17 February 2018

Getting Your Kids Through Church Without Them Ending Up Hating God

Every year, thousands of young people leave the church and for many of us, this is a personal concern. But what if things could be different?

The Christian charity Care for the Family has partnered with key Christian organisations to resource parents, church members, youth workers and church leaders to address this issue together.

Through events, resources and social networks the ‘Getting Your Kids Through Church Without Them Ending Up Hating God’ initiative will equip us as we seek to stop a generation being lost to the church.

International speaker and best-selling author, Rob Parsons, feels that it would perhaps be helpful if we considered together some of the reasons that lie behind many young people’s decision to leave church.

“That’s why I decided to write a book on this issue. It is my attempt to consider whether there is anything we can change in our homes, our churches – our hearts – which will make it less likely that our children will turn their backs on church.” In his book, Rob asks questions about the environment our children grow up in and the opportunity that each of us has to play a positive part in that.

“But it’s more than that – I wanted to write about issues that all of us face, whatever age we are: disappointment with ourselves, disappointment with others, and even disappointment with God. And I wanted to talk about the things that so often conspire to kill faith in our hearts. Finally, I wanted to consider how we can help the kids who feel they don’t ‘fit in’ to sense instead that they are welcomed and loved – to feel they belong.”

At an event in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast on Thursday 3rd November, Rob will help us consider these issues.

Topics include:

God has no grandchildren

The jelly-mould syndrome

Giving our kids a vision

The Big Five that harm the faith of our children

Creating a sense of belonging

Preparing our kids for disappointment

There are no guarantees that children will accept the faith of their parents, but from toddlers to teens, we want their experience of the Christian faith to strengthen them, not make it harder for them to follow Jesus.

Peter Lynas, Northern Ireland Director of Evangelical Alliance comments, “Jesus told us that the Kingdom of God belonged to the kids, but too many are leaving our churches. We need to know why and do something about it. Evangelical Alliance strongly support Care for the Family in taking a lead in this important area.”

Graeme Thompson, Youth Development Officer for the Presbyterian Church says, “‘Getting Your Kids Through Church’ comes at a vital time for the church as it enables us to consider the call and practice of Christian parenting, a duty not just of every parent but every church member.”

For more information on this project and the events that will be held across the UK, please telephone Care for the Family on 028 9262 8050 or go to www.gettingyourkidsthroughchurch.org.uk In summary, Rob comments, “I am thrilled that this has become a church-wide project in partnership with Spring Harvest, major youth organisations, and national Christian leaders. My heart is that not one child – however old – loses their love for God.”

Jean Gibson