Sam Rohrer:                  Well, welcome to Stand in the Gap today. You know we deal with headline news on the program from a Biblical and Constitutional perspective. We’re going to do that again today. There are significant headline news out there if you are looking. One that I picked out that we’re going to try and deal with tomorrow on the program, we can, but it includes a thwarted effort, a thwarted Islamic Jihad threat, let’s put it that way, to the White House and the president that was fortunately short circuited yesterday. Now at the same time, border control agents have raised serious concerns because of all of the Islamic prayer rugs being found at the border. All of these things together suggesting an increased threat of violence from Jihadi Muslims, both outside and inside America.

                                    Then I noticed that there’s a weather system that we’re all kind of looking at it about to cross the United States in the next several days that actually started by targeting San Francisco with vast amounts of rain and snow in the mountains, and what the Weather Service was calling an atmospheric river. Kind of interesting description, but it happened to fall on the same area that the major fires of last year affected. And so, therefore, the fear of major mudslides and so forth, and all of these kinds of things are all headline news. They all can be talked about. I’m going to deal with one of them hopefully tomorrow when the program relative to the thwarted Jihadi threat there in DC.

                                    However, there’s another area of significance highlighted by a Lifeway research report released just a day ago that will be the focus of today’s program. I’m entitling today’s general theme as “The Church in America: Why the kids are leaving in droves.” Or, I could also say, “Why the church is shrinking from within.” Now, to examine this critical research with me will be Dr. Gary Dull and evangelist Dave Kistler. Our special guest today on this will be Dr. Alex McFarland. He’s an author, preacher, professor, and a Christian apologist, a true friend to all those who support the authority of scripture and a Biblical worldview.

                                    We’re going to look at the basic research findings. We’re going to delve then into the cause of why nearly 70% are leaving. We’re going to look at the contributory changes in worldview and relationships as identified by these young people for why they’re leaving the church. And then we’re going to conclude with solutions of how to stop the bleeding and stem the flow of the next generation who at this time are finding church and a relationship with God to be easily replaceable. Big issue, very important today and more on Stand in the Gap today.

                                    And with that, let me welcome to the program, Alex. Thank you for being with us today.

Alex McFarland:            Well, thank you so much, Sam. I’ve got such a great appreciation for all the vital work you’re doing, and it’s always an honor to be on.

Sam Rohrer:                  Well, it’s an honor to have you on because you’re dealing … Actually, you’ve founded an entity called Truth for a Next Generation, which ties in really well into this. And I want to go right directly to the Lifeway research report that was released just a day or two ago. It primarily focuses on kids from Protestant churches. The title of that was quote, “Most teenagers drop out of church as young adults.” And then later in the article … That was the title later. Later in the article, a quote was “69% of those who do drop out will never come back.”

                                    Now, you work with young people. You preach in hundreds of churches. Does this huge number of young people, this large percentage leaving church as evidenced by this Lifeway report, does it surprise you in any way? Or, is it something that’s really more of a confirming factor to what you’ve been seeing in churches that you associate with?

Alex McFarland:            Yeah, and by the way, thank you for devoting time to talk about this topic. It really is an interesting study, and I would encourage people to read it. Most teenagers drop out of church as young adults. Was posted January 15th. One of the synopsis of the articles is written by a guy named Aaron Earls. And yeah, I mean it really does, it concurs with a lot of what we’re seeing. There’s a little bit of good news, but there’s some clarification we need to make. But, Sam, probably 15 to 16 years ago when I was working for Focus on the Family and James Dobson, we began to really work on this in earnest that kids raised in church … Maybe they went to youth group or even maybe went to a Christian school … made a profession of faith. But after high school, they effectively would disappear for 10 to 12 years.

                                    Now a lot of, a lot … Some of these same kids would come back in their late twenties, early thirties. And I would say they would limp back to church, in that they, the decade having sort of disappeared from the body of Christ, takes this whole. But more and more in the 21st century, you know, we’re seeing kids that go away to college, and they never come back. And not only don’t really effectively get plugged into a local church again, many of them become agnostics or no longer identify as Christian, or even might become atheist. And I think a lot of this is attributable to the intensely secular influence, really the militant secularism of the college campus.

                                    But when I look at some of the reasons kids give for not wanting to be in church anymore, it all comes down to worldview. You can call it discipleship. But when people make a profession of faith at 10 or 12 years old, they must get grounded in the word of God and begin to live their life accountable to the Lord, accountable to the church, and from a Biblically informed perspective, or there’s an incredibly high likelihood they will fall away.

