Forming Faith at Home: The Baton

Parents: Learn How Passing On Your Faith To Your Children Changes Everything

Dan Franklin
Jan 14, 2024    39m
Do you ever feel like you're failing at passing on your faith to your children? It's so hard to build family habits that keep Jesus at the center when life feels chaotic. In this sermon, learn practical, biblical wisdom for establishing 5 habits in your home that will make a lasting spiritual impact on your children. Discover how serving together, eating together, praying together, and empowering your kids' own faith journey leads to stronger intergenerational discipleship. Get tips for handing off the baton of faith from one generation to the next. Video recorded at Upland, California.

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Intro: [00:00:00] Hey there. Thanks so much for checking out one of our messages here at Life Bible Fellowship Church. And we know there are two great ways you can connect with us. You can visit our website at to learn more about all of our ministries and what we believe. And also, you can subscribe to us on YouTube to make sure that you don't miss one of our future videos.

Cameron: [00:00:20] Hello, my name is Cameron, I'm a member of EXIT83. Today I will be reading Second Timothy 2:2, "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others." This is God's word.

Dan Franklin: [00:00:41] Amen. You can grab a seat. So when we were living in Oregon, Karina and I knew some people who would be involved in something called Hood to Coast. Some of you, if you're runners, you might be aware of what Hood to Coast is, but in Oregon, it's a giant relay race that starts at the top of Mount Hood, where people do skiing and snowboarding and goes all the way to the Oregon coast. So it's about a 200-mile relay race. I'm not kidding, people do this on purpose, that's not why I'm telling this story. But we would have friends that would sign up for it. And so, you know, it's this giant relay race. and so I want you to imagine that you took a moment where you had a leave of your sanity, and you decided to sign up with one of the teams to voluntarily run, because maybe the waterboarding clinic was closed that week, and so this is how you were going to torment yourself. And so you're signing up for it. you're on your leg. Let's say you've got an eight-mile leg that you're going to run for your team before you hand the baton off to the next runner. And so you're into it and really, here's your goal, the whole time what you're thinking is my goal is just to run my leg well. I just want to be a good job. I just want to be faithful, and I just want to do a good job with what I'm doing, and then I'll hand off the baton, but I want to be faithful with my leg of this race. And so you're running and you're making it through, and you know, you're in miles three and four and starting to get into what I've hypothetically heard described as a runner's high. What is it? Yeah, a runner's high, that's mythical, that doesn't exist, I don't know. But you're into it, you know, you're getting to mile six, you finally get to mile seven. At this point, you've already got your phone out and made an appointment for some invasive psychotherapy to figure out what led you to do this. But that's going to be after, and you know that you're just a mile away. You're like, I'm a mile away from handing the baton off and you're getting excited about that. And as you're running, you look to your left and you see somebody that's keeping pace right with you. And so between breaths, you start a conversation, and you say, hey, we're on the final mile, we're almost there. And they say, yeah, I'm so excited, I'm really wanting to run my leg well, just for my part. And you say, I feel the same way, I'm so excited to finish strong on my leg. and then hand the baton off. So when we get there, my friend Julie, she's going to be the next runner, so I'm going to be handing the baton off to her. Who are you handing it off to? And they say, I don't know. And you say, well, you don't know. So you're not sure which team member is doing the next leg? And they say, well, no, I don't know who I'm handing it off to, I just kind of assume that once I finish my leg, there would be somebody waiting there. And you say, that's not how this works, you got to get a team together, you got to plan, you got to prepare, you have to have somebody there waiting for you, otherwise your leg is going to end and there will be no one to take the baton. And you suddenly see the look of horror on this person's face when they realize that they can be as faithful as possible in running their leg, but it will end with them because there's going to be nobody to carry on afterward.

