In January, we had the privilege of hearing Dr. Alvin Reid teach on Raising a Generation to Love the Gospel. As adults who engage with the next generation–whether as parents, teachers or ministry volunteers–we were challenged to take a long view of a child’s life when thinking about how we minister to them and share the gospel.
Many of our City Life families are in the middle of the “little years,” preschool and babyhood. But Dr. Reid challenged us to think about Raising the Bar (he has actually written a book by this title that we recommend) as we consider the kind of young adults we want to send out into the world. This starts with the habits we set in the little years, and as we heard from Doc “readers are leaders.” To that end, here are some pearls of wisdom from Doc’s talks and resources to help you Raise a Generation to Love the Gospel.
“The more relationship you have with your kids, the less you have to hammer the rules. The less of a relationship, the more you have to hammer the rules.” – Dr. Alvin Reid
- Gospel-Centered Family
- Shepherding A Child’s Heart & Instructing a Child’s Heart.
- Raising the Bar
- As he led us through Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Dr. Reid exhorted us to include family devotions as part of our gospel-centered family rhythm.
- Pick an age appropriate children’s Bible that focuses on Jesus and read to them regularly.
“If youth can learn trigonometry in school, then they can learn theology in church.” -Dr. Alvin Reid
Youth should also learn theology at home! Before you get overwhelmed and think this sounds daunting, consider these resources to help you teach theology to your children.
- Ages 0-4: Do you have preschoolers? Begin by teaching them basic attributes of God! This Learn About God
- Ages 4-7: Catechisms may sound old fashioned, but this family devotional from Starr Meade includes short, rich passages rooted in God’s word. Recommended for elementary and middle school
- Ages 8-12: The Ology is a great introduction for elementary students to systematic theology.
Remember to have fun with your children while learning the Bible. Avoid being uber serious and having unrealistic expectations. Keep the time brief for small children. Even when it seems they aren’t paying attention, know that they soak up more than they can articulate. Plus, you’re helping them value God’s Word.