Have you ever thought of your family as your own ‘small group’ or ‘point group’? Do you have prayer time, worship time, read the Bible, or spend time talking about God together? I started reading a book recently that challenged me to consider my family as just this – a mini-church!
The book I’m reading talks about how in early church times, if a man felt called to be a pastor, he had to demonstrate that he was actively teaching and leading his family. It was a resume essential! Although you may not be applying for a position in church leadership, consider how you are doing with leading your family.
There are many statistics indicating that children’s spiritual growth is strongly based on their parents’ influence. For example, less than 10% of children accept Christ after they leave the home. Of all the children who grow up going to church, 60% decide to stop going around the age of 15 years old! As parents, we have about 3000 hours of influence on our children in a year compared to 40 hours of influence by the church. What do you think when you read those statistics? How does it change the way you see yourself and your role as a parent?
No matter how old your children are or what your regular routine may be, it is never too late to start teaching and discipling your children. A great verse is Deuteronomy 6:7 which says “Impress them [the commands of God] on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” God calls us, as parents, to take our job seriously and to constantly be pouring into our children and teaching them about Him throughout the day. Although this is not possible for all of us, we still need to take every opportunity we have. Looking at the verse in Deuteronomy, how often do you get the opportunity to sit and teach your children or spend some time in worship with your children? When you are in the car, do you take the time to have a spiritual conversation, learn a Bible verse, or just spend time praying with them? Do you spend time in the morning and at night praying or reading the Bible with your children?
Whether or not you do any of these things, it may seem overwhelming to try to fit them all into your schedule, so try starting small. Watch how God uses that time, how He blesses you for being obedient, and how your family will grow spiritually!