Sam Rohrer:                  And Alex, we’re going to go into more on that in detail. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re talking to Alex McFarland here today. We’re going to go into more of the details of what he’s talking about, that a Biblical worldview and relationships as identified in the report. Dave, you got a question for Alex?

Dave Kistler:                 I do, Sam. And Alex, thank you again for being on with us today. We appreciate it so much. The numbers that are in this report are beyond disturbing. And if this continues, young people who drop out at this rate and never come back, then it’s gonna make it virtually impossible, is it not, for the church to fulfill its role as an influencer of culture from a salt and light perspective. And it’s also going to dramatically affect the church’s ability to evangelize the lost world.

Alex McFarland:            Exactly. Exactly. And you know, we need to be very deliberate and very committed to evangelism and discipleship. But I’m just going to say this too, and you know, the National Day of Prayer is only four months away. We need to pray to everyone listening to this program. I mean, if you love God and country, we need to begin to intercede and ask the Lord for a great revival to turn around this falling away because, you know, different ones have written about the graying of the evangelical world. You know, thank God for Christians of all ages. And there are many seniors who are believers, but there’s this gaping, growing hole of young people that have not been won to Christ, and we need to pray about that.

Sam Rohrer:                  We absolutely do, ladies and gentlemen. And like I say, we have a lot of big headline news, a lot of issues we can deal with. But this today goes right to the heart of the vibrancy of the church in America, and our young people, and the next generation. We have to understand what’s going on.

                                    Well, welcome back to Stand in the Gap today. Our special guest, Dr. Alex McFarland, he’s author, speaker, professor of Bible apologetics, promoter, and founder of a ministry called Truth for a New Generation. Our theme today is “The Church in America: Why our kids are leaving in droves.” And we’re looking at a Lifeway research report that highlights some of these facts.

                                    You know, the fact that most children walk away from church, even if they regularly attended a church when they were in high school, is clear. That’s what the numbers are indicating. The implications of this fact, as we referenced in the last segment, is extraordinary regarding the vitality or the ability of the church in America to be vital and clear. But, it’s also being impacted. That fact, ladies and gentlemen, the fact that our kids are leaving our churches is as dangerous to the church as we are now finding the declining birth rates are in western Europe, and now the United States, because that spells trouble for the vibrancy of the Western world and this nation in the years ahead. It’s the same kind of a comparison.

                                    Now, according to the Lifeway report, kids leave the church for three broad reasons. 96% of them site life changes, meaning they get out of high school and they make their changes. 75% of them site pastor or youth ministry related … I’m going to put in … relational reasons. And then 63% site religious, political, or ethical beliefs; values they have that have that have changed. Now, broadly speaking, I’m going to put these two major areas into two categories: worldview changes- the religious, political, ethical belief area; and then, the quality of relationships with those young people to those within the church, be it in the youth ministry or the pastorate, or the people generally.

                                    So, in this segment we’re going to talk about the 63% who indicate worldview changes as reflected, as they cite them, in religious, political, or ethical belief differences between themself and the church.

                                    Alex, let me go back to you now. As I read the report, the transition to college or leaving home may be cited as a reason. Now, I’m saying this, but it would appear that this change primarily may have just been the opportunity for children, perhaps for the first time to put into effect their own decision making, driven more by worldview or relational condition. So, that’s why we’re going to focus on worldview and relationships here.

                                    But Alex, when I go to this, let’s go to the worldview changes first. You talk a lot about this. That’s a part of your apologetics training with your students. What have you found to be the most significant worldview changes in our kids that would lower their value for church or commitment to church attendance? So, kind of put some of this together here for us if you can.

Alex McFarland:            Oh, great. Well, thank you so much, Sam. Yeah, you know, I would say one of the big worldview dynamics is the church’s ignorance of how much worldview influences beliefs and behavior, you know? I do want to talk for a moment about some of the specifics of worldview. But you know, for one thing, what I’ve done for 30 years literally, I want to try to make the clarion call that part of our job as the body of Christ is to shape beliefs and influence behaviors. And in other words, worldview, how we look at life. And worldview includes, you know, what do we think about God? What do we think about salvation? But what do we think about the purpose of life, and morality, and right and wrong, and every single individual’s accountability before God?

                                    And so, in the American Evangelical Church … And listen, I love the Church. And Sam, I’ve been in more than 2200 to speak, and I love the church of all strata. But the gospel for much of American Evangelicalism is pray the sinner’s prayer, recite a salvation prayer. But the rest of my life, I’m pretty much free to do whatever I want. And the other dynamic is that we must never be negative, or we must never subject ourselves to something that’s uncomfortable, or something that we don’t want to do.

