The Essential Church

I’m in the process of reading The Essential Church by Thom S. Rainer and Sam S. Rainer III.

The book deals with why Christian teens and young adults leave the church. While there are a number of factors, the factor that stood out most-strongly is parents.

Teens whose parents attend church and are authentic in their relationship with God–that is they do as they say, but also say as they do–are much less likely to leave the church.  Parents who have a vital relationship with God and positive relationship with church produce children who follow the Lord and remain connected to church.

So, to all of us who are parents–who pray that our children will remain faithful to the Lord–we play a huge role!

Pawning off the teaching and discipling of a child to the church without providing parental insight results in a greater chance of that child’s dropping out of church. The spread between dropouts and those that stay in the church is large when comparing students who received spiritual guidance from family members and those students who did not. Almost eight out of ten students who stayed in the church stated their parents or family members gave them direct spiritual guidance.  (p. 100)

Author: Steve

Steve Kilgore joined the staff of Calvary Church in Lancaster, PA in the fall of 2002 as the Pastor of Discipleship to facilitate the equipping ministries, which include Adult Bible Fellowship and other adult discipleship ministries, and work with the rest of the education ministries. He currently serves as the Executive Pastor of Ministries with a focus on providing ministries that facility individuals taking intentional Next Steps for growing and participating in the leadership and administrative aspect at Calvary. He has also taught part-time at Lancaster Bible College in the area of Spiritual Formation and New Testament. Prior to coming to Calvary he served in two churches as well as taught part-time at Philadelphia Biblical University. He was born in Dallas, Texas, but spent the first 13 years of his life in Guatemala where his parents were missionaries. It was there at the age of four and a half that Steve placed his faith in Christ as his Savior. Steve received a Bachelor’s degree in Bible from Philadelphia College of Bible and a Masters of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Steve and his wife, Mary Anne, have their two boys, Andrew and Nathan (both in college), and live in East Lampeter Township. Steve lives and ministers by the personal motto, Know what you believe and why, live it, be able to defend it. His hobbies, other than playing with his family, include tinkering with computers, reading, drinking coffee with his wife, playing and watching basketball. Steve and Mary Anne are looking forward to exploring new hobbies as they transition to life as empty-nesters.

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