On the 21st of November, teachers from Calvin Christian gathered with teachers from Redlands Christian, Ontario Christian, and Valley Christian for a one day in-service. This is an event we have every year to use the combined numbers of our faculties to bring in an excellent speaker regarding Christian education.
This year we heard from Kara Powell. Kara is a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. Her area of emphasis is young people, post high school, and what shapes them into Christians that are active in their local church as they get older. She is also the author of “Sticky Faith: Launching Students Toward Lifelong Faith.” I want to share with you some of her main points that may help you as parents.
- 70% of kids in high school have doubts about their faith, but few actually talk about those doubts. What do they doubt?
- Does God exist?
- Is Christianity the true/the only way to God?
- Does God love me?
- Am I living the life God wants?
- She says “doubt isn’t toxic to faith – silence is”
- Kids need to be reminded that “Jesus is bigger than any mistake.”
What can parents do?
- Use your car time to talk about these things.
- Family dinners are still important. Keep the tv off and talk about serious conversations.
- Journal monthly conversations.
- The 5 and 25 plan. Demand 5 minutes from your kids after school and 25 minutes at dinner.
- Share you faith stories, the doubts you had/have, and how God has worked in your life.
- Model saying I am sorry.
Having been involved in Christian education for 39 years, I can say that Kara’s findings are absolutely true. We have found that our students respond positively when their teachers share their own faith stories, especially the difficulties they have gone through. Calvin Christian’s small group program allows an opportunity for our kids open up and share their faith frustrations.
We have recognized that kids need to talk about how they are seeing God in their lives. They have faith stories too.
As we partner together as school and home we try to do some of these things with your children. However Kara quotes David Fraze “We can’t out-teach what you teach at home. We are not that good.”