While no family is guaranteed the children in the home will follow Jesus, I believe there is an awareness all of us can have as we raise them that will help to this end.
I know Tony Evans and Bruce Wilkenson have made the observation I’m making in this post. It is that unless every generation “experiences” faith, over time faith eventually devolves into a nuisance.
Here’s the way it looks.
1. The First Generation “Experiences” Faith.
It is critical that every generation have a direct “experience” with Jesus. While many are born into Christ-following homes, each person must seek a personal relationship with the Lord. When each generation “experiences” faith, then faith continues in a family generation after generation.
2. The Second Generation Inherits Faith.
Being born into a Christ-following home happens a lot. It is a wonderful privilege to be raised in a home like this where everything in the home is about church and faith. I know there really are no second-generation Christians, however, unless the second generation has an “experience” of faith, the slide to faith becoming a nuisance begins.
3. In the Third Generation, Faith Becomes a Convenience.
The third generation does not fully turn its back on faith but it does begin to see faith as a convenience. You have it when you marry and when you bury. You have it in a crisis. Otherwise, faith is not part of your life on a regular basis; a very dangerous position.
4. In the Fourth Generation, Faith is a Nuisance.
The saddest of all generations is when a generation sees no use for faith at all and views it as a nuisance. This happens when the transfer of faith from generation to generation fails to move that generation to an “experience” of faith.
Every son and daughter in every home in your church must “experience” faith. That includes your kids as well.
Every generation CAN “experience” faith but it takes awareness and intentionality. We pray with you to that end in the homes of your church and in yours personally.
[One way I’d like to help leaders is to offer a complimentary copy of my book, Right Turns. All I ask is that you cover the postage and handling. Right Turns will help you navigate well the most common issues pastors face!]