(Last Updated on November 24, 2020)
Christian parents often feel like they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. Or, maybe more accurately, we’re standing on the Rock in a hard place. We’re called by the Lord (our “Rock” in Psalm 18:2) to “bring [our children] up in the training and instruction of the Lord” but our “post-truth” culture makes that a seemingly impossible goal.
Traditional, Christian morals and values are eroding in our society at breakneck speed and we’re constantly inundated with messages contrary to Biblical teaching. Once-a-week, Sunday school flannel board lessons may have cut it thirty years ago (arguably), but times have definitely changed.
We need to update the tools in our Christian Parenting Toolbox to effectively reach our kids for Christ.
It’s not that the tools themselves are necessarily out-dated – in fact, discipleship at its core doesn’t really change. It’s how we use our tools that has to keep up with the changing times.
In the rest of this post I’ll share three discipleship “tools” – communication, Biblical knowledge and apologetics – and a resource you can use for each to make sure your toolbox stays up to date.
Disclaimer: I’m writing this post because I’ve personally found these resources to be really helpful and I think all Christian parents could benefit from them, too. I haven’t received any freebies or commissions for promoting these and the links in this post are not affiliate links.
Discipleship Tools & Resources for Parents
Relationship building through communication has been and will always be a key to discipling our kids (or anyone, for that matter). But parents need to be open and willing to reach their kids in the ways that this generation communicates. Otherwise, you risk talking past each other instead of really connecting.
This means understanding the lingo, the technologies and the trends of your kids’ generation. It means being willing to step outside your comfort zone to meet them where they’re at.
Axis.org is a non-profit ministry dedicated to helping parents do this. They have parent guides, conversation kits, online conferences and more to help you tackle today’s trickiest topics and connect with your family. The content I’ve used so far has been very helpful and I’m sure I’ll be referencing their resources more as my kids get older.
God’s Word doesn’t change. Scripture study, memorization and application will always be essential for any Christian. And from the very beginning of humanity, God’s Word was under attack (“Did God really say…?” – Genesis 3:1). The more we know our Bible the more we’ll be able to explain, support and share our worldview with our kids. We’ll also be better able to correct inaccurate Bible quotes and set the record straight when needed (and it is needed a LOT these days).
There’s a growing quantity of good stuff out there to help the “but-I-don’t-have-a-theology-degree” parent understand the Bible. One of my current favorite resources is the Bible Thinker website and podcast created by Pastor Mike Winger. He’s got hundreds of hours of free video/audio content on many Bible passages and topics. He explains things thoroughly, clearly and reasonably and often gives tips on resources for further study.
Besides being a great source of Bible information in general, he also hits on a lot of the current “big topics” of today. If you can think though and understand these hot topics for yourself, you’ll have a lot better chance of addressing your kids’ theology questions when they come up!
Mama Bear Apologetics is another amazing resource aimed at training Christians (moms specifically) to be knowledgable in their faith and explain and defend it to their kids and others. Their podcast and blog are super-helpful for a regular dose of free apologetics training at an understandable level.
They also recently published a book, Mama Bear Apologetics, and I highly recommend it for everyone, especially moms. The authors cut through the cultural worldview mess and get straight to the heart of the issues. They summarize the key messages the culture is bombarding your kids with and suggest ways to combat the lies.
I can’t say enough good things about this book and their podcast!
Ultimately, leading by example is one of the most (if not THE most) effective ways to teach and disciple your kids.
They’ll see and appreciate the efforts you make to communicate with them in ways they can understand. They’ll see you digging in, reading your Bible and memorizing Scripture and they’ll be more likely to do the same. They’ll watch and hear as you learn to explain your own faith and they’ll realize Christianity isn’t a crutch for the weak-minded, but a logical, reasonable belief based on an abundance of evidence.
Whether you use these recommended resources or other ones, I encourage you to prioritize the discipleship of your kids!
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