Dan Franklin: [00:03:58] This morning we are going to talk about handing off the baton, which is something that all of us as believers are involved in, but we're going to talk about it in a more specific, narrow way. And so here, we'll get more into this, but when I'm talking about the whole concept of handing off the baton, here's the idea. Every Christian generation has the calling to hand the baton to the next Christian generation, and not just to assume that when we get done running our race, when we get done with our time, there will be somebody there waiting, but to actively prepare that the Gospel and the way of Jesus doesn't just end with us. Now. God is not going to let that happen, God is going to raise up people. But how strange if we are running our race and we just assume there's going to be somebody there to take this baton, our calling is to prepare for the next generation.

Dan Franklin: [00:05:00] In fact, you may have noticed we're going to talk about this specifically today related to parents handing the baton to children. And so I want to say something about that before we jump into our passage, and that's that for some of you, that is your phase of life right now. You're a parent who has kids in the home, or you're in the service and you're one of those kids in the home, you're very much a part of the family life right now. So, for you hearing about this, you may be thinking that this is where I live right now. Like, this is good, I want some help with this, I want some guidance with this, I want to know what God's Word has to say about this, this is where I'm living. And then there might be some of you that either you don't have kids, or your kids are grown and they're out of the house and you're in a different phase of life, and you might be thinking, well, do I have a part in this? Should I have slept in this morning? Like, what's going on? What I want you to see is the big picture, we are all involved with this handing off of the baton in the big picture. And even when it comes to handing off the baton to the next generation, even if you don't have kids or your kids are grown, you still have a part in this, and so I want you to wait and listen for that part that you have. But we are going to narrow it down and talk specifically about the unique calling for parents to hand the baton off to children.

Dan Franklin: [00:06:19] But you may have noticed when Cameron was reading the passage, the passage is not specifically about parenting. It's more broadly about this whole idea of the baton of the Gospel and the way of Jesus being handed. And if you look closely in Second Timothy chapter 2, verse 2, our one key verse for today, you'll notice it's one verse, but there are actually four spiritual generations in this verse. They may not be literal age generations, but there are four spiritual generations that exist in this short verse.

Dan Franklin: [00:06:54] The first one is the author of this letter, the Apostle Paul. He's writing to Timothy, his protege, his son in the faith. And so he says, starting at the beginning of verse 2, "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses." So Paul, as an apostle, was entrusted with the Gospel, with the word of God, with the way of Jesus. And he says to Timothy, Timothy, I want you to remember the things that you heard me say. Paul is spiritual, generation number one. Timothy is spiritual generation number two. So Timothy, the things you heard me say, Paul got the Gospel, but he knew it's not going to stop with me. I'm going to spread it to everybody who will listen, and one of those people was Timothy. And so Paul the apostle is writing to Timothy, the pastor now, reminding him of what he heard from him. The Gospel didn't stop with Paul, it passed on to Timothy, and Paul wants to make sure it doesn't end with Timothy either. So he gives him a command, and he says, "And the things you heard me say and the presence of many witnesses..." Here's the command, "...entrust to reliable people." That's spiritual generation number three. Paul got it from Jesus, and he passes it along to Timothy, and now Timothy is called to pass it along to reliable, literally in the Greek, trustworthy or faithful people. Timothy is not just somebody who's received the Gospel, he is meant to pass it on. And it doesn't even stop with the reliable people because look at how it ends. "Entrust to reliable people who will be qualified to teach others.", generation number four. And you can kind of imply and what Paul is doing here, what's going to happen after generation number four? They're going to keep passing it on. They're going to keep passing it on. It's going to go from generation to generation, spiritual generation to spiritual generation, numerical generation to numerical generation. It's going to keep getting passed on.

Dan Franklin: [00:09:03] This is the calling of every Christian generation. And again, we want to zero in on the fact that we're all going to be a part of this, passing it on. But there is no more strategic way of making sure the Gospel and the way of Jesus gets passed on to the next generation than through parents, to children. Sometimes we do programs here at this church where we're like, all right, we're going to have a discipleship class and we'll see who signs up, or we're going to have different ministry programs and we'll see who comes to them. But with parents and children, God just takes human beings and puts them in a home with other human beings, and there's the opportunity to lead them toward Jesus. There's no more strategic way to pass the Gospel along to the next generation than from parents to children.

