Worldview for the Next Generation: Part Two

Adapted from a blog post by Josh Mulvihill who provides a good resource for parents and the church with his book, Biblical Worldview: What it is, Why it Matters, and How to Shape the Worldview of the Next Generation (In the Library soon)

In our current culture our children are bombarded with information overload that is actively undermining the foundations of a biblical worldview and the ability to grow in wisdom. Another great book to help parents with media saturation is a book titled “The Wisdom Pyramid: Feeding your Soul in a Post-Truth World by Brett McCracken. (Also coming soon to the library)

"A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education."
- Theodore Roosevelt

Many Christian young people are unprepared to navigate the tidal wave of unbiblical ideas that confront them. If George Barna is correct, over 70% of Christian young people will reject their faith before they reach the age of 30. We all know teenagers who have drifted and walked away from Christ. We never think that person could one day be our own child. When the pressure is turned up, our children will struggle if they don’t have confidence that comes from knowing what they believe and why they believe it.

Who is doing a better job of imparting their worldview to children, the world or the church? If we are honest, many churches and families are struggling to pass on a deep, lasting, actionable faith to future generations. Athletics, academics, and the arts are often prioritized over the nurture of a child’s faith. Children may end up at a prestigious university or receive an athletic scholarship, but their faith lags far behind and leaves them vulnerable to the deception of the world.

George Barna states, “A person’s worldview is primarily shaped and is firmly in place by the time someone reaches the age of thirteen; it is refined through experience during the teen and early adult years, and then it is passed on to others during their adult life. Such studies underscore the necessity of parents and other influencers being intentional in how they help develop the worldview of children.” High numbers of parents and grandparents are not developing their child’s worldview, and the spiritual vacuum is filled with cultural ideas and secular thought.

That’s why worldview matters. Biblical worldview is worthy of our attention and resources.

Below are six reasons why every family and church needs to help children develop a biblical worldview:

A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW

4. Defends Against Counterfeit Ideas

A biblical worldview helps children defend their faith. Raising children today requires a Colossians 2:7-8 mindset: “As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”

The strategy that Paul provides is simple. We are to teach the core truth of Scripture so that a Christian is established in the faith, then introduce a competing belief system and dismantle it by exposing why it is false. When I teach kids, I refer to this as the Bible’s big truth and the world’s big lie.

In a post-Christian society, children are going to face strong opposition and competing belief systems, and unless they are rooted in the Bible, they will absorb the ideas of our day and assimilate to the beliefs of our culture. Our aim is to shape the beliefs of young people, and to do that, we must train children to defend their faith against deceptive and competing belief systems.

5. Answers the Big Questions of Life

A biblical worldview answers the big questions children ask: Where did I come from? Why am I here? Who am I? What went wrong with the world? What is the solution? What is the purpose of life? What happens in the future?

Young people are hungry for truth and are searching for answers. They desire open and honest face-to-face conversations. Young people want real answers and are attracted to authenticity. Due to an abundance of information, young people do not know what information is trustworthy; thus they have a prove-it-to-me mindset. One of the most compelling proofs for young people is an authentic life. The individual that speaks the truth in love and practices what he or she preaches is incredibly influential in a young person’s life. Here are three suggestions to answer the spiritual questions children will have:
  • Ask questions before children ask them. Don’t be afraid to talk about difficult topics. Encourage children to think deeply about the truths of the Bible.
  • Answer with Scripture. Encourage children to become a student of God’s Word. They either know the answer or know where to get the answer.
  • Aim to be an askable parent, grandparent, pastor, or teacher. Invite questions, take them seriously, and answer them diligently so that the child who is weighing the claims of the Bible will be persuaded to believe in Christ.

 6. Equips Individuals for Service to Christ

The world does not need Christians who are culturally saturated. It needs agents of the gospel filled with the aroma of Christ. A biblical worldview not only shapes what a child believes but also equips the child to live in a manner worthy of the gospel, for the good of others and the glory of God through their future vocation. A biblical view of topics such as science, law, medicine, and education will provide the framework so that children can positively impact the world for Christ. A biblical worldview equips children to serve God using the gifts He has given them.
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