                                    And when I look at the Lifeway study, you know, 24% fell out of church because of work or other responsibilities. Well, the fact is that we make time for the things that we think are a priority. Many of these very same young people … And I know because I do interviews. I’m constantly on the road. They’re not in church on Sunday, but they do have time to go play soccer, or they do have time to be in a sports league, or they do have time to go to work.

                                    You know, a woman just yesterday was awarded the $21 million dollar judgment because she had told her boss she didn’t want to work on Sunday. It conflicted with her religious belief. So if you ask your supervisor, “Could I be off work at least two or three times a month so that I can worship?” the law and the precedent is on your side, people. Your employer will accommodate your religious beliefs.

                                    And so, you know, our worldview must be, our worldview must include that part of being a disciple is to be a consistent following, contributing, serving member of a local fellowship. We have to restore an ethic of churchmanship here in American life. And much more I could say, but I wanted to throw that in there, Sam.

Sam Rohrer:                  That’s excellent.

Alex McFarland:            That part of being a disciple is to be a part of a local church.

Gary Dull:                     I think this is a very, very important fact to take into consideration, Alex. You know, so many times we see that people leave the church and they’ll say, “Well, you know, I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.” And that’s true, but I think that a good Christian, one who loves the Lord, will love the church and want to go to the church because the local church is the representation of the body of Christ in that particular area. And this concept of discipleship is very important, is it not? I think that we are missing out on that from the younger to the older, and it begins in the home.

                                    You know, Deuteronomy 6:7 says, “To the parents, thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children” talking about the principles of God. And those principles so often are neglected in the home and in the church. But as we go to this particular survey that’s before us, one commentator on this Lifeway, research report is seeking to downplay the findings. He said that while young people are leaving the church, it does not at all mean they are leaving God. Now, I personally have some thoughts on that, but how would you interpret those observations, Alex?

Alex McFarland:            Well, young people and some grownups who say that they’re a Christian, but they don’t like quote “organized religion.” Oftentimes I’ll think, “So, you like disorganized religion?” The thing is, this idea that, “I love God, but I don’t like the church,” it implies that we’re free to define Christianity in our own terms and on our own terms. And while obviously the church isn’t perfect, only Christ is perfect. The reality is, if we love the Lord, we will love the body of Christ. And the Bible is very clear. In fact, I’m going to make a statement, and you all feel free to disagree with it. If you said to the Apostle Paul, “I’m a Christian, but I don’t go to church,” Paul would say you are not a disciple of Christ.

Male:                           That’s right.


Alex McFarland:            I mean … So, part and parcel of being a disciple is to be a part of a local church. And we have to instill in the hearts and minds of young people, you know, what the parameters and specifics of being a follower of the Lord are. Now, all of these main five things, the top five reasons from the Lifeway study, why did I stop attending church? 34%, I moved away and went to college. Well, I’ve spoken at over 200 universities, and the majority of which are secular universities. Every college town I’ve ever been had churches. But anyway, 32% said church members are judgmental and hypocritical. 29%, I don’t feel connected to the people. And that is something that we can work on, relationships. 25%, I disagree with the Church’s stance on political issues, and 24% work responsibilities.

                                    This gets back to worldview. And let me just parenthetically said this to the moms and dads out there. And just for what it’s worth, my wife and I have been in youth ministry 30 years, and my wife, before we even got married, my wife was a college student in nursing school and heavily involved in youth ministry. So, what I’m about to say, moms and dads, I beg you, listen carefully. 30 years of youth ministry, 18 books, thousands of one-on-one interviews with people, hundreds of families that I’ve counseled, and distraught moms and dads weeping over their Christian child who is now an agnostic socialist progressive. Here’s what I’m going to say. I would beg, I would plead, do not send your children to secular universities. And even if you send your kids to what you think is a Christian school, you better check it out.

Male:                           Amen.

Alex McFarland:            You know, four years of college will dismantle what you’ve worked 18 years to instill. And I’m not speaking from an ivory tower of just hypotheticals here. I’m talking about debates, Q and A. Most secular universities … In fact, I would say probably all secular universities, state supported schools that get government money they’re anti-God, they’re anti-Christian, they’re pluralistic globalism. The professors will teach your kids to hate America. It’s transgender pro-gay. Mom and Dad, everything that you hold dear and that the Bible says is truth will be denigrated. And so, even many of the denominational schools are following, but there are some good schools, Liberty University, and others.

