At our church we have replaced baby dedication with something called a commissioning ceremony. The focus is on parents who both realize and embrace their commission from God to pass their faith to their children. These are some sweet times in our church community.

Last month a mom approached me sad and concerned that her young boys may not choose to follow Jesus because dad wasn’t leading spiritually. A significant thought dawned on me. The fulfillment of a parent’s commission is defined by the planting of faith seeds, not the fruit produced.

Our culture is very results oriented. Success is defined in part by what one produces. But, once again, God’s Kingdom seems to be turned upside down.

Reading Mark 4:3-8 Jesus puts an emphasis on sowing. The call to action is planting. The description of the results was given to bring encouragement to the sower. Not all planting will result in fruit.

This idea is supported by Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:5-7. Here he describes how many voices contribute to planting faith seeds, but the last phrase is key. “I planted, Apollos watered, but God has been making it grow.” Even Paul, with his handle on theology and skill at debate recognized that it was not his words or influence, but God who caused spiritual growth.

My encouragement to every parent is the same as my response to that mom: your commission is to intentionally plant seeds of faith in your kids’ lives. God will bring the growth. You need only stay focused on creating and using teachable moments to show them faith in action.