Dear Church Family,
One of my philosophies for ministry to students is that of all the individuals in student’s life parents and grandparents have the most important impact by far. This is an obvious reality when you think about the amount of time students spend with their parents versus the other individuals in their lives. Many parents may like to think that their children are with their friends incessantly. But the truth remains that even their best friends make a smaller impact on their lives than their parents do.
The implication of this reality for student ministry can be challenging, but often it is a great blessing. Many parents are eager to teach their children the gospel and to see them grow in love for the Lord. This is exactly what God would have parents do! (Deuteronomy 6:6-7) My calling as a Student Ministry Pastor is to invest in our families and come along side parents and grandparents as your support and ally for the gospel and against the ungodly aspects of our students’ culture. I want to encourage grandparents and parents to double down and take ownership of the spiritual development of their children and grandchildren, knowing that I am here with you and for you. It can make all the difference in the world. Let me explain.
I am writing this article while my family is preparing to bury my grandfather. This is one of the most difficult things I have experienced. He meant so much to me that my son’s middle name comes from his great-granddaddy. I spent so much time hunting, fishing, going on vacations, visiting, and talking with him that I can’t even distinguish one event from another in my memory. But through all those times, granddaddy always made it a point to talk to me about the Lord. One time when I was around 12 we went on vacation to the beach. He sat me in his camper for several hours and explained to me how the gospel works. I was annoyed at first, because we were at the beach. What was he thinking!? But when we were finished, I had a much deeper understanding of what I believed and a much deeper connection with my granddaddy.
I still have the little New Testament Bible that he gave me with all the verses he explained to me that day. I want to leave them here for you. Take some time to read these passages and let the gospel encourage you again. Then make a plan to teach theses verses to your children or grandchildren. This has the potential to become a defining part of your relationship with them. It was for granddaddy and me.
Who is good or deserving of heaven? Rom. 3:10
Reason none are good. Rom.3:23
Reason all are sinners. Rom. 5:12
Penalty for sin. Rom. 6:23
We can know that we have eternal life. 1 John 5:13
Jesus is Lord- God in flesh. John 1:1,14
Jesus is Savior- Our way out. John 3:16
How to be saved. Rom. 10:9-13
Grace- Unmerited (unearned) favor. Ephesians 2:8-9
Our way out. Rom. 5:12
Brian Van Doren