Making Faith Stick (1 of 2)

A little over a month ago we were winding down our preaching series Who Do You Say I Am? where Garrett and I were preaching a sermon about Jesus from every book of the New Testament. When I came to the letter of 2 Peter I knew it was not one of the more popular letters in the NT like Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians or Philippians, so it was fun to really dig into 2 Peter and share what’s there. In the first chapter Peter drives home again and again the importance of our growth in the “knowledge of Jesus.” It’s clear from what Peter says that this is more than just intellectual knowledge – it’s knowledge about Jesus expressed in a way that reflects Jesus. I also discussed how my generation and the one after mine are the least churched in decades, so I wanted to share several practical ways we, together, as a church, can help instill faith in ourselves, our families, and especially in our children – whether our own children or the children we come across while at church. I know not everyone will be able to do all of these, but it’s good to be aware of them so the body can build each other up. A few friends who each have small children helped me put together these ideas that I’d like to share with you below.

Incorporate faith into bedtime routines

            If you have small kids at home, start by incorporating faith into bedtime routines. Routines or rituals are important in general because children can learn good practices and habits. When we put our son to bed at night we make sure to read a Bible story, sing a couple of short songs, and pray. It takes a few minutes, but a few minutes every night is helping him make a habit of praying and thanking God for all His blessings. Those evenings prayers aren’t especially profound either – they’re basic, but with young children it’s ok to start simple and work your way up.

Take “church” home with you

            You can also take “church” home with you. At Nicholasville we have a great children’s curriculum, so find out what your kids are studying in bible class and talk about it at home. If we get in the habit of talking to our kids about church-related things at a young age, it will be that much easier to talk about this kind of stuff when they’re older and when the stakes are higher. Sunday school is supposed to be fun and a time to learn – so really try to engage your kids about what they’re learning during Sunday school.

Ask your kids questions based on the sermons they hear

            In addition to that, ask your kids questions based on the sermons they hear. This one will be for older kids and, surprise surprise, it will also require us to listen a little more closely to the sermon than some of us may be in the habit of. But, that’s part of what 2 Peter was trying to emphasize, the importance of allowing ourselves to grow in the knowledge of Christ. Can you be like someone if you don’t know anything about them? Trust me, being like Jesus doesn’t really happen by accident, and by engaging with your children—or your spouse or other friends at church if you don’t have children or aren’t married—about what they’ve heard will have a positive effect on you too.

Bless another family or individual

            As a family, one a month or year or whenever, sit down and together decide how you will bless a specific family or individual, etc. with a service project or financial contribution. Rather than just saying, “Here’s this year’s project,” let the whole family have input in how the family will serve, how money will be spent, etc. You might be surprised at what your children come up with and how, even at a young age, they are beginning to see needs that can be met in the name of Christ.

In order to keep this post short I’m splitting it into two parts. This is part 1 of 2. But these four things can really make a difference if you give them the time and put forth the effort.
 

As parents and adults, we have to model the faith we want to see in our children.

 
– Kevin

One Response to “Making Faith Stick (1 of 2)”

  1. Jo says:

    Well done Kevin.
    Great suggestions!

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