Do You Desire To Bring Your Child Into The Kingdom?

It's hard enough to be a Christian parent in this world. How do we combat the forces of evil while at the same time raise our children to desire to walk in God's light? By seeking His face, His Word and inspiration from each other as we stumble through this parenting process together. You will find all the instruction, encouragement and resources you need right here at The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take to help you be the most effective witness to your child that God would have you be. Look around and come back often. Let's learn together.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Really, Really Tough Question

photo by Reefraff

One focus of The Greatest Mission Trip is to get families into the Word together, devoting themselves to following God through knowledge of His truths so that our children can make decisions for Christ as their Savior. But for many, many families that is a tremendous difficulty. Consider these startling statistics pulled from
  • 1/3 of all high school graduates never read another book;
  • 42% of college graduates never read another book after leaving college;
  • 80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book in the last year;
  • 70% of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
I’m not sure how we got here as a nation, and I’m not willing to turn this forum into a soap box for anything else than what it is. These statistics don’t speak well of a lot of things.

However, I recognize that those who regularly check into TGMT probably fall among the 20% who read regularly. Assuming the 80/20 split applies to the Christian population as well, that means that 4/5 of our Christian brothers and sisters don’t ever crack the Bible open to learn more about their Lord or draw closer to Him.

This means they can’t pass this knowledge on to their children, which is probably why 80-85% of teens/young adults walk away from their faith (from evangelical households, anyway).

So, how do we reach the 80% of the families who didn’t pick up a Bible in the last year to read from it? If anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear about them, because I have family members and friends who fall within the 80%. How do I reach them?
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Check in Saturday, 9/13/08, when my husband will weigh in on this issue. Trust me, you do not want to miss his take on this.


Lylah said...

hey deb...thanks for stopping by the lylah blog and adding your comment! great "place" you have here...


Becoming Me said...

Excellent post and lots of good questions...none to which I have the answers

Deb Burton said...

From Helena, a Christian sister from South Africa who replied to a Facebook thread:

Hey, i cant go in dat website im frm my phne, bt 2 answer 2 your question:

Im gne use my live as an example, ok my whole lfe ive been a christian but a religious1, meaning i went 2 church i had 2 i read the bible, prayed, fasted, etc coz thats wat my parentz told me 2 do, and wat it says in da bible, bt u knw if sum1 force u 2 example wash the dshes u hate 2 do it coz sum1 askd u 2 do it bt if u do it on your own, own dsicion, its fun;-) thats the 1 reasn why sum dnt read,

2ndly, next msg;-)

Coz mst christians dnt hat a persnal relationshp wth God, and they fnd it borng 2 read the bible, nw the dfrence in being a christian and havng a relationshp wth God is that: 1) the chrirtian is relgiour i'm nt talkng bout 1 thats in those dead churchs im talkng bout the 1ns in the hapy clapy churchs, nw that christian they get very exictd coz wats hapening in da church, revival, born again believers, fasting that sort of thng, bt wen that is ova that fire dies then mst usaly get bored, next msg...>

The seasn is ova, so they stop, like it cum and go, revival yeah! Read read bout wat God wants 2 show us, then seasn ova boring boring leave bible 2 gather dust;-) yeah?

Then then 2 hav a relationshp wth God bg dfrance, its nt 2 b a christian, lets look at ths: was Jesus a christion? Haha NO, then did He had a relatnshp wth God? Yeah YES He had, bg dfrnce, nw 2 hav a relatnshp wth God, u r everyday exictd and u Want want 2 read your bible! U cnt lve wth out it and u get new revalations bout stuf nxt msg>

Nt like stuf that God can gve u, no nt that, u dnt read malachi 3:10 thats nt how a relatinshp works, u dnt just love your husban coz he buys u juwelry? Its a 2way thng, and its mstly a gving thng, gving your tym mney wthout expeting sumthng bk, wen u reach that point, um damn, it dficult 2 b Gods chld, in my lfe ive neva been hit by so many bg wafes, ja bt its stil fun and u get 2 c stuf experience cul stuf like take me again as an example:;-) i saw Jesus twise, in real um i cry almst every nyt next msg>

Wen i say helo 2 God, i dscuvert cul Stuf in da bible that i neva new, i read like 25 chapters at 1ns but u hav 2 pay da prise, examPle 2 lose your job, fail, coz the devil dnt want us alve,bt 2 cum bk 2 my point, the only way that u wl keep on readng your bible is if u hav a relationshp wth God, :-)

Sory 4 wrting so much, bt gud luck wth evrythng, al ths stuf i experiencd if u wane c how hard it is 2 be a Gods chld ask me;-) and how can the bible b borng or very exstd u can also ask me, been there ;-)

Deb Burton said...

Helena, thanks so much for all the work that went into texting your answer. I really appreciate your sharing your life experience, the difficulties you had and the realization that your relationship with the Lord is what fuels your desire to read from His Word. Now, how do we get others to come to that same realization?

Becoming Me - it's not an easy question to answer, is it? If it were I think we'd have a different world.

Diane L. Harris said...

Some people just are not comfortable with reading at all, but there are helpful alternative sources of exposure to God's word such as radio, tv, CD's, dvd's, Bible study classes, church, and conversation with other Christians.

Many folk may enjoy reading yet find the Bible difficult, as it certainly can be. But there are many versions easier to comprehend than the King James. My favorite is the New Living Translation.

Another great resource is my new book "Stepping into the Light: You're a Christian, what now?" a discipleship guide for new adult Christians that includes brief descriptions of themes in the Old and New Testaments, biographical bits on the authors of most Biblical books, and reveals major lessons to be learned from those books. "Stepping into the Light" is a great jumping off point for Bible reading, because it also suggests effective Bible study methods.

Pledging allegience to Christ is only the beginning of a Christian life. Obedience comes next, and obedience without knowing His instructions is not possible.

Diane L. Harris

Deb Burton said...

From Linda Peabody, on a Facebook thread:

Because of all the pulls in other directions. It's something that takes discipline, like exercise. It's one of those JUST DO IT kind of things, that we don't always make time for.

Deb Burton said...

From John Nunnikhoven, on a Facebook thread:

If we are intentional about living a Matt 6:33 life, spending time in the Scriptures, reading them, meditating on them and praying them becomes a totally necessary part of the life of a disciple of the Kingdom. A good place to begin is to meditate on the implications of Psalm 119:105-106. Impossible without an intentional spiritual discipline of Scripture.

So, Deb, perhaps the answer to your question is that many Christians are not serious about their faith! God is not their 1st priority.

Deb Burton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deb Burton said...

Diane, I appreciate you sharing your book as a resource. Anything that gets someone into reading the Bible is a good thing. And you're right, there are other ways of 'reading' the Word without actually reading the Bible - listening to the Bible on CD, for example. The other approaches, though, put the reading and digestion of the material into someone else's hands. How do we encourage others to personalize their knowledge of the Lord so they can derive the most fruitful living for God?

Linda, John, Ric - my Facebook friends - thanks for taking the time to respond. I think the common thread among the three of you is intentionality. We have to be very deliberate about our Christian walk, including making a decision to purposefully read His Word. I hope you all come back Saturday for my husband's response to this very issue.

Tara said...

Wow! Those statistics are scary! I can't believe (or maybe I don't want to believe) them! I'm amazed! Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Deb Burton said...

I didn't want to believe these stats either when I first saw them. It breaks my heart. Christians who don't read the Bible are missing out on an incredibly close relationship with the Lord and the power (His power) to accomplish victory in this life.

Thanks for stopping by!