In working with countless teens as a youth pastor over the last two decades (plus a few years), I see a trend that is discouraging. Most “churchies” (kids who grow up in the church) know what they know from the Bible based on current Children’s Ministry trends. Many Children’s Pastors teach things that are fun and practical to teach (Fruit of the Spirit, Full Armor of God, Noah’s Ark) and children don’t learn the “full counsel of the Word of God;” meaning they learn bits and pieces of the truth.

This happens for two reasons:

  • Children’s Ministry leaders only have children for 1-2 hours/week… and that’s if the children are never home sick or away on vacation.
  • Parents aren’t teaching their children at home. When you hear me speak or read any of my other blogs or books, you’ll hear me say this over and over again: Church is a vitamin we are supposed to use to supplement the spiritual meals we’re feeding our children throughout the week. It’s not intended to be the main meal. (My friend Ken Klepper taught me that and it’s good truth.) 

Because you are reading this blog, you realize that #2 can’t be the reality for our children. We MUST train our children at home and make sure we’re painting the full picture of God’s grace and love for our children through training them His Word. We want to do it in a fun-Family-Time-Training-way (not a boring-though-beautiful-Bob-Ross-way), but we need to DO IT.

Part of making sure our children get the full picture is finding out what they’re learning at church and supporting those stories and challenges with the rest of the story throughout the week. If all our children graduate from high school knowing is the fruit of the Spirit and the full armor of God, we’ve failed.

What does this have to do with Christmas? 

Christmas is the perfect time to start fresh… like a newborn baby. Do a spiritual check-in with your children to see what they actually know about the Bible.

  • Do they know how to read it on their own (why the Bible is split into Old and New Testaments, how to find a Scripture verse when called on, how to use the Table of Contents or memorize the Books of the Bible to make finding them easier…)
  • Do they know the big stories and how they all fit together? (Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham…)
  • Do they know about the life of Jesus, His teachings, His relationships, and His love for them?
  • Do they know spiritual truths that come from the Epistles (and what an epistle is)?
  • Do they know how to share the hope they have?

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

This is a great time to make a spiritual discipleship plan for your children for 2023.