Dan Franklin: [00:09:56] And so here's what we're going to do today. first of all, we're going to ask two questions that are going to help us understand what this looks like in a parent-to-child relationship. And those two questions are here. Question number one is, what is it that we're passing on? And question number two is, how do we do this? This is going to apply generally but specifically within the family life. And then what we're going to do is we are going to talk about a specific way that we are attempting to make this a part of our church culture, to make it just normal and unexceptional, that families are placing Jesus right at the center of family life. We don't want the families doing that to be the standouts, we want them to be the norm. So we're going to walk through a specific way that we're attempting to do that.

Dan Franklin: [00:10:50] But first, let's just take on this first question. We're talking about the baton, we're talking about passing it on, what exactly are we passing on? and I'm going to answer this in three ways. First and foremost, what we are passing on is always the Gospel. If you're a parent, are you going to have rules for your kids? Yes. All right, you guys are like we're afraid. This is not a trick, of course you are, and of course you're going to have rules for your kids. That is not the main thing that you are passing on, you don't have a bunch of kids so you can just teach them a bunch of rules for life. And in the same way, just for us as a church community, I really hope that the main thing that you experience when you come on Sundays is not, well, I go there and they tell me the rules. We come together and we celebrate the good news of Jesus.

Dan Franklin: [00:11:46] And in First Corinthians 15, Paul really lays this out in just a really straightforward way. He says, "For what I received, I passed on to you as of first importance." I love that it's the baton. Again, I pass this on to you, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, that he was buried, which means he wasn't faking it, he was really dead, he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, and he appeared to Cephas, that's Peter, and then to the 12. Jesus came, and he died as a sacrifice for our sins to bring us forgiveness. It wasn't fake, he was really dead, he was put in a tomb. God raised him from the dead so that the gates of eternal life could be sprung open for everyone who believes in him. And then, in case we're not sure this happened, God left eyewitnesses because for 40 days Jesus appeared to people before he ascended, but after he was resurrected. This is the message, the Gospel message is not to do this for God, the Gospel message is, through Jesus, this is what God has done for us.

Dan Franklin: [00:13:00] Paul goes further in this in Second Corinthians chapter 5 when he says, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their sins against them. That is what we've received, that in Christ, in his life and in his death and in his resurrection. God was in him reconciling the world to himself and not counting our sins against us, bringing us forgiveness, and adopting us into the family of God. This is what is entrusted to us, and any time we're talking to anybody about Jesus, this is what we're passing on. We're not passing on live exactly this way, do this, don't do that, vote like this, that's not at the center of what we're passing along. We're passing along the good news, not of what we do, but of what God has done.

Dan Franklin: [00:13:54] And with your kids, the main thing you're passing along, I mean, think about this, kids are not blank slates to be molded, they are sinners who need to be saved just like the rest of us. And if you don't think that kids are sinners who need to be saved, I think one of two things is true of you. The number one option is you don't have kids. You don't have kids, so you're like, no, kids are great. Kids are great, kids are sinners who need to be saved. They're not just corrupted by society; we're corrupted by original sin. And the second option of why you might not buy the idea that the kids are sinners who need to be saved is if you have some kind of ideology that just doesn't allow you to see the very plain reality that just like the rest of us kids are sinners who need to be saved; they don't need to be taught to sin, they just sin like the rest of us. And your message to them, whether you're teaching them, whether you're correcting them, whether you're disciplining them, is not on the one hand, to just have them crushed under your preferences. And it's also not, on the other hand, to just always be telling them about how amazing they are. It's to help them understand the reality that they are a sinner who is deeply loved by God and can be saved through what Jesus has done. We pass along the Gospel.

