5 Markers Identifying Parents as Faith coaches

| April 13, 2011 | 0 Comments

Mobile, carefree, newbie adults rush franticly to arrive at the emergency room ahead of the baby, it’s their rush to miracle. The nurse says, “Doctor, we have a baby here.” It’s messy, chaotic, beautiful and wondrous. “What’s the name?” How many pounds? How long? Flowers. Cards. Calls. Visits. Home. Quiet and questioning. What do we do now?

It’s a universal challenge. With the birth of a child, parents are filled with questions: Am I ready for this? Where’s the support forum? Chat room? Where is the warranty, the disclaimer, the instruction manual?

This new parenthood identity is at the same time, exhilarating and exasperating. So, where DO you turn for answers? Is there a basic-training, bootcamp, manual for new parents?

All good questions and questions are always the first step toward answers.

The Apostle Paul says a good father will “encourage, comfort, and urge” his children. A mother’s unconditional love is imaged throughout Scripture. Discipline and training and love and storytelling are common themes connected to fathers and mothers, but there is no basic training, or “how-to” manual for parents anywhere in the Bible. A one-size-fits-all instruction manual does not exist.

However, there are basic principles, proven markers, for parents who want to be more effective faith shapers. Over the last 40 years I have observed five Parent ID-markers that provide a game plan for shaping the faith of the next generation.

Warren Bennis, founder of The leadership Institute at USC, has studied leaders all his life. He has synthesized 50 years of learning into five necessary leadership characteristics. Using his findings as a framework, I can describe  five parenting characteristics (ID-markers) necessary to pass the baton of faith to the next generation.

Describing Parents as Faith Coaches.

Faith shaper parents have a strong sense of calling and purpose, a personal passion for faith. This passion is more than a list of beliefs and debate points. They take their faith outside the church and into the streets.

  1. Live from the core
  2. As faith coaches, they are unpretentious, trusting and trustworthy. They are forgiving, caring, and authentic. These core values are demonstrated, in action, with adults and children.

  3. Live in the middle of YES
  4. Effective Faith shaping parents demonstrate a positive outlook on life. They ooze with hope and while others whine and complain, faith coaches perpetuate a climate of YES.

  5. Live to make God proud
  6. Faith shapers keep a balanced perspective. They have learned how to walk humbly. They work and play and laugh and cry and in every experience of life they live so that God looks good.

  7. Live to listen
  8. Faith coaches know how to listen, to understand, and to learn. They are careful to listen for the hidden, to listen for the pain and fear. They hear God’s voice despite persistent distraction.

  9. Live beyond the lectures
  10. These parents have an on-going bias toward action. Once they accepted their role in God’s story, they know to trust HIM with the plot. They live adventurously embedded mystery. Each risk is a new chapter in God’s ongoing story of life.

Forget about the past…start now. Remember God is in the transformation business. He will mark your way, if you will let him. As God shapes you, you shape your kiddos.

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Category: NextGen Faith

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