At this year's Spring Harvest five themes were studied from the life of Moses:
- Equip; and
In a seminar on Empower with Krish Kandiah and Virginia Luckett we were told that 70% of young people brought up in Christian families leave the church in their teens and twenties (the Titanic had a 68% death rate when it sank…), and were asked to suggest why this might be. We came up with these thoughts:
- We teach children the stories and facts that we think they should know, but do we spend enough time building foundations that will enable them to understand why they believe? As they grow up they will be challenged to defend their faith, and without a strong foundation they will be in danger of falling;
- Do we encourage and nurture spiritual gifts in our children? Do we teach them what the gifts are and how to use them? Do we encourage them to seek gifts in prayer and discussion?
- Do we support our children when they find faith difficult? Do we encourage them to discuss their faith, to ask hard questions, to tackle challenging topics? Do we have enough confidence in ourselves to be able to discuss such things?
- Do we present them with false choices that make them choose between (say) science and God, or sport and God? Do we recognise that their skills in all areas are gifts from God and can be used to serve Him?
- Do we want mature, strong Christians who might disagree with us on some non-essential doctrines, or do we want clones of ourselves and our church? Do we allow our children to disagree with us on points of theology?
Much to ponder, and let us pray for wisdom in bringing up our own children and the children of the church.