Research clearly shows that parents are instrumental in the faith formation of their students.

A few weeks ago, I attended a conference on Flourishing Faith hosted by the Association of Christian Schools International. They have developed a tool called the Flourishing Faith Index for measuring faith development in Christian schools. They shared some important components of a school’s plan to support spiritual formation in students. As a school, we will be utilizing this tool next school year.

The thing I find unique in this research is that the Flourishing Faith Index surveys not only students but also school staff and parents. The research clearly shows that parents are instrumental in the faith formation of their students. Dr. Matthew Lee shared this statistic that was almost unbelievable.

If one parent in a family is Christian, there is a 25% chance of transmitting their faith to the children.

If both parents are Christian, the probability rises to 50%. However, if both parents are Christian and family devotions are part of their practice, the children have a 90% likelihood of following their parents’ faith. While this information is sobering, it is also encouraging. It gives parents a roadmap to help their kids develop faith.

What are family devotions? It can include many things, but it is essentially practicing habits of spiritual formation, often called spiritual disciplines, as a family. This could include prayer, worship, Bible study, memorizing Bible verses, and discussing the Bible. I still remember my mom reading from the book Little Visits with God. It was written specifically for family devotions. Today, there are endless resources available online for families to use. The important thing is for parents to practice these habits with their children, not separately. The modeling from parents is key in faith development.

If you haven’t been practicing family devotions, don’t despair. It’s not too late, and you can start today.

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