Every October our Kid’s and Student Ministry staff makes our way to Nashville to attend the ETCH (Equipping The Church and Home) Conference. The theme of the conference this past year was Nothing Less, which originated from the words of AW Tozer, who said, “Nothing less than the whole Bible can make a whole Christian.” The main sessions, as well as the breakout sessions, were centered on the importance of using God’s Word to educate, equip, and encourage families.
One aspect of the conference I found especially intriguing was the release of a study conducted by Lifeway Research on the top influencers of spiritual health. The survey was conducted with 2,000 Protestant adults who have finished the parenting journey with one or more kids ages 18 to 30. The parents were asked to evaluate and describe nine spiritual characteristics of their child today and answer specific questions about their child’s upbringing.
The study revealed fifteen characteristics that are predictive of stronger spiritual health in young adults. One characteristic was identified as having a large impact, four having a moderate impact, and the rest having a smaller impact. The number one spiritual indicator having the largest impact was (drum roll, please………) BIBLE READING. Simply put, regular Bible reading is a significant factor in raising fully-devoted Christ followers. Other factors that had a positive but moderate impact included: child regularly spent time in prayer growing up, regularly served in the church while growing up, listened to Christian music, and participated in mission trips/projects.
What do we do with this information? For me, there are two areas in which I hope our church makes a difference. One, we want to be an encouragement to your family in making Bible reading a priority in your home. If this isn’t a regular part of your routine or you haven’t yet started talking to your kids about making this a regular part of their day, then don’t waste another second. START TODAY! Two, I believe that if we are effectively teaching the Word each Sunday in our classes then kids will want to read the Bible more and more. We hope kids leave WatKIDSville every Sunday with a greater excitement about the Bible. I am especially thankful for all of the “partners in the Gospel” (as Pastor Vic stated in his sermon last month) that faithfully serve alongside us in this endeavor. And as we begin staffing for VBS in the summer and Sunday School in the fall, we will be looking for people who love God’s word and have a desire and the ability to teach it to kids. If it sounds like I am speaking to you….maybe I am, and we need to talk.
As a parent and ministry leader, my desire is to see my own sons and the kids in WatKIDSville become wholehearted followers of Jesus Christ. This will not happen apart from the supremacy and transforming power of His Word. May we be faithful to read His Word with our families.
Scott Carson, Children’s Pastor
*For more information about Lifeway’s study you