Dan Franklin: [00:15:26] But as we pass along the Gospel, we also pass along a biblical framework for life. I mean, the whole idea of passing the baton is not just, well, we'll make sure that you believe in Jesus, and then the rest you'll just sort of figure out. Once we're following Jesus, the world looks differently, and it actually makes sense. And so we want to pass along to the next generation, in a high-speed internet culture, that God frequently makes us wait, and that the greatest rewards that God gives are when we're patient with his timing. We want to pass along to the next generation, in a world where we're all fragile towards any kind of suffering, that God builds perseverance through trials. And that trials don't signify that God is absent, but that he's actively working on us. We want to pass along a biblical framework that that tells the next generation that they are created in an act of love by a very creative God, and that who they are is meant to be about something bigger than them, some bigger purpose. We do a disservice to people today by saying, decide what your purpose is, that's not how it works. God has given you a purpose, and even passing along to the next generation, that part of how you live out that purpose is that he's uniquely made you male or female. We are passing along the Gospel and a biblical framework.

Dan Franklin: [00:16:59] And then I also want to throw this in, we're passing along just wise and godly practices. We're saying to the next generation, all right, this may not be an exact rule in the Bible, but here's wisdom that I've learned that's helped me look to walk with Jesus. So I'll give you a quick example of this because as our sons have got older, it's become appropriate to talk a little bit about sort of how you date wisely and how you protect your purity and those sorts of things. And so one of the things that we pass along, that we just told them about, is when Karina and I were dating and then engaged. I was out of college, out during this time, and she was still finishing up. So I was living in an apartment, she was still living in the dorms, and we made sure we had a wise and godly practice that we said, we will never be in my apartment alone. We will never do that. We're saving sex for marriage. We're not going to do that. We're not going to go into that apartment and just think, oh, we'll use self-control. We were like, no way, no how, we're staying out of that place. I had five roommates, so it usually wasn't a problem, but there were a couple of times that we got back, and we were like, we're not going in. We've passed this along to our sons to say this was a wise and godly practice. And by the way, my sons love hearing about how we didn't want to keep our hands off each other, they just love those conversations. But we're like, you wouldn't be here otherwise, so just be glad that that exists.

Dan Franklin: [00:18:22] But man, if there's been some way that's helped you in your prayer life, that's helped you to be diligent at work, if there's something like that, don't keep that to yourself, pass that along. Your kid might not practice it in exactly the same way, but why hold out on them? We pass along the Gospel and a biblical framework for life, and we pass along wise and godly practices that have helped us, that's the baton.

Dan Franklin: [00:18:49] Now, how do we pass this along? Now we pass this along, as I've said, every person is involved. In Psalm 145, verses 3 and 4 say, "One generation will declare your praises to the next." So if you don't have kids, and if you're not involved in any sort of kid-centric activities, you are still a part of this. But again, there is no more wise and strategic way to pass along what we're looking to pass along to the next generation than by focusing on how we do it within the family unit. And Scripture leads us to this conclusion. All the way back in Deuteronomy famous passage from Moses to the people of Israel as they're getting established as a nation, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. a 5Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts." And listen to what comes next, "Impress them on your children." Do you know what he doesn't say? He doesn't say, don't worry about it, the priest will handle it. To every parent, he says, "Impress them on your children." There's a community, we'll talk about this, there's a community, but it's your job primarily. And when he's talking about the commands, he's not just talking about do's and don'ts, he's talking about the calling to love God in response to his love for us. So he says, "Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." He says, make your whole household centered on God, put God at the center of your household, and make sure to pass the baton to your children. And there are things, if you read the Old Testament, there were specific things set up in Israel that were set up specifically so that kids would look at them or experience them and say, mom, dad, why do we do that? Why is that there? Why is that rock there? Why is all this happening? So that the parents could say it's because of what God has done.

Dan Franklin: [00:21:10] And this isn't just an Old Testament idea, because Paul in Ephesians 6:4 says, fathers, which I think applies to mothers as well, but he's targeting fathers as the benevolent head of the household, "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord, of the Lord Jesus." He's not just saying teach them rules, he's saying, bring them up with Jesus at the center of the household. And if we're going to live this out, this is going to be formal and informal. This is going to mean we're going to have formal practices, like being involved in the life of the church so that they can hear the word on Sundays and the services and in LIFEkids, and in EXIT83 so that they can be involved in God's Word being taught and being discipled. But man, it also involves every conversation that we have when we're out on a hike in the creation. Every conversation that happens when there's discipline and correction. The conversations that happen after the death of a family member. That in everything that happens, we're directing them to Jesus. We're not just saying Jesus lives at the church, and when we're there, we talk about him. But in every facet of life that we're looking to make Jesus the center of our homes.

