Are Parents Equipped to Lead Spiritually

Today's Guest Blog is brought to you by Steve Johnson. Steve is a family ministry consultant and the founder of Etchea Coaching. Steve continues the series on the challenges facing the family today.

Let holy grandmothers and gracious mothers, with their husbands, see to it that their own boys and girls are well taught in the Word of the Lord. --CS Spurgeon, Spiritual Parenting

One of the great barriers to excellent family ministry is fear that often prevails in parents. The church has for so long given all spiritual authority over to professionals that parents now feel because they are not trained in seminary or Bible college, or because they don’t have the credentials of a pastor that they are not capable of training up their children as they should.
Parents need not be afraid. Christian parents, as people empowered by the Holy Spirit, have much to offer their children. Much that a church staff member can’t come close to replicating.
Christian parents have
                                    A shared story
Parents have access that a pastor cannot have when the children of his church wake up in the morning. Access that connects the parent to the child driving from one life event to the next. Access when the child is hurting, broken or celebrating a success, big or small. Access gives great opportunity to parents.
A parent’s regular access leads to intimacy. Parents see their child as their child really is, and the child sees their parents when their masks are off. Intimacy comes with vulnerability and vulnerability is the key to true spiritual openness.
Finally, parents have a story to tell. Their story, whether their children came by birth or adoption, is now also part of their child’s story. We call this story, heritage. It’s important because it gives a child as sense of belonging. Belonging is important because it provides a context for God’s love to work in a child.
Parents can use a number of resources to compensate for their lack of formal Bible education. Resources like the Family Time Activities books, Bible commentaries, or materials that come home with the children from church classes.
Pastors  and church leaders have much to offer in the development of children. Bible college and seminary are important training grounds for many of these people, but parents must be confident in the special ways that God works uniquely through them. Bible college and seminary are poor substitutes for the close, loving relationships that only grow in a family setting.
I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 2 Timothy 1:5

Can you tell us a question you've asked your child, a comment you've made, or an activity you've done that's generated spiritual dialogue with your child?

Milan Tomic

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  1. I thought it might be good to clarify why Steve and his family are dressed in such colorful outfits in the last picture in this article. They had just completed a "color run" when you get dusted with color! I hear it's a great family activity! Anyone else done a color run?

  2. Thanks for clarifying Ed. The Color Run was a blast of a time, but my car still has a rainbow of colors. We did it as a family and with a good number of friends. No serious runners here.

  3. Thank you for this wonderful post. I enjoyed reading the article and I've also learned a lot from it. I do this by reading to my kids religious books and we do it mostly before bedtime or in the middle of the afternoon. He always enjoys listening to religious stories and we talk about the moral lessons that he has learned after every story. :)

  4. Janet, Thanks for your kind words and your passion for teaching your children. Religious stories are a great tool, of course, start with reading the Bible. Especially, as your children grow, you'll want to interact with non-religious stories, too. You can be a model to your children as you read religious stories and as you interact with the world in faith. By this Friday, I should have a post on my blog,, about how to help children interact with the world. I think it will be interesting.

  5. Thanks for encouraging parents to lead spiritually. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 is a wonderful promise to parents - "Faithful is He who called you Who will also do it." He called us to the overwhelming task of parenting that little boy or girl, but He promises to do the job through us! How comforting is that! - I couldn't have parented without this assurance!