By Waylon Bailey
Is anything more important than imparting the good news of God to the next generation?
This week we had the Evangelism Conference for Louisiana Baptists meeting on our church campus. The theme for the conference concerned imprinting the next generation.
What does this mean and how do we do it?
Here are some of the highlights I gleaned from the meeting.
While God has given the church to help encourage, educate, and disciple children, this is primarily the work of the family. Both the immediate family and the extended family can and must imprint children with a biblical worldview and a passion to live for God.
Eric Hankins particularly preached about this subject. He pointed out the truth that children are wired from God to learn from their parents.
This truth seems difficult for many people to comprehend, but children want to be like their parents. Eric pointed out that studies commissioned by Coors, MTV, and Anheuser Busch show that the most influential people in children’s lives are their parents. This effectively demonstrates that the family is God’s plan to thwart the sinful culture.
In a day in which we assume that children are vulnerable to every voice except the voice of God and the voice of parents, the opposite is true. Yet, the world is telling us that our children are leaving home and leaving church never to return. Statistics do support the fact that many young people do quit attending church, but this statistic is the same as when I was a teenager.
When children are told but not shown how to live, when they are dropped off at church, and when there is a disconnect between words and actions, children do rebel. Maybe they should rebel. When they are raised in genuineness and taught by faithful parents, the statistics are much different.
Eric Hankins gave this statistic. When children are carried to a Bible believing church and the parents are faithful in attendance and obedience and live out their faith, 90% stay in the faith!
The culture simply cannot compete with this truth. We in turn must let our faith fill our lives. If we do this, our God will bless our obedience.
Waylon Bailey is senior pastor of the First Baptist Church, Covington. This editorial first appeared on his daily blog.