, that's the recognition that children and young people are very impressionable.

  2. Christian Research's Faith Journey project has some interesting angles on the 'huge' impact of: Christian camps/festivals, parents, church leaders on our children's faith.

    Relevant stats here: