May 28, 2019

Like Father Like Son

If you want to reach an entire family, then you must reach the father. Studies show the impact it has on a family when the father is serving Jesus.

When both parents attend church - 72% of their children attend as well and grow up to follow Jesus as adults.

When just the father attends, 55% of their children remain faithful to God.

When just the mother attends, only 15% of the children remain faithful to God.

When neither father or mother attend, only 6% of children grow up to love and serve God.

You can see from these stats the impact fathers have in the lives of their children.  If you want to see children grow up to love and serve Jesus, then you must reach their father.

But thinking along this line, we have to ask the question - Where are the men in church?  Women comprise 60% of congregations.  And it's not just about the lack of fathers attending churches.  Men are also less likely to volunteer or take on spiritual leadership.  They pray less, share their faith less and read their Bible less.  It's almost like the men who do attend church are passive and bored.

Part of the reason is because we have made our churches feminine friendly.  Think about it.  The average father is hesitant to stand in a circle, holding hands and crying. And then singing songs about love and relationships. 

 “The modern church is an army of women led by a few male generals.” Leon Podles

This is not to say women can't lead or make an impact in their family.  In fact, many women are stepping up to lead their family spiritually, because the father has shrugged off the responsibility.

A godly mother can make a big impact in their family's spiritual life. Often you will see moms stepping  up to lead spiritually in their home due to the father's lack of engagement.  And it's women who keep the church alive.

"Women are the backbone of Christian congregations."

But as the stats show, fathers make the biggest impact.  If we are going to reach families, then we have to reach fathers.  And to reach fathers, we've got to make the church less feminine.  Think about it.  The average father is hesitant to stand in a circle, holding hands and crying. And then singing songs about love and relationships.  Still not convinced?  Look around the next time you are in a corporate worship time.  You will see the vast majority of men standing, looking uncomfortable and not singing.

Think about this.  Men don't go to baby showers and don't watch chick flicks (unless they are trying to score some points with their wife).  For many fathers, a church service is like having to attend a baby shower.  They just can't connect with it.  

And over a long period of time, the lack of fathers in a church will be it's demise.  Churches that are growing are reaching men.  Churches with the lowest number of men, are dying a slow death.

If your ministry is going to grow, then you have to reach fathers.  Jesus had 12 disciples...all men. Men need solid leadership.  They are drawn to vision and purpose.  They welcome challenge.

If you are really serious about seeing kids grow up to love and follow Jesus, then reach their fathers. 

 Like father like son.

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