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No Silver Bullet

21March2012

“There is no silver bullet.”  It’s a phrase I’ve heard a half dozen times in the past few weeks.  There is no guarantee; no recipe to follow that will not fail.  There is no such thing as a sure thing.  And these words haunt me.  There are lots of guarantees floating out there today and they offer a security blanket of sorts—but what I’m talking about is far more valuable than that shiny new appliance’s promise not to break, or even the banks word that insures your money will be there.  Far more valuable.  There is no silver bullet that ensures that your son and/or daughter will embrace the ways of faith that you work so hard to instill within them.  You can do everything right as a parent and your teen or emerging adult can still get mixed up in the wrong crowd and make a few poor choices that lead down a devastating spiral.  There are no guarantees when it comes to faith, our children, and ensuring they don’t stray.

And that keeps me up at night—and my oldest is only 5.

Our youth live in a scary world that has deadly risks at every turn.  Today’s teenagers, more than any other time in human history, face risks and temptations that are more deadly than ever.  And these risks and temptations are more accessible.  The teenage years are a trip down a long, dark alley with trouble lurking in every shadow.  And there is no failsafe way to bypass this dangerous journey to ensure they take a detour.

Kara Powell and Chap Clark, of the Fuller Youth Institute, most recent book, Sticky Faith addresses this daunting reality.  Through their research and studies, they have identified signifiers and lifted up ideas and opportunities that help stack the deck in favor of instilling a faith that will last in youth and emerging adults.  Chief among their findings is that you, as the parent, have a far greater impact on your child’s faith and its “stickiness” than you will ever know.  Your youth watch you and observe you in daily life.  If your faith isn’t sticky than there is a good chance theirs won’t be sticky.  But, if your faith is the compass that guides your life—your children can’t help but notice and recognize the role of faith.

If you have a son or daughter, you should read this book.  If your son or daughter is facing the challenges of adolescence you need to read this book.  There is hope.  His name is Jesus and the good news is His love sticks to us even when we run from Him.  But, as a parent who stood next to the font I want more than a sticky God.  I want sticky faith.

SMN@CCD

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