You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly!

Home / Blog / Children's Ministry Leaders / You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly!

As a children’s pastor in North Carolina back in the early 2000s, I had a dream that would ultimately shape my ministry and lead me to realize the crucial role we, as adults in the church, play in the spiritual development of our children. In this dream, my pastor, Ray Hughes, told me that I was going to be interviewed about a hit song I had just written. The title of the song was “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly, But I Love You Anyway.”

At the time, Ray and I were both country music fans, and there was a popular song called “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly, but I Love You Anyway” by Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn. We laughed about it, but neither Ray nor I could figure out the significance of this dream at the time. Little did I know that it would pave the way for my ministry’s focus on raising spiritual champions.

Our Christian Kids are Spiritually Malnourished

The sad reality is that the body of Christ is facing a crisis when it comes to the spiritual nourishment of our children. While there are pockets of revival happening worldwide, many children, especially in Western nations, are not experiencing it. It’s in this context that I came to embrace the message of my dream: “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly, But I Love You Anyway.” You see if we are to be really honest with ourselves, our children are not thriving spiritually, and it’s time for us, as adults in the church, to take responsibility for their spiritual growth.

When we examine the state of our children’s spiritual lives, we discover that they are not maturing in their faith as they should be. Instead of focusing on their spiritual transformation, we often prioritize teaching them to be good people and responsible citizens. You could say we’re teaching behavior modification instead of spiritual transformation. As a result, they are spiritually stunted and lag behind their potential as disciples of Christ.

We must ask ourselves what a child who is a disciple of Christ should truly look like. Unfortunately, when we observe most children today, we see that they are not meeting this spiritual standard. They lack spiritual nourishment, hearing the voice of God, being led by the Holy Spirit, and demonstrating the supernatural gifts of the Spirit. This disparity between what our children should be and what they actually are breaks my heart.

A Majority of Parents Lack Interest

Statistics reveal the extent of this issue. Back in 2003, George Barna published a book titled “Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions,” where he exposed the alarming fact that 70% of Christian children leave the church and never return once they become independent from their parents. Despite the efforts of various denominations, Christian children’s ministry organizations, and ongoing research, there has been no significant improvement in these statistics. This troubling reality calls us to examine why we struggle to keep our children engaged in their faith.

One major obstacle to raising spiritual champions lies with the parents themselves. A recent poll conducted by LifeWay Christian Resources found that only 29% of Christians believed that their personal faith played a significant role in how they approached parenting. Many parents still rely on the church to be the primary source of their children’s spiritual development. The disconnect between their relationship with God and their relationship with their children hinders them from effectively discipling their kids.

Moreover, the same poll revealed that a mere 14% of parents were familiar with what the Bible says about parenting. Many parents define successful parenting in terms of their children’s values, happiness, success, education, and self-sustaining maturity rather than their godliness and faith. This emphasis on worldly achievements at the expense of spiritual growth is a cause for concern.

As parents, we cannot outsource the spiritual development of our children to the church alone. The home is where the most effective transformation happens in a child’s life. It’s time for parents to take on the biblical responsibility of nurturing their children’s faith and raising them to be spiritual champions. This shift involves recognizing that children need a solid foundation in Christ from an early age.

The Church Must Rise to the Occasion

However, the burden doesn’t solely rest on the parents’ shoulders. The church must also rise to the occasion and prioritize the spiritual growth of children. It’s not enough for children’s ministries to provide mere entertainment or behavioral modification. Rather, we should cultivate an environment where children can encounter God, develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and operate in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Imagine a scenario where a child grows up within a children’s ministry from birth until they turn 18. By the time they graduate, they should be saved, filled with the Spirit, have a vibrant devotional life, understand what worship is (it’s not just singing nice songs about God!), know how to hear God’s voice, operate in the gifts of the Spirit, and have experienced healing through prayer. If a child hasn’t attained these spiritual milestones by the time they transition out of children’s ministry, we must seriously ask ourselves what we have been doing with our time!

Raising spiritual champions demands a holistic approach from both parents and the church. Parents must take the lead in nurturing their children’s faith, while the church must provide an environment conducive to spiritual growth. We cannot settle for raising spiritually malnourished children when we have the most powerful message in the world at our disposal.

Remember, it is our collective responsibility to raise children who embody the power of the Holy Spirit and walk in the purity of God throughout their lives. Let’s join hands and make this vision a reality.

Check out our book A Parent’s Guide to Raising Spiritual Champions

Similar Posts