10 Ways to Raise An Atheist

The latest reports say that 13% of children are atheists.  This is twice the number of adults who say they are atheists. 

We are seeing many children grow up and not just walk away from the church, but from the faith as well. 

Research shows that the majority of millennial parents are raising their children without a focus on religion.

What causes a child to grow up and embrace atheism?  Let's look at 10 ways to raise an atheist.   

Don't practice what you preach.  Be a hypocrite.  Give lip service to God, but don't live it out.  Say one thing at church, but live another way at home.  The less you "walk the talk" the more likely your children are to walk away from the faith.

Don't share the Gospel with them.  Teach them to be morally good, but don't help them see that they are a sinner in need of a Savior.  

Be more concerned about being politically correct over being Biblically grounded.  Give into a culture that says if you follow God's Word, you are a bigot and intolerant.  

Don't teach them why you believe what you believe.  Then when they get to college, they won't have any answers when their faith is put to the test.

Do not allow them to ask the hard questions.  Shrug off their questions and don't help them find the answers.  Don't allow them to grapple with and work through these questions.

Do not pray or read the Bible at home.  Leave your Bible on the dashboard of the car or let it collect dust on a shelf during the week.  Don't have devotions with your children at bedtime.  Don't talk about the things of God outside of church. 

Don't monitor who their friends are.  Let them be friends with whoever they want.  Don't try to help them find friends who will influence them toward the things of God.

Attend church sporadically.  Make church attendance a low priority.  Even better...only show up at Christmas and Easter.  Put sports before church.  Put "going to the lake" before church.  Only go to church when there is nothing else going on in the family. This will help their faith be surface level only.

Don't pray for your child and with your child.  Don't help them see the importance of spending time with Jesus.  Say a quick, shallow prayer over your meals, but let that be the extent of it.

Don't teach them to keep their eyes on Jesus instead of people.  When church members fail them, get angry and criticize the church as a whole.  Dwell on the shortcomings of people rather than teaching them to serve Jesus...the Perfect and Holy One.

One more bonus point...

Focus on rules over relationship.  Focus more on the "rules" of the Old Testament than on the "love and grace" of Jesus.  Don't teach them that Jesus wants to be their best friend.  Instead, teach them that there is a list of rules they have to follow, if they want to be spiritual.  Be overly harsh with them when they fall short.

p.s. Of course, we should do the opposite of all of these points.  By helping the next generation understand how much Jesus loves them and helping them see that the Bible truly is the Word of God, we can see them grow up to love and follow Jesus.

No matter how far a person is from God, they can be reached with the Gospel.  In my ministry, I have personally seen three adults, who were atheists, turn to Jesus and begin following Him.  I believe as we are intentional about reaching and discipling the next generation, we can see them follow Jesus for a lifetime.

If you haven't read my book, "Fertile Soil...See Kids' Faith Grow and Flourish for a Lifetime," it's a must read for seeing kids stick with the faith and growing up to love Jesus."  You can get your copy at this link.

Your turn. What are some other ways to raise an atheist?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below.