Friday, January 17, 2020

Who Is Most Responsible to Hand Down the Faith?

Barna Research Group did an interesting study looking at who is responsible for children's faith formation (you will find it at this link). Today I want to share a bit of it with you - and encourage you to check out the full study.

They said - "Church leaders from all stripes are in agreement when it comes to where the responsibility lies for a child’s spiritual formation and development. They universally agree it should start with parents (99% of Protestant pastors, along with 96% of Catholic priests, ranked parents #1), followed by the Church (92% of Protestant leaders ranked it #2, and 77% of Catholic leaders). Seven in 10 Protestant pastors (70%) ranked the Christian community third, and a similar proportion (68%) ranks schools fourth in the chain of responsibility." (Of course I would include grandparents with the parents as the people who are primarily responsible for a child's spiritual formation and development.)

They go on to say; "When church leaders were asked to cite the main ways in which they prioritized children’s spiritual formation, nearly three-quarters of Protestant pastors (73%) say they address children’s spiritual formation by providing Sunday school and classes for youth.

Despite the fact church leaders overwhelmingly agree parents (and grandparents) are most responsible for a child’s spiritual formation and development, the data demonstrate churches place little emphasis on training and equipping said parents (and grandparents). In fact, only about one in five clergy (20% Protestant, 17% Catholic, though this number is higher for larger churches) says they prioritize training for parents, and even fewer provide parenting guides or other resources (15% Catholic, 10% Protestant)."

So, most churches agree it is primarily the responsibility of parents (and grandparents) to hand faith to children, but most churches do nothing to equip, encourage and train parents (and grandparents) to do this, nor do they provide resources to help them hand down the faith. What does this mean for us if we are grandparents/parents who are committed to hand down the faith? Consider the following . . . 
  • We need to have conversations with the leaders in our churches to help them understand their role when it comes to equipping parents and grandparents to hand down the faith.
  • We need to take advantage of resources such as Grandmas with Heart, Christian Grandparenting Network, Pass the Legacy, Sitting by the Well, Legacy Coalition and Grandparenting with a Purpose to be equipped.
  • We need to build our own library of resources and books to equip us and to help us hand down the faith - check this link for excellent books/resources and add them to your own library - and use them.
Yes, it is absolutely primarily the responsibility of parents and grandparents to hand down the faith - take this responsibility to heart and be certain the ones you love are able to see, learn about and are given the opportunity to believe and live their faith as well.

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose 

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