Soon after I arrived at Bible College I learned a brand new phrase to me. The phrase wasn’t a theological term or a term descriptive of a fraternity, it was “PK” or pastor’s kid. I met several PKs at my little Bible College (most of whom defied the stereotypes) and now I know my kids are considered PKs, but I’m not sure how different their situation should be than “member kids.” While I might work at a church and teach people God’s Word for a living, I am hardly more of a pastor dad than the average Christian plumber or engineer. Every Christian father is expected to shepherd their children in scripture. If you have young children at our church I am certainly a pastoral authority over them, but I’m not “their pastor.” Mothers and especially fathers are to be the primary spiritual authority (or pastor) over their children. The Early American pastor Jonathon Edwards referred to his household as “little church” and dads, you are pastors over your little church.
Fathers, your greatest role in relationship to your children is to teach them about God in scripture. This is a heavy responsibility, but indeed every other aspect of parenting is of less significance than passing down the Gospel. Our culture likes to pretend that religious devotion is the concern of mothers and dads do well to merely sit in a pew on occasion, however this mentality is a far cry from our creator’s design. Real men (as God has designed them) take the time to teach their children God’s Word, ensure their families are regularly involved in their local church, and even take the time out of their day to show their children how the cross impacts that difficult situation our kid faces. Fathers can teach their sons and daughters how to change the oil on their cars, how to throw a knuckleball, or their favorite trick to hanging drywall; however if a father does not demonstrate the supremacy of Christ in all things he has failed at his highest and most important role.
As a Family Pastor it is rare that I go more than a few weeks without being asked the key to keeping kids on the right path. Never mind the fact that such questions can miss the point of the Christian faith, the answer to what is most likely to produce Christian children is fairly simple. Parents have far and away the greatest spiritual influence upon their children. Both parents are far more effective at producing faith filled children than any pastor or program ever could be. A recent Barna poll sought to answer this exact question and found that having a father who is diligent to teach a love for the Lord and understanding of the Gospel is the greatest contributor to having children who hold strong in the faith. While involving one’s children in various church events is unquestionably beneficial, fathers will find worshipping with their children both at home and at church is of much greater importance. Nothing can guarantee our children love the Lord, however both parents being intentional to pass down the faith makes it significantly more likely.
Dads of WBC, we as a church have sought to implement ways to make passing down your faith a little easier. If your child is in Children’s Church they receive a take home sheet every week and that is meant to be a way you as fathers can extrapolate upon the message they have heard throughout the week. With the take home sheets we send home the weekly North Star Points. Fathers, please take time each week to help your children learn these truths concerning the nature of our God and how he can save us. When you work through these questions don’t merely have your child rotely answer the questions, but take the time to explain what it means and how it relates to their lives. When you go into worship with your children take a Kids Bulletin we provide and encourage them to use it to follow along with our worship service as you provide an example of the importance of worshipping God. Christian dads, be the pastor of your children because no one can do it as well as you can.