I wrote this for our church "magazine" ...it was 11 at night, and I didn't edit it....
While sitting across from a young girl, who is obviously in love with the Lord and actively pursuing him, a small truth became a big one for me. Parents have the chance to have a huge impact on their children spiritually. I had asked her what she was learning from God, and she had mentioned she was reading a book that her mother had recommended and reading through proverbs with a group of her friends. I thought this was amazing; she was devouring a book her mother suggested and reading proverbs! I asked why her and her friends were reading proverbs turns out it was suggested by her friends’ father. It was initiated by a parent. It wasn’t forced upon her or mandatory but suggested, shared with. It was her choice but initiated by a parent.
I’ve seen it many times, where youth do not take initiative in their relationship with God because although their parents may be Christian they are not actively involved in their faith formation. A relationship is not modeled to them, but merely given face time, it isn’t a way of life but a program that has been downloaded without any thought.
Youth is only two hours out of every week; it would be naive to think that this would be the greatest potential for spiritual formation. Don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to type myself out of a position however I do realize that the home should be the primary teaching ground when it comes to spiritual matters. When a parent engages in conversation with their child about what they are reading in the bible, what they are learning from God and the questions that they have, it provides the youth an opportunity to discuss and formulate their own faith. It helps them discover that they too are capable of having a real relationship with the Father. Lifeline is hopefully a place where youth feel comfortable to come and share, to learn and grow and to be supported by their leaders. Growth, challenge, and equipping takes place at lifeline, but it’s not only coming from a lifeline night, or a over a cup of steamed milk, it’s coming from the home. And that’s a beautiful thing!