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)

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