How Will The Church Survive: A Call To Christian Parenting

Bible Book: 1 Samuel  3 : 1-10
Subject: Parenting; Church Life; Families; Home; Children

Current societal trends and recent statistical studies do not paint a pretty picture for the future of the church, especially in the U.S. and Europe. With each succeeding generation our society is becoming more and more unchurched and we must then assume, unsaved. In Europe, countries that were once bastions of the faith and missionary sending nations are now rapidly becoming more and more secular and godless. Surveys show a similar trend in our nations. For instance, the majority of the Builders generation (born before 1946) are churched. Less than a majority of Boomers (born between1946-1964) are churched. Among the Busters (born between 1965 and 1976) more than eighty percent are unchurched. Over ninety percent of the Bridgers (born between 1977 and 1994) are unchurched and for the Millenials (born after 1995) the picture does not look good for the future of the church.

So, does this mean the days of God’s church are numbered? Will our faith soon disappear from the landscape of history? Indeed, it will not! God will not allow his church to fall.

It is no coincidence that the increase in the number of unchurched has coincided with the downfall of the family in our society. Yet, I firmly believe that it is the family through which God will not only preserve the Church but through which He will ensure that His Church thrives and expands in the years ahead.

Let us be mindful that it was into such a secular, increasingly godless society into which the mighty prophet Samuel was born. His life and ministry stand as a powerful testimonies to God’s unyielding involvement in the course of human events and perseverance of His work on the earth. It was through godly parents that God began this great work in Samuel. May their example be one that leads Christian parents to continually consider the importance of their ministry as parents.

Why do I believe so strongly the church in America will survive? Because I believe the following five things will occur which we see mirrored in the first three chapters of First Samuel:

I. Children will be given to the Lord

So now I give him to the Lord. 1 Samuel 1:28

Samuel lived his entire life knowing that because of his parents’ love for the Lord and for him they committed their son to the Lord from the first day of his life. Today, even in a time when there are fewer visions and people are increasingly doing what is right in their own eyes, there remain Christian parents who are committing their children to the Lord. Indeed, the church will survive!

II. Children will learn to love the things of God

Samuel ministered before the Lord. 1 Samuel 3:1

Samuel had a unique perspective, living in the Tent of Meeting. He was continually surrounded by the things of God. He learned to love the things of God.

Important to note that church attendance is no sure guarantee of one’s child loving the things of God. For example, Eli had three sons who were corrupted by a love for priestly power and indulgence. Sending a child to church is no replacement for making one’s home a place where a child learns to love the things of God. Even in our day characterized by indulgence and secularism, there remain Christian parents who lead their children to love the things of God. The church will survive!

III. Children will be placed where God may be found

Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. 1 Samuel 3:3

The reason living in the Tabernacle had such an impact upon Samuel’s faith is that he lived and slept near the “ark of God”. That is, he was continually reminded not only of the things of God but also of the presence of God, represented by the Ark of Covenant.

Even in our day when it seems the Christian family is becoming more and more rare, there remain faithful parents who make their home a place where the presence of the Lord known through family prayer.

The church will survive because God is still working through Christian parents who regularly lead their children into His presence!

IV. Children will be taught how to listen to God

Speak for your servant is listening. 1 Samuel 3:10

Eli did not succeed in leading his own sons in the right direction. Yet, he lived and learned and was able to direct Samuel to listen for the voice of the Lord.

Christian families in which decisions are made based upon the Lord’s will allow children to grown up with the ability to listen for His voice in their own hearts. The church will survive because there will continue to be parents and grandparents who live out the example of listening to and following the Lord.

V. Children will grow into adults who speak the word of the Lord

The LORD was with Samuel … he let none of his words fall to the ground. 1 Samuel 3:19

The sign of a true prophet is that his prophecies come to pass and his words are proven honest and trustworthy. Samuel’s life was not filled with empty, meaningless dribble. The Lord grew him into a man who spoke the word of the Lord with power and confidence.

The church will survive because there are still Christian parents who follow through on their promises, who speak the truth in love and whose words are seasoned with scripture. These parents will raise children whose lives are filled with the same kind of speech. Even in our day in which people are bombarded with images, words and messages on every hand there will continue to be children who grow into adults speaking the word of the Lord.

Samuel became a mighty man of God chiefly because “the LORD was with Samuel.” Yet, let us not forget the life-long impact of godly parents who gave him to the Lord from the first day of his life. Let us learn also from the impact of an aging priest who atoned for his parenting failures by getting it right with his young student Samuel.


The church will survive because the church is the Lord’s. He will sustain it until his returns to claim it. One of the means by which He will sustain it is through the influence of godly parents, grandparents, surrogates, teachers, leaders, etc. Are you being the kind of influence God can use in the life of young people to preserve His church?