Lest yesterday’s post leave you feeling discouraged, statistics are not determinism. Though God is sovereign, our lives are not ruled by fatalism. If I thought nothing could be done, there would be no need for The Apollos Project. Instead, research shows that it is parents involvement in the spiritual lives of their children that is the biggest indicator of whether they will follow the Lord. Here is what I wrote in an earlier post:
Sociologists have backed up what the Bible has long said, and evangelical Christianity has not figured out how to harness. In a 2007-2008 study, sociologist Christian Smith and Patricia Snell found that, “one of the most powerful factors was the religious lives of their parents – how often they attend religious services, how important religious faith was in their own lives.”
Other research finds exactly the same results. One of the strongest variables associated with young people being “religious” was that same behavior in their parents.
So the very fact that you are reading this and are actively concerned is good indicator for hope. Do we need to be concerned? Yes. But more than concern, we can be confident in the power of the gospel. Let us parent with a vigilant confidence and not out of fear.