What a child learns to believe by age thirteen, they will die believing. That's what research by the Barna Research Group shows, about the majority of people. Yesterday I preached a message at our church for Mother's Day about the need for spiritual parenting. If the majority of our kids are making a decision by the age of thirteen, we'd better be about the Father's business. It takes more than just any kind of village or any kind of people to raise children for God. Spiritual parenting requires Godly moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and Christian adults in general.
The need is great. Did you know that sixty-four percent of decisions are made for Christ before the age of eighteen and seventy-seven percent are made before the age of twenty-one?(Source: Barna Research Group)
Those statistics should light a fire under us! We must spiritually parenting our own children, and care about reaching as many others as possible.
To spiritually parent requires taking notice of the young people around us. When my husband was a very young teen (and a new Christian) he was the only one in his family attending church. The family who had been giving Larry a ride to church let him know that due to distance, it required too much gas money to continue doing so. Larry didn't go to church for a while. One day he came home from school and to his shock, Harry Sorbo, a board member of the church, was at his home. Harry told Larry he noticed he had not been at services lately and asked why. Larry told him he didn't have a ride anymore. Harry said, "I'll take care of that right away." From that day forward, Harry saw to it that Larry was in church every time the doors were open.
Harry was not the youth pastor, nor even one of the official youth leaders. He was not Larry's Sunday School teacher. He was simply a man in the church who noticed and cared. Without Harry Sorbo watching out for my husband, I don't know whether he'd be serving God today - or a pastor. Harry wasn't the only significant leader in my husband's life. There were many men and women of God who made investments in his life.
Many times we do nothing because we are waiting for something "official" to take place. A lot of people wait for the pastor to ask them to teach a class, or believe that doing something of significance means helping a larger group of people - not an individual.
The truth is, helping just one person does change the world.
Who are you reaching out to?