(Many great books have been written recently about how to be more intentional in forging faith in the home. Most so far have been written by female authors and while inclusive, tend to speak better to moms and women. Over the next several weeks I want to speak to dads in male language about their unique call to forge faith in their kids. My hope is to turn this into a free e-book. So comments, suggestions, ideas, along the way are welcome and appreciated.)
Over the last 60 years Christians have increasingly outsourced the faith formation of their kids to the church. The busyness of life and our own sense of spiritual inadequacy drives us to entrust faith forging to the “experts:”
It makes sense, doesn’t it? If we want what’s best for our kids we want the best to pour the best into them. We want the best soccer coach or guitar teacher or dance leader. And we want the best in the faith business.
To meet that need congregations have responded with building incredible, engaging, compelling Sunday school and Youth programs that will capture the attention of our kids and hopefully lead them to follow Jesus.But faith formation doesn’t work like other things. It’s not first and foremost a skill set that can be instilled in us by an expert like learning to play a piano or hit a baseball or sing.
Faith is about following. And that following happens in the moment—in close proximity to the person or persons we see the most: our parents.
Faith formation has always been most transformative when the home is the primary place for it and when that home-based faith formation is supplemented by the Church.
The Game Plan
The game plan, then, for faith formation comes down to this, dad: to look your son or daughter in the eyes as they grow and continually say to them—Follow me as I follow Jesus!
Another way of saying it is this: God, through Christ, is in the business of creating, igniting, and forging faith in our kids. But our role is to create environments where our kids can have access to God, so to speak. To see God, hear him, experience him. And that happens first and foremost in the home, when we as dads move from outsourcing our faith to the Church or youth group or Sunday school program or mom or “dumb luck,” to fathersourcing faith—living as openly Christian dads.
The point, dad, is that you bring a very unique and important perspective to the faith of your kids—the perspective if the Image of God—Male!