Dan Franklin: [00:22:36] And so here's what I want to do now. And this relates to that little brochure, that little booklet that was on your seats coming in. By the way, I apologize if you thought seats were being saved by those things. We all made it, but some of you were like, I can't sit there. We're like, no, those are supposed to be there. These outline five habits that we are encouraging every family to practice. And here's the heart behind this, the heart behind this is that it would just be normal for Jesus to be at the center of our family life. And these five habits, before I put them up here, I want to tell you, these five habits did not come from the wisdom of your pastoral leaders. These five habits came from a research group that tracked with kids who grew up in Christian homes, some who abandoned faith in Jesus, and some who really stuck with Jesus. And they basically said, all right, there's no formulaic answer here, but there are certain habits that seem to be present that have led to a much higher percentage of kids sticking with Jesus. And so when we outline these five habits, we're not saying, do these five things and you have a guarantee, but we're saying these are things that move the needle, these are things that make a real difference. And so I'm going to put them up here on the screen again, again, they're also in that booklet that you have. And I'll just walk them through briefly now.

Dan Franklin: [00:24:02] Number one, have 4 to 5 meals together a week as a family. And by the way, the 4 to 5 number, that's not some legalistic standard, that's just what the research showed. That the idea is it's not just every so often, but this is the norm, the norm is that you're having dinner as a family. Here's the other interesting thing about it, that there was no caveat about what you have to be doing at dinner. It wasn't like if you're having these meals together and you're reading the Bible, it's just the meals together. Just that alone makes a difference in the kids feeling a sense of belonging, and because you all know this, stuff comes up at dinner, and you get to talk about your day. And I'm saying dinner, it could be other meals, but for most of us, it's going to be that dinner time where you're talking about your day, you're asking kids questions. Sometimes you are breaking out the Bible. Sometimes you're praying over things. You're getting to have that family time together. They said, you know, it sounds simple, that moves the needle.

Dan Franklin: [00:25:04] Habit number two is serving together as a family. And this could be something as simple as signing up as a family for a community impact day. This could be like, if you're a greeter here on Sundays, that you bring your kids and you say, hey, before I drop you off at LIFEkids, you're going to greet with me. This could be for some of you in two weeks when we lay out our summer go teams that some of you look at the Rosarito trip and you say, hey, we can go to that one as a family, we're all going to go together. Formally or informally, serving together as a family, showing your kids that we're about something bigger than just us.

Dan Franklin: [00:25:39] Habit number three is having at least one spiritual experience in the home each week. And I love this because of how modest it is. Some of us feel like, well it's either all or nothing. Either I'm not doing anything, or every day we're having like two-hour-long devotionals. They're saying one spiritual experience per week. They're not saying don't shoot for more, but they're saying that that makes a difference. And so that could be around the dinner time that you just break open the Bible and you read it together. That could be a time of prayer. That could be, if you're musical, that could be you're breaking out the guitar or the piano and you're singing, or you're just putting on some Christian music and you're singing. Some way that you're saying, God doesn't just live at church, he is among us, and we're seeking him together. Just one spiritual experience in the home each week.

Dan Franklin: [00:25:39] Number four, empowering children to have a faith of their own, and this is specifically through giving them meaningful spiritual responsibilities. So maybe if you're having a family time and you're reading the Bible, they're involved in it, they're not just receiving, they're involved in it. Maybe that means they're serving, if they're teenagers, they're serving in LIFEkids, as many of our teenagers do, and serving in VBS, looking to pass the baton on to the generation after them.

