No matter how hard you strive to craft a clear and clever title for a seminar, it is never quite clear to everyone what a seminar is about. Hopefully, a blog post can do what a title phrase cannot. There are two ways I am praying that this seminar will be used by God.
The first, and primary, use of the seminar would be to equip parents to raise their children “in the training and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4)” by training parents to effectively use the Bible and Gospel in parenting (hence the seminar title).
We have to begin by acknowledging this has not been done effectively in the last generation. An extensive research project by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer revealed:
“61% of today’s young adults who were regular church attendees are now ‘spiritually disengaged.’ They are not actively attending church, praying, or reading their Bibles (p. 24)… Almost 90% of them were lost in middle school and high school. By the time they got to college they were already gone (p. 31).” Ken Ham & Britt Beemer in Already Gone
This survey was taken exclusively from teenagers who grew up in conservative, evangelical churches. The statistics showed no major differences between children who attended public school, private school, or were home schooled.
With this said, parents must be equipped to prepare their children to think biblically, while living a life that models the superiority of biblical wisdom, and disciplining their children in a way that facilitates a growing appreciation/dependence on the Gospel.
This is a large task, but it is the mandate of every Christian parent. God gives us everything that we need for the task by His grace – often redeeming our sin and mistakes as the most fruitful illustrations of His wisdom and power. But we are commanded to equip ourselves for the task (2 Tim 2:5; 1 Pet 3:15). The first goal of this seminar is to be a part of that equipping.
A second use for this seminar is to be a place of healing and clarification for those whose parents use the Bible as a weapon against them or those who grew up in a non-Christian home and are not sure what Christian parenting looks like.
For some in these situations the Bible does not make sense. There are so many biblical doctrines and metaphors rooted in family life – God as Father, the church as the family of God, pictures of grace and nurturing.
For others in these situations the Bible is a book to be feared. It was brought out as a club to be the final instrument of guilt and shame. For these people it almost feels like children should be protected from the Bible and Gospel (because children should be protected from the kind of verbal abuse and emotional manipulation they were exposed to).
These are my prayers for the upcoming seminar. I hope they clarify whether this seminar is a good fit for your current season of life and equip you to join in praying for this seminar.
“Effectively Using the Bible & Gospel in Parenting”
Tuesday Sept 7, 2010
National Hills Baptist Church
2725 Washington Road; Augusta, GA 30909
9:00 am until Noon or 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm
(two times for your convenience)
$20.00 per person
By Phone at (706) 364-1270