A Call to All Parents
My wife and I were discussing the next generation (Generation Z) the other night. Notice I didn’t say we were grumbling or complaining about Generation Z, I said that we were discussing it. As you can imagine, we spend a lot of time around Generation Z, as most all of our youth groupers fit into that category. Being the Millennials that we are, there are some big similarities between our generations, particularly the access to technology that both our generations have grown up with. But we were noting that one of the big differences is that Gen Z, being so intertwined with the newest technologies, doesn’t connect with many people or mentors outside of their peer group. When they face difficult situations, they go to each other, or ask Google, instead of going to someone older that they know and trust.
Now you may be thinking, “Okay, sure, but you’re making a lot of assumptions in saying that.” I would agree with you, and my hope would be that your pre-teens and teenagers connect with those that are older than them, seeking counsel from their parents or mentors. But I think the reality is, with technology constantly connecting our students, and Google being the supposed “be all end all” for knowledge, we need to be proactive in connecting with our kids by making opportunities for discussion about hard sin issues and the shifting culture. This is all so that we can point them to the ultimate authority, Scripture, that provides answers that their peers, nor Google could ever trump.
How do we go about making those opportunities with our kids? Well, I’m sure there are plenty of ways… but my suggestion is through dedicated family worship. Yes, you may initially throw up objections due to lack of time, or lack of practicing in leading something like that. But we see family worship as the Biblical model for parents training up their kids to know the Lord and His statutes. Check out what God says to His people in Deuteronomy 11:18-19:
“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
What I see here is God calling parents to prioritize shepherding their kids, to speak into them the truths of the Word of God. In an increasingly technological age when our kids are prone to seek out peers, or the internet to answer their questions about who they are, who God is, and why we’re all here, the best thing we can do for them is consistently remind them that all truth comes from God, revealed to us through the Scriptures. By installing a time (or times) for family worship into your normal weekly routine, whatever that may look like for you, you’re providing a dedicated opportunity to talk with your kids about applying scripture to the many cultural issue their inundated with every day.
If you’re willing, but you don’t know where to start with family worship, please reach out to me! I’d love to point you to resources, or even just get you started with a list of questions to ask as you read scripture with your kids. Better yet, if you’ve got a Middle School or High School student, come to the Parent Meeting night at youth group tomorrow at EBC from 6:30-8:30! I’ll be focusing on family worship, and giving a good chance for you to ask questions about our youth ministry here at EBC, and then we’ll join the students for some fun and games.
In His Mercy,