Dan Franklin: [00:27:00] And finally, number five is developing mentoring relationships, specifically with an adult who is outside of the family. And when it says mentoring, it doesn't have to be formal. The idea is that these kids who stuck with Jesus had at least one adult in their lives who was guiding or encouraging them spiritually outside of the family. And just a quick thing to say to kind of brag on our church family, when we were going through, as many of you were, when we were going through the advent devotional during the advent season, there was one evening that we read the section, and the question afterward had to do with love. And the question was, tell about a person who has loved you unconditionally. All three of our sons, they named different people, but each of the three of them named a man in this church who either through LIFEkids, or through EXIT83, has had a deep effect on their lives. And Karina and I were just ready to rejoice that that is happening, that God has brought that into our son's lives. It doesn't have to be formal, but are there adults in their lives outside the family that are guiding and influencing them spiritually?

Dan Franklin: [00:28:21] Now, here's the deal. If you're in the family stage, you're probably looking at these five right now and you're sort of doing a quick rating system in your head where you're like, all right, habit one, we're at like a six out of ten. Habit two we're only at a two out of ten. You're trying to figure out where you're at. And I get that that, that's not crazy to react that way. But what we're going to do over the next five months is each month we are going to just focus on one of these habits. We're going to just say we're going to take them one by one, January, February, March, April, and May, one at a time. And each month there's going to be videos, there's going to be encouragement, there's going to be podcast episodes, there's going to be equipping in these areas so that we can zero in on them.

Dan Franklin: [00:29:05] So for January, I'm obviously laying this out, but I'm also encouraging us just to focus on that first habit, just that first one of eating 4 to 5 meals together as a family each week. And one of the things that we're going to do each month is we're going to be blessed by getting to see a video of one of the families who is a part of this church congregation, just simply looking to live that out. And so we're going to pause right now and get to see a video of a family that, with habit number one, is, in a simple way, just looking to live this out in their home.

The Harpers: [00:29:47] Eating dinner at the dinner table together really helps us to be intentional and really focus on slowing down and just being with our family. And it gives us time to go through the highs and lows and have our kids tell us what they're thankful for and just be off our phones and off the TV and just really be a family together. It makes it that unique, special family time. And your kids are going to remember those moments that they got to sit at the table and learn to pray, and pray over your meals, and just be present with your children. And it might be pizza, it might be to-go food, it doesn't matter what it is, it just getting that intentionality where you're able to pray together and just sit and be quiet and it's not quiet. As much as we'd like it to be quiet, our meals are never, ever, ever quiet, but they are fun. And they're the things that we'll look back on in years to come that our family meals were special.

The Harpers: [00:30:47] I'm thankful for our family dinners because, especially during my long days at work, I don't get to spend a lot of time with the kids, so it gives me time with the kids and my wife before bed, really, where we can converse, and I can see how their day was and they can ask how mine was. But it's nice to have a little bit of family time before the kids go to bed.

The Harpers: [00:31:05] Schedule it, put it on the calendar, and make sure that, you know, like Tuesdays is going to be our family dinner night. Even if you start with one day a week, put it on the calendar, schedule it, turn the phones off, turn the TV off, sit down and just enjoy the conversation with your kids. Enjoy the conversation with your spouse and whoever else is in your house. We have the kids pray for our meal. Weston, can I first say what I'm going to say? The kids pray for our meals, and the kids, we let them practice their skills, and then we go over what they're thankful for or what was good that day. It's really brought us closer together and just brought our spiritual walk closer. Learning what the kids learned in Sunday school or at Awana or different things, and what they bring to the table throughout the week just helps strengthen our relationship and helps us grow together as a family.

Dan Franklin: [00:32:13] Well, thank you to the Harpers for giving us just a taste into their home. And one of the things I love so much about that video is we can all look at that and we can all say, that was awesome, and that was also imperfect, right? I mean, that's literally messy, what we just saw right there, that's the way that this is going to be. And I think some of us have in our heads, sort of this serene idea of if it doesn't look like that, then it doesn't count. And this is us just chipping away at family culture in simple ways, but in ways that make a generational difference. And I'm so excited over the coming months just to see how this is being lived out and to see what it would look like if instead of it being the exceptional families that were doing these things, we said it's the standout families, it's sort of the Hall of Fame All-Stars who are doing these, that we looked at these and we just said, well, this is what we all do, imperfectly and incrementally, but this is just what's normal for us to do. I loved even what Abby said towards the end where she said, right now, if you're sort of like, we don't ever do this, don't try to skip to four, start with one. And if you're right now, like, well, I think we do it once, see if you can do two. Look to take ground in these areas so that Jesus can reign at the center of our homes in a way that makes a generational impact.

