Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Breaking Down the Barriers to Family Discipleship

Here are some fast facts for you:
  • 85% of Christian parents who regularly attend church believe the primary responsibility for teaching their children about the faith rests on their shoulders.  
  • 10% of church-going families talk with their children about spiritual matters.  
  • 5% of church-going families participate in any kind of family worship (separate from a corporate worship service).
 (Are you scratching your head at these numbers?  Doesn't add up?)  The discrepancy between these figures is staggering, and it speaks to the barriers that families face in doing spiritual training in the home.

Here are just a few of the many barriers that can prevent us from following the Biblical model of discipling our own children:
  • Shifting of responsibility.  In our culture, it is very easy to shift the responsibility for the spiritual training of our children onto the church.  Yet God never intended for the church to be primarily responsible for passing the faith on to the next generation.
  • Lack of know-how.  Most parents--even if they grew up in a Christian home--have not seen family discipleship modeled.  We know we need to be doing more for our children's spiritual development than just taking them to church.  But we simply don't know what more to do.  What does family discipleship look like in everyday life?
  • Lack of support.  Parenting is not for the faint of heart.  When we are discouraged, we need someone to lift us up.  When we feel overwhelmed, we need emotional support.  And sometimes all we need to stay on track is someone else there telling us that we're doing the right thing. 
  • Time constraints.  Need I say more?  This is a huge challenge for families today!
These are very real barriers.  I won't minimize them.  The good news is that every one of these barriers can be overcome.

This video is less than two minutes long, but it is a powerful motivator for making the spiritual training our children a priority.

Discipling our children on a day-to-day basis requires absolute dedication.  This blog is about breaking down some of the barriers to making our homes the place where our children's faith is nurtured.  It's about equipping you, encouraging you, and inspiring you in this great endeavor.  Feel free to comment or send me an email telling me what would be helpful to see on Turning Our Hearts.


  1. Wow....these statistics are so sad. We cannot "outsource" teaching God's way of life to our children. It starts with us, each and every day. 3...2...1....GO!
    -Rebekah Drury

  2. Very true, Rebekah! It's every day, one step at a time. Sounds so simple, but it really does take absolute dedication.