As a dad of two elementary age kids, I find great joy in seeing my kids involved in so many activities. From dance, tennis and tae kwon do, to snowboarding and choir, they each are finding activities they enjoy and are excited about doing! But no matter how much I try to talk up tennis to my son, he just doesn't want to play! He tried for a couple of years, but he just didn't get into it. He took lessons from other coaches and even myself, but after a couple of years, he asked if he could stop playing.
Sometimes as parents we think if we could just get our kid to church, to worship, to youth group, or on a trip, they will connect with their faith in a new way and it will light a fire within their soul and they'll be able to see the importance we have been talking about. As it was with my son, I thought if he could just get out on the court and play, he would like it and play it for the rest of his life. ;)
Of course there is a difference in connecting with an activity or sport and having some sort of faith in a God who loves us and created us. But the idea of just getting our kids to the court, to church, to the pool, to the rehearsal, or to youth group, will give them an understanding of why it is important, or will help them feel connected in some way. And sure, sometimes this works, but over time the excitement may go away.
A couple of years ago Fuller Youth Institute in California helped in one of the biggest faith studies among teenagers ever done, The National Study of Youth and Religion. (You can read much more about this study here.) Through this study and subsequent studies after some of the teenagers were in college, one of the biggest findings was, "When it comes to kids' faith, parents (guardians) get what they are."
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Each week we will post one or more blogs related to our ministries for High School youth and families. Check back often and leave a comment!