Sam Rohrer:                  Our theme today is “The church in America: Why kids are leaving in droves.” And our special guest is Dr. Alex McFarland. He’s involved in Bible apologetics as a youth pastor for so many years, and now leads a ministry called Truth for a New Generation. In this segment, we’re gonna take and look now at the relationship reasons kids are leaving. We talked about Biblical worldview, or worldview perspective in the last segment. But knowing the findings of research, documenting the numbers, that’s an important part. We need to do that.

                                    That’s really a Biblical principle. Know the state of your flocks. It’s that kind of an idea. It’s good to know what the numbers say. However, with nearly 70% of kids leaving the church and never returning, it’s staggering, and it’s indicating a shrinking church in America. And only when we accurately identify why these kids are choosing to leave can the problem be corrected.

                                    Now, as I mentioned last segment, we looked at some of the major changes in worldview that our kids by over 95%, we know based on other reports, no longer hold a Biblical worldview. So, it’s a major, major foundational position there. Yet by a larger margin in this report than even worldview indicators are relationship issues with pastors, and church members, and youth ministers, and what these kids cite as reasons why in that area they have chosen to leave. But they’re are also areas that can be fixed.

                                    Alex, let me come back to you now here, right now, and get your input of those who cited the pastor or church member relationship issues. 32% percent said that church members were judgmental or hypocritical. 29% said they didn’t feel connected to the church. 17% of those saying that the pastor’s sermons didn’t really catch their attention. So, how do you interpret these kinds of reasons in light of the relational causes for kids leaving the church, Alex?

Alex McFarland:            Well, you know, it’s interesting. Some people do go to church because they like the sermons or the preacher, and I mean, it’s always important. I know I’ve pastored. You have, Sam. So, we always do try to make the word of God engaging for people. But I want to speak to one of the ways that we can retain young people, and that’s relationally. And it doesn’t take a lot of budget or really almost any budget, but in terms of just letting young people know that you are praying for them.

                                    Many churches, some that I know and some that we’ve coached, they’ll get people to write and maybe send a little goodie bag, you know, some homemade brownies or something. But let the kids know you’re praying for them because a lot of kids are very overwhelmed as they go to college. It is, it’s kind of scary sometimes. In fact, in my book, Stand Strong in College, where I document four areas that challenge the faith of a college student, these are things that really surprise me. Even kids that sometimes go to school on sports scholarships and, I mean, they have every reason in the world to be confident and everything. But, it’s intimidating.

                                    So, if your seniors or some people back home at church would pray by name for your seniors that have graduated, and then write letters. I know it’s a world of electronic social media communication, but everybody still likes to get a handwritten hard letter. Send it and say, “Hi, Joe,” or Suzanne or whomever. “We were praying for you.” And that’s a way to build relationship and stay connected and, you know, encourage them in the Lord, speak a word of encouragement. And really I would say that’s a form of mentoring.

                                    And let me encourage everybody … And this is really fun. I mean, this is why being a part of the local body of Christ is so exciting and so fulfilling. Let the mentoring of young people begin even back in elementary school and middle school. And I want to encourage you to do father/son men and young men retreats and events, and young ladies to be encouraged and mentored by godly women that role model what Christianity is.

                                    And so folks, I’ve been brought in literally to hundreds of churches to do a senior discipleship weekend the last of April or the first of May. But, five, six hours the weekend before graduation is not enough. I mean, it just really isn’t. And especially in this noisy secular world that we live in today, the mentoring and the handoff of the Gospel from seasoned believers to the upcoming generations, it’s got to be a lifelong thing. And ideally, it needs to be modeled by mom and dad. But as we know, more than 50% of kids today will never grow up under the same roof with mom and dad together, their biological parents. So in a way, the church has to do with the church has always done plus shoulder a percentage of the responsibility vacated by mom and dad these days.

Male:                           Interesting.

Dave Kistler:                 Alex-

Alex McFarland:            But all of this represents great opportunity.

Dave Kistler:                 Alex, let me ask this question because I mean, this is a fundamental and I guess to the heart of the issue question. The kids that are answering the survey questions, the ones that are leaving church, is it more likely that they’re leaving God at the same time, or are these numbers a reflection of young people who never genuinely had a relationship with Jesus Christ to begin with?

