Nurture a vibrant faith at home and at church

By PASTOR JAKE DYRHAUG

First Lutheran Church, Little Falls 

Lots of churches these days ask the question, “How do we get more kids involved in our places of worship?”

Many times we’ll say, children and youth are the leaders of tomorrow. This is true, and yet they are leaders today as well.

At a recent event at Concordia College in Moorhead, I heard an excellent discussion on faith and young adults today. One of the speakers, Bishop Lawrence Wohlrabe, put it well when he asserted that “Faith is caught more than it is taught.”

He called for the deepening of Christian faith practices or “habits of the heart” like prayer, meditation, contemplative service and intergenerational community. He shared the story of one confirmation student who sent him a thank you card once saying, “Dear Pastor, Thank you for teaching me everything I know about God.”

At first he felt good about that, and then, as he shared, it started to dawn on him, “Oh no, that means nobody else is talking to him and teaching him about God.”

That’s how I remember him describing it. If it’s just me, that’s not enough. As you think about the people who have taught you about God, told you about God’s love, showed you how to pray and live out your faith, who do you think of?

For lots of people, a clergy person or two will come to mind, but most of the time that includes a mom or dad, grandpa or grandma, uncle or aunt, brother or sister and the list goes on. Really think about that. Who passed on the faith to you?

For many, a Sunday School teacher or youth director or pastor was a very important part of that equation, but very likely the most profound effect came from someone in the home, modeling that faith. It’s so important, and unless it’s more than dropping kids off at a religious center, faith is not likely to grow strong.

If it’s nurtured at home and in a faith community, faith thrives and is vibrant.