by Cara Martens
If you knew that there were three things that would help your families’ spiritual formation the most, would you encourage the parents and kids you serve to try them? If you had to guess what those three things were, what would you say?
Here are some interesting findings when it comes to the importance of family time and spiritual growth:
The Search Institute (2007) found that the three factors as predictors of faith development in teens were:
1) Frequency of discussions about faith with parents
2) Frequency of family prayer time
3) Frequency of shared family experiences and activities
We all want our kids to be better off than we are—financially, emotionally, and physically, but have you thought about spiritually? Lifeway did some great, more recent research about how to help kids grow spiritually, and it is directly tied to family time too.
Lifeway (2010) interviewed parents of young adults (ages 20-35) about what they did with their children that resulted in positive spiritual outcomes for them as adults. Among the top things listed:
- Regular family prayer time
- Students connecting with a leader at church
- Teens regularly serving at church
- Teens participating in ministry or service projects with their family
The bottom line take-away? Family time matters most.
As leaders, the more we can be an example / encourager / equipper so that the families we serve spend more time together in discussion / prayer / service, then the greater the possibility that we will see parents actively participating in the spiritual formation of their children to develop a full faith.
Were you surprised by these findings? How do you think we can encourage others to spend more time with their kids and family? What ways have you found work best to set them up well to do this, so they follow through and feel more confident?