Last month my wife Stephana and I took a trip to Chicago for a conference we were invited to attend as part of the blogger and social media team. The conference was put on by one of our favorite organizations, Awana, which is a nonprofit ministry that serves kids all over the world.
Our kids have been in the Awana Clubs for the past six years and my wife and I have been serving in their Awana Clubs for the past three years. We love it so much and it’s had such an impact on our kids and family that we’ve literally scheduled our calendars around our Wednesday night Awana Club meetings.
With Awana being so impactful to our family, Stephana and I were super excited to have the opportunity to visit the Awana headquarters to meet and learn from some of the great people who make it such an amazing organization. When we arrived we had a brainstorming time with other members of the blogger team and several people on staff at Awana.
The next day we attended the Awana Vantage conference where some amazing speakers and people passionate about kids were sharing their ideas. The focus was how we can equip leaders, parents, teachers, and volunteers to then equip children to stand strong for Christ in our shifting culture.
A major concern for parents of faith
As I listened, took notes, and shared some of the key points on social media throughout the conference I couldn’t help but think of you and all my readers. A few months ago I did a reader survey and I asked a question about parenting. The question was…
If you could pick a PARENTING topic for me to explore more, what would it be?
One of the top answers was…
Instilling faith in our kids/Ways to have family devotions, prayer, or Bible study
In this changing world, our faith is challenged and questioned in ways we may not have imagined experiencing in our lifetimes. As parents, of course, this is a concern.
How do we lead and love our kids in a way that shows them the important role our faith plays in life?
How do we equip them to make faith the foundation of how they live their lives now and in the future?
The answer to the question
The answer to this challenge, and to these questions, was answered over and over by each speaker throughout the conference. It’s a very simple answer and simple concept, but one I think we as parents may not always be attentive to.
We focus on the relationship with our kids, not rules, regulations, or rituals. Our focus must be on building the best relationship with our kids that we can have. Our focus should be less about teaching them all the facts—what is right and what is wrong—and more about raising kids who know we love them. Facts are important, but without a relationship, they are lost.
Your next question may be, “How do we do that?” As I mentioned, I took a ton of notes during the conference. I learned a lot from the speakers and their experiences. I want to let a few of the speakers share via quote images how we become more relational with our children and through these relationships instill a faith that lasts beyond the years they are in our household.
Do you see, know, and understand your kids?
Lead a life that is worth following.
Spend time with them.
Connect with them emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
The bottom line is we have to get in their world and make them and their interests important to us. When we build from a relational foundation, our kids will know we care about them enough to receive the truth and the faith we want to instill in them.
[reminder]What are you doing to show your kids the importance of making faith the foundation of their lives?[/reminder]