Posted On: April 28, 2015
Pastor Jack Wellman recently wrote an article titled “The Importance of Good Christian Fathers”.
Some of the points in this article are relevant to the ministry of Morning Center , so we would like to share them with you:
“There is overwhelming evidence that when a Christian father attends worship service on a regular basis, the rest of the family follows. A 2000 study found that when both fathers and mothers attended church regularly, about 41% of the children would go to church when they reach an adult stage. Amazingly, when the father attends church on an irregular basis, 60% of the children reaching adulthood will be irregular attendees or drop out all together. When the father doesn’t ever attend church, only 2% of children that grow into adulthood will attend church with nearly none of them ever becoming Christian. When this same equation is with the mother, the numbers are not nearly as drastic. The conclusion is that fathers have the greatest influence on their children’s lives and have the most impact on their becoming a Christian and attending church regularly as adults.
What this shows is that when the father takes the church and Christianity seriously, almost all of his children will too. When he doesn’t care about Jesus Christ, the Bible, or the church, then the overwhelming majority of his children won’t either. This shows you the critical importance of a godly father. This doesn’t only show you the importance of role modeling but of the father being the spiritual head of the family. His position is likened to that of the high priest in the Old Testament. As the priest lives and performs his duties and takes them seriously – without hypocrisy or duplicity – so too does the family. You simply cannot fool children. A superb example of that is when Aaron’s son’s brought a “strange fire” before the Lord in the temple and took the performance of their priestly duties too casually (Lev 10). Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu were struck dead and the worship of the entire nation was negatively impacted.
The importance of children coming to saving faith in Jesus Christ can be broken down like this:
- 7% of saved children will help lead both of their parents to faith in Jesus Christ.
- 23% of saved wives and mothers will help lead their husbands and children to faith in Jesus Christ.
- 94% of saved husbands and fathers will help lead their entire family to faith in Jesus Christ.
Fathers can break the cycle of negligence in their families and keep family history from repeating itself. So many fathers are “missing in action” that we are causing our children to be placed under a curse. Maybe that’s why Malachi wrote, “he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction” (Mal 4:6). Let me add some emphasis and paraphrase this verse in case we miss God’s point; unless the hearts of the fathers are turned to their children the hearts of the children can not be turned to their fathers. And, unless the hearts of the fathers do turn to their children, God says that he will “strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” How can this be? Is this possible? Does He mean…strike all of the land? Yes! God is giving us fathers a serious warning here just like he tried to warn Aaron about his sons offering strange fire. I am not belittling the mothers’ impact of course but God has placed fathers in the position of having the greatest influence in their children’s spiritual lives and into adulthood. He will hold us responsible. We can actually bring a curse down on our family (so to speak) by our negligence and our absence. And as any sociologist will tell you, as the family goes, so goes society…and the nation. Now maybe God’s warning that He will “strike the land with a decree of utter destruction” makes more sense, for as the family goes…so goes the nation.”
With these thoughts in mind, we would like to update you on Memphis Morning Center’s efforts to reach not only baby and mother, but father as well! In our efforts to reach women with the gospel we have found partnering with the churches and ministries that are already working and sharing the gospel in inner city Memphis.
As you know one of the areas where we provide maternity care is Warren Apartments,where Faith Baptist Church has been operating a mission for several years. Eric, our partner there, has started a men’s Bible study. We are excited for the fathers who come in to our clinic to begin attending this Bible study and to begin being mentored in what it means to live a life in submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
We have interacted with two young men, Jonathan, whose girlfriend came to Morning Center for pregnancy testing and maternity care, and Darrelle, who lives a couple of doors down and came to the first men’s outreach. Both men have expressed that they want to “straighten their lives out and get right with God.”
Last week our Memphis Morning Center Executive Director, Les Riley (and his son) met a young man, C.J. who is a 10 year old with a bad home life. When he came in to Morning Center’s facility he was reading the signs on the wall, so Les gave him a Bible to read. A few hours later, when appointments were finished, Les saw C.J. sitting on the step of his apartment reading his new Bible!
We are so thankful for the doors God opens in allowing us to show the Gospel to the people of Memphis. We ask for continued prayers that opportunities like this will keep coming to us, and that we might be able to have a lasting impact in the lives of these young men.