Today I am glad to welcome Jana Magruder to The Exchange to discuss her new book Nothing Less: Engaging Kids in a Lifetime of Faith. Jana serves as the Director of LifeWay Kids. She is a Baylor graduate and offers a wealth of experience and passion for kids ministry, education, and publishing.
Ed: Your new book is based on some research done on key factors that helps us raise kids who are strong in their faith. What was the heartbeat behind this research?
Jana: Most of my team and I are in the parenting journey with kids of multiple ages still in the home. There is a sense of urgency we feel every day to seek out best practices for discipleship where we KNOW our time is best spent.
The research was designed to extract these best practices by interviewing over 2,000 protestant parents who have grown children and asking them to look back at what they did to disciple their kids at home, while at the same time evaluating how their adult kids are doing now spiritually.
Ed: What is the number one issue the research tells us about parenting?
Jana: When we got the research back, the top two answers felt so obvious that for half a second we wondered if we should have spent the investment of time and resources to do the study! The number one thing parents can do is Bible reading. This indicator from the research is so off the charts that it stands in a category all alone as THE number one thing.
If you do nothing else as a parent, read your kids the Bible and help them read it on their own as they get older. Because this was the biggest finding, we named the research and the book Nothing Less, which is taken from the A.W. Tozier quote, “Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.”
Ed: What are the other indicators from the research that parents need to know?
Jana: Next on the list is prayer. It’s another obvious one, right? Parents need to model Bible reading and prayer from the beginning and then help their kids take these on in their own time with God.
After that, the list is less predictable. Kids who served in the church while growing up was number three after prayer. This helps us know the value of parents serving because, honestly, it’s difficult to create opportunities to serve if parents do not. We have to ask ourselves, “Will kids serve in the church when they get older if they did not have that example in their lives while younger?” Probably not.
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Source: Christianity Today