We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
Whether it’s the Super Bowl or the Academy Awards, most people who give the speech after winning some accolade will thank their parents for their influence. It is undeniable that parents are the primary influence on children, positive or negative. While children do not come with instruction manuals, the primary responsibilities of parents are clearly taught in the Scriptures. More important than teaching children how to throw a baseball or play a piano is the God-given calling of parents to teach children the faith. God’s design for the home is that parents teach their children of His love and His praiseworthy deeds so that they would keep His commands and that they would tell the next generation, even those yet to be born.
As a husband and father, I have reflected on my own childhood with some surprise. My father lost his own father at age six. He did not have a model for what it meant to be a husband and father. However, influenced by his mother and the church, my father read had the boys take turns lighting the candles for family devotions before he would read the children’s devotion or as we grew older Portals of Prayer. He understood the importance of that responsibility to model the the Christian faith to his sons as his family would gather at the family table not only for dinner, but also for a time of Word and prayer.
While families today may not sit around the dinner table as often, the influence of parents on the faith development of their children is just as important as ever. Congregations across Missouri District are asking for help in retaining children, youth and families in their congregations. In response, the Missouri District is hosting the Tell the Next Generation Family Ministry Conference to help congregations to equip families to teach the faith in the home. The conference will be held on March 9 at Zion Lutheran Church in St. Charles (Harvester). Click here to register to attend.
Registrations are due by Monday, March 4. Our hope is that the conference will be a springboard for congregations to emphasize the importance of the home in faith formation. We will have a team of coaches who are available to assist congregations or clusters of congregations in this task of equipping families to teach the faith in the home. Please pray for our families, congregations and the upcoming conference. We hope to see you at Tell the Next Generation on March 9.
Prayer – Almighty God, our heavenly Father, bless the homes of all families that they would be places of refuge and care and that Your love would be at the center of all. In the midst of our busy lives, help us to never forget Your Word and deeds, but that we would teach them to our children that they would know of your love and in turn would teach them to their children; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan