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An article by Jeremiah C. Johnson

As a church leader and traveling prophetic minister over the last 15 years, one of the most heartbreaking conversations to have with so many distraught Christian parents right now is the familiar one where they can't figure out why their kids aren't serving God after they raised them in church for 18 years.

I have wept down in altars and felt the burden of God concerning this issue with thousands of parents along my journey of planting churches and ministering at conferences and events around the USA and world.

One night after preaching at a church service and crying out with a particular set of parents, I got down on my knees in my hotel room later that night and asked God for revelation concerning this crisis in the Church. I went to bed and God woke me up at 3:33 am and said, "Satan is not afraid of anyone who lives IN CHURCH, but he is terrified of those who have learned how to live IN CHRIST!" The voice of God specifically distinguished between "in church" and "in Christ".

As I sat in that hotel room after hearing the voice of God, great sadness swept over my soul. I realized in that moment what a great deception had swept over the body of Christ. Parents have fallen into the trap of dropping their kids off at youth group and kids church hoping the teacher would invest in their students at the expense of them having to actually disciple their own children in Christ while they were at home.

Like a twisted Hannah syndrome, parents are dedicating their kids to the Lord with the expectation that someone in the church (Eli) will do the discipling for them when this mindset is full of deception. I'm all for church attendance, but I'm convinced the vehicle God created (the church) for people to actually encounter Jesus Christ and be discipled in Him has become a social club that entertains and caters to the flesh. Videos games, ted talks, and pizza have replaced radical encounters with the Holy Spirit and fire in too many youth groups and Sunday schools.

All of us Christian parents have to ask ourselves, “Are we/did we raise our kids ‘ in church’ and just expect them to magically serve God the rest of their lives because they heard good teaching in Sunday school/youth group OR are we actually teaching them how to live "in Christ" through discipleship and living by example in our own homes?”

I’m convinced that the awakening and revival that so many are longing for is actually going to begin in their living rooms and at dining room tables with healthy marriage, family, and sacrificial parenting.”


Friends, let's be committed and wholehearted in raising our children to know Jesus. As much as we love our Sunday School teachers, once a week Bible lesson is not enough. Pray without ceasing, lay hands over them, speak life. Raise them every day IN CHRIST, not just once a week IN CHURCH.

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