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Spiritual Influences on Kids: Who Impacts Them Most?

spiritual influences

As they grow up, children encounter many significant influences. But who impacts them the most in terms of faith? When it comes to spiritual influences on children, the two biggest are their family and friends.

Spiritual Influences: Family

No one has more influence on children than their parents. In a day when church is optional and many parents assume the church will be the biggest spiritual influence on their children, we must help parents see this: God has called them to be the primary spiritual influences on their child’s heart and life.

This means if you want to influence children, then you must influence their parents. This happens by being focused on parents. Let’s think about this together: If parents are one of the biggest spiritual influences, why would we not put at least 50% of our efforts into equipping parents.

Take a close look at this. In a typical week, how much of your kidmin effort and focus is zoomed in on parents? It would be very helpful for you to see what percentage of your children’s ministry time is spent influencing parents. Track it for a month or so and see what your results are. 95% kids vs. 5% parents effort? 75% kids vs. 25% parents efforts? 65% kids vs. 35% parents efforts? 50% kids vs. 50% parents efforts?

We always talk about how some parents drop off their kids for us to do their job spiritually.  But perhaps we’re doing the same thing? We’re “dropping off” parents at the adult ministry and asking them to train parents to lead their children spiritually.

Helping Parents in Their Role as Spiritual Influences

As children’s ministry leaders, we must step up and take the initiative. Let’s help parents be the primary spiritual influences in their child’s life.

What if you sat down with the adult ministry and asked to partner with them to influence parents? How about working together to host parenting classes? What if you partnered with adult ministry to offer financing and budgeting classes for parents? Or partnered with the women’s ministry to host a mother-child event? Or partnered with the men’s ministry to have a father-child camping trip?

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Dale Hudson has been serving in children's ministry for over 30 years. He is an author, speaker and ministry leader.  He is the founder and director of Building Children's Ministry. BCM helps churches build strong leaders, teams and children's ministries.  (www.buildingchildrensministry.com)