USA (MNN) — In America’s post-Christian society, it can be daunting to make sure your kids have a strong foundation of faith. Today’s Generation Z kids tend to be less religious and more relativistic than the generations before them.
“I think when you look at Gen Z people, they have been influenced by their culture,” reflects Greg Yoder, executive director of Keys for Kids Ministries. “When you start reading Scripture that says what’s good is bad and what’s bad is good, [those are] the times in which we are living right now. When you see that and you think of the public school system and universities and what they are teaching, it is a very relativistic worldview.
“It’s really difficult to talk about Scripture as the sole source of moral absolutes when we live in this post-Christian context.”
With such high stakes and cultural hurdles, who is primarily responsible for kids’ spiritual formation?
Barna recently asked this question of 650 church leaders and released their findings last month. Nearly all responded that parents are primarily responsible for the spiritual formation of their children.
The majority of church leaders also listed the church as second-most important for establishing a foundation of faith for kids, the Christian community (outside of the church) third, schools fourth, and the government or society-at-large fifth.
However, it can be tempting for parents to abdicate their primary responsibility for their kids’ spiritual formation to secondary sources like the church or a Christian school.
“It’s not good enough to point them to Jesus and have them come to a saving faith. They need to then begin growing in their faith, being discipled, and allowing them to become multipliers of their faith,” says Yoder.
“When you’re not reinforcing it at home, that becomes obviously a huge problem.”
To make it easier for parents to take on the mantle of discipling their children, Keys for Kids is here to help. One resource they offer is devotionals for children to read with their parents and prompt discussions on faith issues.
“We at Keys for Kids want to provide the tools to moms and dads who maybe don’t feel like they have the tools to share with them. We’ve even had moms and dads connect with us and say, ‘Hey, thank you so much for sending a devotional to my kid after they went to camp. Now I have something that I can share with my kids every single day.’”
It can be challenging to get kids in the Word. After all, they’re not always easily engaged. This is another reason why Keys for Kids’ resources are particularly helpful.
“Keys for Kids devotionals are so fun because they’re stories,” Yoder says. “They are real-life stories that kids can engage with. That’s kind of the premise behind what we do. Jesus did the same thing! He shared parables and that really engaged people. Then, of course with that principle, we’re sharing stories that are pointing them back to Scripture.”
Devotionals with Keys for Kids also give boys and girls “an opportunity to think, ‘What did Jesus have to say about this? What did the Bible have to say about this in the Old Testament?’ I think it’s those times where you really start reflecting on issues as a family when you can hypothetically get into some of these situations that some of these kids are in and help them work it through.”
Parents, you’re not alone. You can take advantage of these free Keys for Kids resources that will help you disciple your children in their walk with the Lord.
Then, when you start receiving the devotionals, Yoder says, “Read the stories and don’t forget about the Scripture part of the story. Then, when you get done, just ask [your kids] what’s in the story! The story says, ‘What about you? How does this apply to you? What do you make of this?’”
He also notes, “While we do focus on kids [ages] six to 12, our teen devotional is coming out. It’ll be in July, August, and September. That is our first issue. We will start mailing them out sometime in May. If you’re looking for an opportunity to relate to your kids on that level or just want to give them a tool, it’s called Unlocked. Just go to Unlocked.org to get your copy!”
Finally, commit to lifting your kids before the Lord in prayer. Ask God to give you wisdom as you answer their questions of faith and guide them according to His Word.
Header photo courtesy of Natalya Zaritskaya via Unsplash.