It Takes a Church to Raise a Parent - the book

26 Feb 2018
Summary
Creating a culture where parenting for faith can flourish

Creating a culture where parenting for faith can flourish

Parents spend on average from 2,000 to 3,000 hours a year with their children, if they live with them. These hours include the ordinary parts of life: the journeys to and from events, the mornings together and the laughing together after mealtimes.

The church, on the other hand, has much less time with children per year. If children and young people show up every week to everything we as children's, youth and church leaders run then we would see them for maybe 100 hours a year.

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The time difference between what the church has and what parents have is massive.

We need to come to parents with a different heart - to see them freed to be all God has called them to be in the life of their child and to see their extended family and friends equipped to play their part - and with a commitment to be the church who will serve them, invite them and their children to belong and participate, and create for them the best environment in which they can be equipped to flourish.

We need to do this so that we all might see a generation of children, teens and young people raised to know and love the Lord.

If you are looking for ‘101 tips and activities for spiritually parenting’, then I’m afraid you will be disappointed. Since 2004 I have worked with thousands of parents and hundreds of churches, and I have found that every situation is unique. No formula will always work. No programme can be guaranteed.

What I hope to do in this book is to give you the values and skills you need in order to pioneer in your context; to help you think about the parents you serve; and to give you the foundations you need to be ready to inspire, encourage, equip and walk alongside your parents. The principles in this book have been refined through a lot of experience, tons of mistakes, gracious partnerships, and much trial and error. All stories in this book are real stories of real parents, churches and leaders.

It takes a church

There is an old phrase: ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ In several ways this saying is true.

A village is committed to the flourishing of each child through the support it gives to those who are naturally a part of that child’s world.

The child is first surrounded by the parents, then embedded within an extended family, and ultimately embraced by the whole village community.

The village doesn’t replace parents or the extended family. The village encircles and embraces parents and the extended family in order to best support the children.

The church needs to be that village if we are going to see parents flourish.

In modern society, with the fracturing of family, the increased frequency of people moving house, and the breakdown of close-knit community, the church is needed more than ever. It is needed to raise parents to embrace their role, and it is needed to restore the support surrounding a child and teenager so that parenting for faith can again flourish.

If we are going to see parents truly embracing their roles as the disciplers of their children, then we need to radically rethink our role as leaders in the church community.

We need to come to parents with a different heart - to see them freed to be all God has called them to be in the life of their child and to see their extended family and friends equipped to play their part – and with a commitment to be the church who will serve them, invite them and their children to belong and participate, and create for them the best environment in which they can be equipped to flourish.

We need to do this so that we all might see a generation of children, teens and young people raised to know and love the Lord.

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