“Why is this important to my family?”
If you’re getting this email, it means you are a parent connected somehow connected to our church. Either your family attends on Sundays, or you have a child or children that come to our Kids Club or Youth group meetings. Over the last couple of years, we have tried to make a pivot in our children’s ministry that focuses not just on reaching our children, but also on equipping parents in their role as the primary spiritual influencers of their children. Mom and dad, you are your child’s best Bible teacher! If that seems a daunting task to you, you’re not alone! I’m an ordained pastor, and I often struggle with whether I’m doing enough to point my kids to Jesus and His Word.
Let’s face it, our culture is becoming just plain hostile to the Christian faith. While we aren’t threatened with job losses or jail time for being Christians, the values our culture embraces are at odds with Biblical teaching. That affects us as parents, because our kids aren’t naturally equipped with the tools to discern what is true and what isn’t in what they hear from their friends, see in the media, or read in their textbooks. When my kids were in preschool, I remember them watching a fun show on PBS called “Dinosaur Train”. Kids love trains, and kids love dinosaurs, so how could they not love a TV show that taught kids about T-rex and dimetrodon using a time-traveling locomotive? As much as I loved how the show tapped into their natural curiosity, I felt like I should probably hit the “mute” button every time the show talked about “millions of years ago” and how the dinosaurs “evolved.” And now that our kids are older, Jamie and I wrestle with whether to allow our kids to watch otherwise innocuous cartoons because of the pro-homosexual messages in the COMMERCIALS between each episode.
We have given the parents connected to our church a book entitled “Mama Bear Apologetics”. (If you don’t have a copy, call or text me and I will get you one- it’s our gift to you!) I have chosen to give out this book because let’s be honest, we need help teaching our kids to discern truth from fiction. As much as we’d like to cocoon our kids away from false worldviews, the reality is that our kids will run into unbiblical messages. Whether they choose to follow Christ or the world will depend in large part on how well they are able to identify what is being taught, how it matches up with the Bible, and whether they have the courage and confidence to reject what is false and stand on the foundation of their faith.
But very few of us have any training in what is called “apologetics”, or defending the Christian faith. If we want our kids to learn how to reject lies and embrace the truth, we have to become somewhat trained in this area of study, so we can teach them to discern what is right.
I would encourage you as parents to read “Mama Bear Apologetics”, as I believe it can only help you as parents. I am reading it as well. My goal is to send out an email each week discussing some of what we’ve read in the various chapters. I would also be interested in knowing which parents would like to meet a couple of times to discuss the book, and to pray for one another!
If you know other parents that would benefit from this book, please let me know. If you have questions about the book’s content, let me know as well. If I don’t have the answer, I will try to find it for you. And finally, if there is a way I can be in prayer for you, don’t hesitate to call! We want to be here for your family!
Next week’s email will cover Chapter 1 of the book, which is entitled “Calling all Mama Bears.”
Have a blessed week!
Pastor Jeff Estep