What is Revolutionary Parenting?
Since we started in 2001, our focus in Kids in Ministry International was to “redefine children’s ministry in the 21st century. ” That is, we focused on the primary arena where everyone has assumed child discipleship takes place–the local church. As far as training and equipping adults, we zeroed in on children’s pastors, Sunday School teachers, and church leaders. We have tried to help them realize that what we have been doing thus far in our children’s ministries in our churches has only been marginally effective in creating passionate Christ followers in the upcoming generations.
Statistics have been dismal at best at how the younger generations stay engaged in “the faith.” Experts tell us there is a mass exodus of our kids leaving the church when they become teens and adults–as many as 70%. We have stressed our belief that the primary reasons are because we have not been feeding our kids a healthy spiritual diet of Bible teaching, we have not equipped them to become functioning members of the Kingdom of God, and they have few if any personal encounters with God’s presence in their lives that has had lasting impact. (You can learn more about that in great detail in my book “Redefining Children’s Ministry in the 21st Century.”)
Thus the Move to Parent Focus
While we have always included parents in the conversation, we have not necessarily considered ourselves a family ministry per se. We have always provided discounts on our curriculums for home school parents, and encouraged parents to go through our School of Supernatural Children’s Ministry. But we have not made them a primary focus. This is changing. We have always known that parents were key players in the discipleship of children. We have always known what the experts have told us, which is kids and teens say their parents have the primary influence in their lives spiritually (46%) compared to those who say the church has the primary impact (16%) [Barna Research Group].
We have always been adamant about having parents attend our kids camps and conferences with their kids because we felt it was important for them to be able to see how receptive their kids are to the presence of God. And this has proven to be one of the elements that has drawn more and more parents to our ministry over the years.
Parents Are the Key
But there’s a new move in the body of Christ across denominational lines to train parents to rethink their role in the spiritual lives of their children. Entire churches are. We have joined the move to an even greater degree, realizing for there to be lasting impact, it has to come through the parents, and the church can partner and support them, and be the confirming voice to the children of what parents.
Scripturally, it has always been the job of parents to lead their children to faith. But, particularly over the last two hundred years, that has shifted to churches for a variety of reasons–at least in the church culture, and in our minds. We have to turn that around and help parents to take that role back.
Thousands of parents always have realized this. For them is has been an instinct, and no brainer. But multiplied thousands more have not even had a clue. We want to reach both groups. We want to help give tools to the parents who are already doing everything they know to do, and are always looking for more help. But we also want to bring awareness to parents who have had nothing but soccer and piano lessons on the radar screen.
Kids in Ministry International
PO Box 549 * 111 Collins Avenue
Mandan, ND 58554