- Friday, January 26, 2024

There’s a difference between raising kids who say they believe in Jesus and raising kids who are committed to their faith and prepared to defend it in a society that will challenge them at every turn.

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Terence Chatmon, a former senior executive for Coca-Cola, learned that firsthand when he was challenged to become the spiritual leader of his home and instill biblical principles in his own kids. That effort has grown into a nationwide mission to equip and empower parents to be intentional about discipling their children.

“We’re seeing moral and spiritual decay and it starts at home,” Mr. Chatmon recently told the Washington Times’ Higher Ground. “And the fact is, it’s been in effect for several decades now, for several generations.”

The problem, according to Mr. Chatmon, is that families have long forsaken the spiritual habits that used to be central to the home. They no longer pray together or read the Bible together. Many don’t even gather at the dinner table anymore. This loss of family connectedness and discipleship is taking a toll — on both parents and kids.

“The fact is parents want to do the right thing,” Mr. Chatmon explained. “They have the desire for their kids to flourish, to do well, to thrive. But 83% of all parents, Christian parents, they feel totally inadequate to raise their kids in the Lord, and they’ve abdicated the responsibility to the church, to Christian schools or Christian camps.”

“What we need to do is bring [discipleship] back to the home, where it’s home centered and church supported,” he added.

But that can be easier said than done. Without a determination to be intentional about how you are instilling biblical principles at home, it’s too easy to get sidetracked, overwhelmed and give up before the hard work is done. That’s why Mr. Chatmon started Victorious Family, a non-profit organization that offers plans and coaching parents can use to “train and instruct” children to live out their faith and develop a biblical worldview.

“Biblical worldview primarily is shaped between the ages of really three and 14 years of age. And these are critical teaching moments, critical teaching phases,” Mr. Chatmon noted. “So we start with a planning process. Why? Because it’s not that you have to be a plan and it’s not about the plan. But you have to have a tool, some direction, a focus, a vision.”

And it’s working. According to Mr. Chatmon, 90% of kids who have gone through the Victorious Family process are staying in church after high school, compared to 75% of kids nationwide who leave the church.

But it’s not just about the kids — or even just families. Ultimately, this mission is about all of society and reaching more people with the Good News of Jesus Christ. After all, “as the family goes, society goes.” That’s why Victorious Family hopes to reach 9.2 million families by 2030 who are empowered to model God’s family values and advance His kingdom.

“Most of the people in our circles sound and look just like us. And so we just preach to the choir,” Mr. Chatmon said. “But the fact is every once in a while, we need to get on a smelly bus, a place that’s uncomfortable … and befriend people, connect with them. Talk to them, get to know them, build relationships with them, and build that trust to be able to share God’s Word with them. Why? Because we have the greatest hope that exists in this world, here now and eternity. So isn’t it worth our time?”

Marissa Mayer is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in the Christian Post, The Daily Signal, and Intellectual Takeout. Mayer has a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Arizona State University.

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