I’m reading a great book right now called Sticky Faith that has really been opening my eyes to some of the factors that are connected to kids having a faith that “sticks” from childhood to adulthood. I’m loving this book and I recommend it to anyone who has kids or love kids!
I thought I’d share a few highlights here from the first half of the book:
The most important social influence in shaping young people’s religious lives is the religious life modeled and taught by parents. When it comes to kid’s faith, parents get what they themselves are. Faith development is a life long process, so it is never too late to be more intentional in your parenting and faith as you model and discuss it with your kids. There isn’t a fool proof plan for Sticky Faith parenting. Ultimately, the Holy Sprit, not us, develops Sticky Faith in kids.
At the heart of Sticky Faith is a faith that trusts God and that understands that obedience is a response to that trust, in everything. Every decision, thought and action comes down to this: In whom do I place my trust? Spiritual disciplines do not make us righteous because we do them, but rather they put us in a position to be drawn into trusting Christ more fully. Spiritual disciplines don’t do the changing in us. It is God. A performance based Christianity can only last so long.
What percent of your conversations with your kids would explicitly mention God or have a connection to your faith? Often, there are two extremes: embarrassment and over-doing it. How do you find middle ground? Some say, “I choose to live out my faith instead of merely talking about it.” Yes, most would agree, but we don’t have to make the choice…we can do both! Words still matter. Create a tone and schedule that encourage conversations that further Sticky Faith.
Students with Sticky Faith have parents who encourage individual thought. Give students some latitude to arrive at their own conclusions. Provide space and time for quality conversations. Learn to listen and ask questions, not lecture. The best conversations happen in the midst of everyday life. Never explain something to your kid when you can ask a question instead.
Kids Involvement in all-church worship is linked with mature faith. A silver bullet has not been found. Many ministry activities are important to the formation of faith in kids, but their spiritual growth is more complicated than just one element or spiritual discipline. The closest our research has come to a silver bullet is this sticky finding: For high school and college students, there is a relationship between attendance at church wide worship services and sticky faith.
Many children’s and youth ministries say they want to have a 1:5 ratio of adults to kids. What if we reversed that? What if we said we want a 5:1 ratio? Five adults whom you want to recruit to invest in your kid in little, medium and big ways. When parents are intentional about inviting other adults into relationship with their kids, they help them form a sticky web of relationships.
Source: New feed