Disciple-making in the home focus of September conferenceby C. Walter Overman
Parents and pastors are invited to attend the Building Faith Filled Families Conference, September 19-20 at Lakeview Baptist Church in Hickory. The event, sponsored by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) Disciple-Making Team, will focus on equipping pastors and parents to work together to build faith-filled homes that are marked by disciple-making.
“Faith starts at home and if the church desires to grow and build disciples, it must equip parents to make disciples at home,” said Eddie Thompson, BSCNC family evangelism and discipleship consultant. “We don’t want children to leave their home without having a strong emphasis on the truth of God’s Word, who they are in Christ, and how to live out their faith.”
According to the most recent research from the Barna Group, nearly 60 percent of 18-29 year-olds who grew up in Christian churches walk away from either their faith or from the church at some point during their first decade of adult life.
Thompson believes an essential component of reversing that trend is for parents and pastors to work together in making disciples of today’s children and youth.
“We want to help the parents and the church be on the same page of discipleship,” he said. “Most parents would love to disciple their kids but many would say they don’t know how to do that.”
The two-day conference will feature break out and plenary sessions plus roundtable discussions. Mark A. Holmen will be the keynote speaker. Holmen has served as a pastor, consultant and as a speaker for Focus on the Family. He is the author of several books including Faith Begins at Home, Impress Faith on Your Kids and Church + Home: The Proven Formula for Building Lifelong Faith.
Thompson said the first day of the conference will focus on equipping pastors and church staff to help parents “build strong families of faith.”
“If we don’t want kids to abandon the church and faith at college age, then we have to help these parents make disciples in the home. They only get one chance at this thing,” he said.
Day two of the conference focuses on parents and caregivers. Parents, pastors, and caregivers will learn about disciple-making strategies for the home and how to overcome cultural barriers that limit discipleship opportunities in today’s families.
Thompson said the biggest challenges to disciple-making in the modern home is technology and busy schedules for both parents and children.
“Today’s parents are tired. Just watch young parents as they’re racing around to get their kids to all these places and events,” Thompson said. “Today’s families struggle to do so many things and faith development is too often near the bottom of the list.”
Given the cultural trends of young adults leaving the church, Thompson said this is an important topic for the church and parents.
“We can have the greatest church programs in the world, but if we don’t encourage faith at home and see discipleship among our kids it’s not going to prove very effective,” he said. “Faith has to start at home. There is just no choice about where it begins.”
Registration deadline for the conference is September 12. For more information about the conference, including the conference schedule and how to register, visit the event page here.