Dan Franklin: [00:33:44] And I also want to make sure I say this, if you are out of the phase where you have kids in the home, first of all, you may, I know some of you are very involved grandparents, and all of this is still going to be something that you have opportunities to. And if you're saying, all right, I'm not even really in that, like, we're not grandparents, we don't have kids. However, the whole thing works, I want you also to make sure to feast your eyes on number five. We want every kid who's a part of this church to have spiritual aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas who are pointing them toward Jesus so that these kids know it's not just mom and dad, it's a whole community of people. So maybe that's through EXIT83 as a volunteer, maybe that's through LIFEkids as a volunteer, or maybe that's just through your life group and looking at the other families and saying, how can I be specific to make connections with these kids so that they have more adults pointing them toward Jesus? Let's make this just a part of what we do, and let's just start with that first habit of seeing what would it look like, and what do we need to drop in order to make this more of a reality in our homes?

Dan Franklin: [00:35:01] Now, here's what I want to do as the last thing we'll do in our service. I'll explain it, but as I'm explaining it, if you're a member of the prayer ministry team, go ahead and come forward now and get prepared in your places. Because another thing that we're looking to just make normal is that at this church, we pray, and we pray when we're happy and when we're thankful, and we pray when we're burdened and overwhelmed, we just pray. So after this service, if you want your family prayed over, or if you want your marriage prayed over, or if you just want to share an answer for prayer and to pray in response, the prayer ministry team is here for you in that.

Dan Franklin: [00:35:37] But what I want to do is now have this recognition, as I've said, we're all in on this handing off of the baton, but there are people who are on the front lines of this right now, and those are the parents and kids that are just living this out on an everyday basis. And so we are going to pray specifically for those who are experiencing that phase of life right now. So instead of just praying for you, I'm going to actually ask you to stand. If you are a parent who has kids in the home right now, or if you are one of those kids in the home right now, I'm sorry, that was confusing. Go ahead and stand if you are either a parent with kids in the home right now, or if you are one of those kids in the home right now, and I want you just to look around. We have a lot of people on the front line of passing this baton of the Gospel. We are all a part of it, but we want to pray in particular for those that God has entrusted with being on the front end of making sure this gospel baton gets passed. So join me in prayer right now.

Dan Franklin: [00:36:45] Father, thank you so much that you have not left us in darkness. And when you sent your Son, you didn't just send him with a list of rules, you sent your Son as our Savior to bring light into darkness and to bring hope where we would be lost. Father, we are all sinners who need to be saved; thank you for bringing us salvation in Jesus. And Father, we pray that you spread that message near and far. I pray in particular for the parents who are standing right now and, Father, I pray for moms and dads that you give them unity and love for each other, I pray that you give them creativity and endurance, I pray that you give them courage and not just to look to be their kid's friends, but to really look to be their parents. And Father, I pray for every young person standing right now. I pray that they would have a faith in you that they will own. That while right now it might feel like sort of the faith of their parents, that it will be a faith in you that is all their own, that they know you, that they can testify about you, and that they have the joy of walking with you, knowing that you don't just love their family, but that you love them. Father, raise them up to be reliable men and women who will be able to teach others also. And Father, I pray that you foster in our church family that it would just be normal for us to live this out. Father, I pray that you use just a sense of positive social norms so that we will walk in these habits looking to point our kids to Jesus and all that we do. I pray this in the name of our Savior, Jesus. Amen. Amen.

Dan Franklin: [00:38:42] If you want prayer, the Prayer Ministry team is here for you. God bless you and thank you so much for being here on this Sunday.

Recorded in Upland, California.
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Life Bible Fellowship Church
2426 N Euclid Ave
Upland, California 91786
(909) 981-4848