Model Christ for the Next Generation

What are Core Values?  

Core Values and Beliefs describe what God says are the most important priorities of our existence as a church and as individuals.  They are God’s Top Priorities!  Core values help us make ministry plans as a church and everyday decisions as individuals.

Core Value #2 – Model Christ for the Next Generation

There isn’t a Christian parent alive that does not hope their kids will grow up and live for God.  As parents we do our best; we make our mistakes; and yet we hope and pray that we gave our children the right start to succeed.  The apostle John writes, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”  When you think of what your kids will accomplish or achieve in life – is loving and serving God at the top of your list?  Unfortunately, by our interest and enthusiasm in other things we often communicate that we want our kids to be great athletes, successful businessmen, doctors, or lawyers.

A mom was asked by someone how OLD her 2 young sons were.
She said, “The doctor is 4 years old and the lawyer is 6.”

God commands us to teach His Word diligently to the next generation.  But why does every generation struggle with passing the baton of faith on to the next generation?

Thoughts on Faith and the Next Generation:

1.  Nobody grows up in a perfect home.

Family conflicts are everywhere.  Maybe your parents were too loose or too strict.  There is no perfect home, but we can have families filled with love and truth!

2.  Everybody is responsible for making their own spiritual choices.

Prov. 22:6 is a proverb, not a promise.  “Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  A proverb is a general truth of life – not true in every circumstance.

3.  Rules are not the problem; lack of relationship is the problem.

Parenting Principle: Rules without Relationship = Rebellion

Any strong relationship will have boundaries.  It’s that simple.  My marriage, to be strong, must have boundaries.  Nearly 200 couples have been married at our church and they make vows to one another.  Vows – Promises – Rules, if you will.  The boundaries are not standards of legalism, but a code of conduct that protect the relationship.  We want to keep our vows, not to keep a rule, but because we do not want to hurt the heart of the person we love most in this world. Oh, how we need a loving relationship with our children.

4.  Kids who grow up in the best of environments can still grow up and choose sin, reject God, and experience deep problems

We have to be careful of teaching the next generation to simply appear and act right? We need to focus on teaching them to LOVE God and know Him personally?  How do we model Christ to the next generation?

The Problem: What mistakes are these parents making?  I don’t claim to have an exhaustive list, but let’s consider 4 of the problems:

A.  No Discipline

Eli, I Sam. 3:11-13 (all 3 died in 1 day); “For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.”

B.  No Time=No love

Samuel – the only thing in Samuel’s life I see missing (I Sam. 7:15-17; 8:3-5) is that he was away from home way too much.  The typical teen logs more than seven hours a day and more than 50 hours a week in front of a TV, computer, or cell phone screen (Kaiser Family Foundation).

Teens need time with parents.  A 7 year study reported in the Journal Child Development stated that “teens benefit by spending more time with parents.  Encounters with dad boost self-worth and social skills.”  Dad, do you have time with your kids every week?  You need a family night every week. You need conversations over dinner, laughter, and uninterrupted time together.

C.  No Relationship

We must genuinely enjoy our kids and help them enjoy their Heavenly Father.  A Christian home should be close, loving, funny, enjoyable, memorable, and something a young person craves!  If you lack a relationship with your children, make changes today!

D.  Hypocrisy

Solomon started good, but then began to slide.  Rehoboam saw his lust for things grow.  He saw the multiplication of wives, horses, and material goods.  He saw the disobedience to the Word of God.  Solomon did not pass the baton of faith to Rehoboam because of the hypocrisy his son saw in his father.

The Prescription: Josh. 24:15

We can’t pretend with God and we can’t pretend with our children.
What is the answer?  Authentic Faith.   It’s imperative that every Christian be totally committed to Jesus Christ and His Word.  Decide to be an approachable parent.  We cannot model Christ to the next generation unless He is real in our lives.


Make Christ Known

What are Core Values?  

Core Values and Beliefs describe what God says are the most important priorities of our existence as a church and as individuals.  They are God’s Top Priorities!  Core values help us make ministry plans as a church and everyday decisions as individuals.

Core Value #1 – Make Christ Known to our Neighbors and Nations

What your testimony can do?

1.  Stir up a desire in others to know God.
Your testimony has the power to stir up a desire in the heart of people to want to know God. Jesus stirred the heart of the woman at the well when He explained that He could give her living water, John 4:10.

2.  Cause people to examine their life.
Our testimony has the power to cause people to examine their own life.  It’s human nature to relate what you hear to yourself.

3.  Reveal the presence of the Lord.
Our testimony has the power to reveal the presence of the Lord. They see God’s presence in us.  As we share the power of God in our life it will cause people to want God’s power in their life.

4. Prepare hearts to hear the Gospel.
Our testimony has the power to prepare people to hear the Gospel.  Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”  Matthew 5:16.  Gods Word is His Light.  Your word is your light.

How do I share my testimony?  

1.  My life before receiving Christ.

2.  How I became a Christian.

3.  What Jesus means to me now that I m a Christian.

Write out a few notes to help you share your testimony in 3 minutes or less.  I shared this “how to share your testimony” on Sunday.  On Monday, one of our members took the opportunity to share his testimony with a co-worker.  That same afternoon the co-worker came back and said, “I want what you have.  Would you please pray with me and help me receive the Lord as my Savior.”  We can say with the blind man, “Once I was blind, now I see!  Jesus made me see!  Once I was burdened and guilty with sin.  Jesus forgave my sins!”

Sharing your testimony WORKS!