Alex McFarland:            That’s a real great point because, you know, reciting a prayer at camp may constitute salvation in the hearts of some people. But I think a lot of kids are exposed to church and they know about God, but they don’t know the Lord. And you know, the fruit and the consistency validate the authenticity of the conversion. But, but I will say this. I mean, I’ve had kids. In fact, there’s a couple of young people that we’re counseling with right now that made a verbal profession. Outwardly by every indicator it would have looked like they were a follower of Christ, but are now atheists, and completely repudiate the faith they once espoused.

                                    So, you know, I’ve got to say, back to the thing about prayer for revival in our nation, and the church interceding for a great movement of the Holy Spirit. Satan has upped the ante. And I know I’m talking about a lot of things here, but folks, here’s the deal. America has been the greatest engine for support for the gospel worldwide missions and Christ Great Commission. Satan wants America to fall because America has been not only a stalwart contributor to the Great Commission, but we’ve been the best friend the nation of Israel has had.

                                    And so, Satan has invested several decades of intensely working to dis-convert generations of young people, and ultimately contribute to the weakening of the home, the weakening of the church and the fall of the US Constitution. And so, you know, don’t get me wrong, my home is in Heaven. Our loyalty first and foremost is to God and His kingdom. But we need to care about the state of young people because of the future of our country and our freedoms, so that we can continue to be a prosperous nation, and thus contribute to the gospel worldwide. It’s a battle.

                                    And I would just say this also to pastors. And listen, I’ve pastored two churches and spoken in 2000 plus. Pastors, embrace your role as a prophetic voice of the word of God. Give these young people solid truth and meat from the Word that they’re not going to hear anywhere else. And Pastor, don’t be afraid to talk about hard issues, because the very soul of our country and the future of America, and frankly, our accountability before God hangs on this. So, it’s time for revival, folks. And it’s got to be. We have no hope without it.

Sam Rohrer:                  Ladies and gentlemen, I hope that you are, as you’re listening to the program, finding it to be helpful. It’s very practical. And all of us, between ourselves. have been talking and saying, “This is the issue of the day. This is so important in our churches.” Because ladies and gentlemen, it is. Fathers and mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, as you’re listening to the program, think about your own children. You know how valuable they are to you. God knows how valuable they are, too. And if we lose them, we lose them for God. Big issue.

                                    Well, as we wrap up the program today, and it’s hard to believe that we’re already at the end, this topic we could spend just hours on. It’s so practical. Why our children and why church kids leave the church in such vast numbers? When kids grow up and then leave the church, they are in reality leaving God, regardless of how some would interpret it. And we’ve talked about this.

                                    While over two thirds are leaving, about one third are staying. That’s the other side. Now, what’s the difference? Well, since not all children are leaving or rejecting the truth, what is it that makes the difference? What can be done to stem this bleeding? We’ve already talked about the need for prayer and other things, and we’ll [inaudible 00:29:20] some of that again. But, are there solutions that moms and dads and pastors and youth pastors can take to address this very real problem before it’s too late? And as Dr. McFarland said, a few hour retreat just before you leave Christian high school or another high school is too late in the process. It’s gotta start far beyond that. So, we’re going to try and get some input from all of us here just briefly here in the conclusion.

                                    Alex, let me go to you. Just try to hold yourself to a couple of minutes if you can here because of the time. We’ve identified problems that all of us on this program as preachers and men, fathers involved, with pastors, we all work with churches and people from all walks of life. We’re all painfully aware of what I just laid out. It’s true. The kids are leaving. We know that Biblically, God’s plan is that God’s truth be passed, as Gary mentioned earlier, from father to son to grandson, and that it’s taught clearly from the pulpit. And we’ve all talked about that.

                                    So the question is, what is not being done that should be done, Alex? And what can be done in simple form here, for people listening, to restore God’s simple plan of imparting true faith to their children and their grandchildren?

Alex McFarland:            Well, great question. Well, it’s got to be the priority. I would say priority, gratitude, and stewardship; that Jesus Christ, if He really is the Lord of our life, He is the Lord of of everything. And then, gratitude. I mean, we need to show some appreciation for the salvation we’ve been given. And I know we’re not saved by works, but if we are saved, good work should follow in gratitude and obedience. And then, we have to train our kids to view all of life in terms of stewardship; that we really don’t own our time or our future. It belongs to Jesus.

                                    So, I would say priority, gratitude, and stewardship. We’ve got to preach it, we’ve got to live it, model it. And hopefully with the help of the Holy Spirit, it will be ingrained into the lives of the young people.

