I received “Revolutionary Parenting” by George Barna in the mail on Monday. I’ve read through about half of it. It’s a pretty good book. I really enjoy statistical data and we all know that is what Barna is good at. I am looking at it through the lens of a mother and as a children’s minister. Here’s some points that have received the attention of my highlighter:
*Although there are a plethora of parenting books on the market, few recognize that children are a gift from God and that raising children is a responsibility assigned to parents by God.
*He defines “spiritual champions” – children who have embraced Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord; accept the Bible as truth and as the guide for life; and seek to live in obedience to its principles and in search of ways to continually deepen their relationship with God. He goes on to say that spiritual champions lead a revolutionary existence – uncommon life perspectives, unique relationships, and stunning faith in God.
*Churches alone do not and cannot have much influence on children – the greatest influence is seen by impacting the parents of children
* As parents we use a worldly measure to determine the condition of our children – provided with basic needs, healthy, not involved in risky behaviors, involved in church, etc. – although these are positive things to measure for condition and are good and all — we are measuring their well-being with the wrong standard. Barna says, “Without realizing it, we have made ourselves the judge and jury of what is right and wrong, good and bad, useful and useless in relation to our children’s lives.” We need to use the word of God as our judgement of how well we are parenting and the condition of our children.
* Barna offers some very sobering statistics: (ages 8-12) 36% fully believe the Bible as accurate in all the principles — 19% think they have a responsibility to share Jesus with their peers — 46% state religious faith is important in their lives — 36% think Jesus may have sinned while on Earth — only 58% believe God is all-knowing, all powerful, Creator — only 6:10 believe God is the Creator — less than 1:5 parents think they are doing a good job of raising their children morally and spiritually — WOW!!!!!
*As much as you love your children, God loves them more. As deeply as you desire to do what is best for your children, God wants it even more urgently.
*God needs to be the mastermind behind our parenting. We to take a coaches model for parenting — (1) have a plan, (2) know your desired outcomes, (3) live it yourself, (4) great communication, (5) live “in the moment”, (6) your impact on your children’s lives is proportional to the depth of relationship you have with them
* Research showed that parents are more likely to raise spiritual champions if they accept that from day one their parenting efforts will stray from the norm and will put them at odds with parents who are pursuing a more conventional approach.
* Families of spiritual champions delve into faith issues as a family – bible reading, character training, prayer (excluding meal times), worship — integration of faith into daily living *** Statistic: fewer than 1:10 Christian families read the Bible together in a typical week or pray together as a family outside of meal times!!!
*Teach your children: who you are matters a lot more than what you accomplish
There are some of my favorite thoughts from the first half of the book. It seems to be a follow-up to “Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions” in the way that that book recognized and researched that churches cannot raise spiritual children alone, the responsibility rests with the parents. This book provides the how to that.
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