By T W Massengale
What makes for a strong, growing church? One critical ingredient is strong, growing families. A solid percentage of church growth comes from children, growing up in the truth, marrying in the faith, and having children of their own. Multi-generational family lines are common in growing churches and should be in yours as well. So it is important for pastors to spend time and effort to strengthen families and meet family needs.
One way to do this is to encourage family devotions. One hour of Sunday school per week is simply not enough to instill Christian principles in young hearts. Consider sharing key lessons with your families and ask them to, in turn, teach these principles to their kids. For example, “The Ten Secrets to A Happy Life” is something I shared with my children several times a year from the time they were very young. Perhaps you could teach this to the church and then encourage parents to incorporate these points into their family devotions. They might even do what I did: make this into a poster to hang in their room. The ten points are: Spiritual: Live and serve God with all your heart. Marriage: Choose wisely the person you will marry. Only marry in the faith. Education: Do your best in school. Never stop learning. Friends: Choose your friends carefully and wisely. Money: Handle your money carefully. Spend wisely. Save regularly. Tithe faithfully. Stay out of debt. Health: Stay healthy. Eat right. Exercise regularly. Don’t drink alcohol, use drugs or smoke tobacco. Family: Obey and respect your parents. Make family a priority in your life. Service: Give of your time, talents and money to God and to others. Give and it shall be given unto you. Purpose: Follow your dreams. Do what God has called you to do. Know your purpose in life. Purity: Keep your heart and mind pure before God. Flee sinful thoughts. Live holy. Save sex for marriage.