Sam Rohrer:                  Excellent, excellent, Alex. Gary, let me go to you. Now, you’re a pastor currently. You’ve been there for a long time. Most churches just seem to sit back and watch the congregation age and shrink with the young people leaving, as the research we’ve talked about indicates. What can pastors and church leaders encourage in these days that would keep children in a walk with God and faithful to the church as God commands?

Gary Dull:                     You know, Sam, sometimes I think that what we find today in the church as well as in the home and family, is that both entities are involved with so many things. Schedules are terrible in some cases. And what we find, or at least my observation is that both the church and the home get involved with so many things that take away from the main thing that we should be doing with our children.

                                    And that again goes back to Deuteronomy chapter six. I think that you are right. A lot of churches just sit back. A lot of pastors just sit back and watch their congregation age and do nothing about it. As this program is going on, my youth pastor who happens to be my son, Chaz, is sitting here in the studio with me, and we are talking about this. It goes back to the whole concept of number one, making certain that our young people truly are saved. And I want to say to folks, if your child has trusted Christ as Savior or has prayed a prayer or whatever, do everything that you can to make certain that that child really is sayed.

                                    We have three boys, and when all three of them received Jesus Christ as Savior, I virtually made it difficult on them in the sense of trying to make certain that they really were certain that they trusted Jesus Christ as Savior. Sometimes a child or a teenager will make a prayer at camp and that’s it, and we say, “Hey, he’s saved. She’s saved.” And maybe they really didn’t trust Christ, simply because of the fact they weren’t challenged, and then they weren’t discipled.

                                    And so, I think it’s very important to make sure that our young people, when they make decisions for Christ, certainly we need to be evangelistic, and when they make decisions for Christ, make certain that those decisions are genuine. And then, right away get them involved in a discipleship program. Get older people to mentor the younger people in the things of the word of God. That’s Biblical. Titus teaches us that.

                                    And I think that if we’d put that concept together, making sure that your children really are saved. And then secondly, teaching them, discipling them consistently the word of God. And then you know, Sam, making the church a priority. The church isn’t just some worldly entity like the Kiwanas or whatever the case. It is God’s institution on Earth for this dispensation.

Male:                           Yep, amen.

Gary Dull:                     Parents and children and youth alike need to recognize its significance and get involved with it. It’s the church that will be the glue that will keep the home and the family together for the glory of God, if the church is doing its responsibility.

Sam Rohrer:                  Amen. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to summarize what Alex and Gary have said. I’m going to add in just one perspective I have as well as a father of six children and now 14 grandchildren. I will second what Gary said and what Alex said and we talked about a little earlier in the program. It’s very easy for a child to grow up in a church knowing about God, but never knowing personally who Jesus Christ is. There was a principle that we learned, many times we’ve talked about with our children, is that we as parents always want our children to make a profession of faith real early because it’s almost like we feel like we get off the hook. No, we’re not off the hook. Children have abundant faith. They are very willing to please. But children lack knowledge, and we have to be careful with that at those early points.

                                    The switch is when they become adults. Adults have lots of knowledge or can, but they’re short on faith. And so, we have to be very careful we talk to children. Actually, one of my own sons came to us when he was younger and was saying, “Mom and Dad, I want to trust Jesus as my Savior.” And we’d ask him questions to clarify. He didn’t really know. His attention span kind of jumped away, and we said, “No, not quite yet.” And said, “We need to know a little bit more.”

                                    Well, you know what that young boy did every night before he went to bed? He prayed. When he prayed his own prayer, we prayed with him. He prayed for his own salvation for six months. This young boy did. Our son did. He said, “Lord, help me to understand more about you so that I can be saved.” Well, the time came and he came and said, “I want to trust the Lord.” He knew, and so did we, and he’s walking with the Lord. Now, I just put all that. All of these things are things that are factored into it.

                                    Now, Alex said this, “Make God a priority and serving him a priority.” Gratitude, be grateful to what God has done, and particularly for our salvation. Third, stewardship. Teach your children that everything they have comes from God. Gary kind of laid out the same thing. Make certain your children know the Lord, not just because what they say, but that’s evidenced by how they live. Teach them, mentor them, disciple them. And then, make church a priority, and God’s family a priority as well.

                                    Dave, I wanted to go to you. Two comments and then pray quickly for us, please, at the end here.

Dave Kistler:                 Sam, let me just echo what you said. If you look in Daniel 1, Daniel and his three friends withstood the corrupting process of Babylon because of something that had evidently happened very well in the home. So, we’re talking about the home. The home is the key.