I’ve been doing Youth Ministry in some form for 20 years now.
When I first started working with churched students “churchies,” I was shocked at how much they did not actually know about the Bible. If they had gone through an intentional discipleship program (AWANAS, C.B.S.) they knew more than others, but most of them only knew what it meant to be “saved,” that Jesus loved them, and some of the stories from the Old Testament. Most of them had never been discipled by their parents or anyone else.
Most parents in our generation do not know how to disciple our children, because our parents did not disciple us and their parents did not disciple them… because they did not know how. Instead of walking in others’ footsteps of faith who follow in Jesus’ footsteps (being discipleship and mentoring), most of our parents and grandparents gave us “vitamins” of faith by taking us to Sunday school. They trusted our volunteer Sunday school teachers to teach us everything we needed to know about the Bible and following God in 1 hour/week (52 hours/year out of 8064 hours/year). Most of us did not have fun family devotion times at home with our parents or even spend time simply reading the Bible together as a family.
No one can grow healthy from only eating vitamins. We all need meals. Spiritual meals are what we are supposed to feed our children in order to help their faith grow strong and, yet, we are following in our parents’ footsteps in feeding our children vitamins.
That must stop raising malnourished children. Let’s get cooking, friends!
What do meals look like?
- (Basic Lunch) Cheese Quesadilla with avocados and milk – Pick up a Bible – a fun kids’ Bible (or teen Bible) and start reading it with your children. Every day. Read it during breakfast or at bedtime. Ask these simple questions:
- What does it say? (Have them repeat it in their own words.)
- What does it mean? (You help them understand its’ meaning.)
- What does God want me to do about it? (Apply this passage to your child.)
- (Special Lunch) Cheese and black bean Quesadilla with guacamole, and a strawberry/banana smoothie – Follow the Basic Lunch recipe and add discussions after Sunday school about what your child learned and tie in a devoted time to remind them of what God taught them that week at church. Often Children’s Ministries send home Take Home sheets to discuss and activities to do together to tie in the lesson to everyday life. Take a few minutes to do the Take Home sheet.
- (Four Course Lunch) – Chips and salsa, Chicken Tortilla Soup, Cheese and black bean Quesadilla, guacamole, smoothie, and Oreos – Follow the Basic and Special Lunch recipes and then start doing weekly Family Devotional times together. Make them FUN! You want discipling your children to be something that they want and desire. You want them to love it and want to carry it on as their legacy. Here are some resources that can help you with that Four-Course-Meal:
- Family Time is a wonderful ministry that puts out great family devotional resources.
- National Center for Biblical Parenting is an amazing resource for training parents how to train their kids. They have great devotionals, as well.
- The Family God Uses is an AMAZING resource for families to help us learn how to missionaries as a family.
- There are great family devotionals and devotions for kids on Bible.com You can also get the YouVersion of the Bible app which is the same as Bible.com.
- There are many more resources from Focus on the Family, Family Life and many other organizations.
Alright, friends… get cooking! Feed those sweet kiddos the meals they need to start growing strong and being able to feed themselves and others!
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them 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. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9