Millions of uncommitted Christians are causing a “catastrophic decline in a Biblical worldview” according to veteran Christian researcher George Barna who found most parents poorly discipled in their faith and incapable of passing on Biblical values to their children.
It’s a theme of his new book titled: Raising Spiritual Champions: Nurturing Your Child’s Heart, Mind and Soul. Mr. Barna observes that many Christians feel so ill-equipped in their ability as parents that they have been swept up in a growing trend of “outsourcing their responsibilities.”
The Evangelical pollster writes that: “During the research, parents often shared doubts about their own parenting ability, even expressing that although they are doing the best they can, they don’t feel that they are very good parents. But because they love their children and want them to have the best experiences and outcomes, parents look to find people who they believe can do the job in various dimensions of their child’s lives. As a result, parents have stepped back and handed over the worldview development process to experts, who may or may not share their worldview and values.”
The Christian Post reports research from the book comes from seven original studies conducted as part of a collaborative effort between the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University and the Family Research Council. The studies examine the ability of parents to “intentionally and strategically raise spiritual champions among the nation’s children.”
Mr. Barna writes that: “Our worldview is the decision-making filter that informs every decision we make — intellectual, moral, emotional, and spiritual. To have a Biblical worldview is to think like Jesus, so that you can act like Jesus.”
The Christian Post writes that: “Despite Scriptures such as Deuteronomy 6:1-9, Proverbs 2:1-13, 22:6, 23:13; 29:17, 2 Corinthians 12:14, and Ephesians 6:4 showing that parents are the ones who are charged with the primary responsibility of their children’s spiritual development and discipleship, fewer than 10% of parents today have invested in any kind of spiritual development plan for their children.”
Mr. Barna found most of them were incapable of passing on a Biblical worldview to their children because they didn’t have one. Just 2% of American parents with children under 13 had a Biblical worldview while 94% had embraced syncretism, described as a “hodge-podge mixture of competing and often conflicting worldviews.”
He reported that while 58% of born-again Christian parents accept that they have the primary responsibility for the spiritual development of their children, 23% of them leave that job up to churches which “research shows are increasingly unreliable sources of Biblical worldview training.”
“Most parents, even born-again parents, do not really think the spiritual component of their child’s life is a big deal — at least not as big a deal as doing well in school, sports, or relationships. Very few parents today possess a Biblical worldview, so they can’t give what they don’t have which creates a gaping spiritual vacuum.”
The veteran Christian researcher noted that because an individual’s worldview is largely in place by the age of 13, parents should invest in discipling their children during their early years by making a life-defining commitment to Jesus and converting Biblical belief into action. “Using this foundation, any child can build a purposeful and influential life that glorifies God,” Mr. Barna concluded.