Wet cement — you’ve seen it. It’s in those few malleable moments when you can shape it or write your name in it …

And then, less than a day later, it is hard and set. No more writing initials unless you’re willing to use a hammer and chisel.

This is the metaphor I want you to keep in mind when you think about the development of a biblical worldview in a child:

Barna Research tells us that most people’s spiritual beliefs are irrevocably formed when they are pre-teens.

By their 13th year on earth, the cement has set, and their worldview won’t be changed unless something takes a jackhammer to it.

What does this mean for you and me as ministers of the Gospel? It demonstrates that we must help children and adults alike in our congregations and mission fields to choose Jesus and then put down roots in orthodox faith.

And this is not happening in much of America right now.

The Christian Post recently reported:

  • Only 36% of pre-teens believe Jesus is the only way to salvation.
  • Only 34% of their parents believe this.
  • Tragically only 54% of children’s pastors believe Jesus is the only way to salvation!
  • Only 21% of pre-teens believe there are absolute truths not dependent on feelings.
  • 28% of their parents believe there are absolute truths …
  • And only 36% of children’s pastors believe in absolute truth.
  • No wonder the same article went on to say only 2% of children aged 8 to 12 had a biblical worldview, and only 12% of children’s pastors had a biblical worldview!

These are horrifying statistics, but they go along with the sin-sickness of our culture that emphasizes individual feelings over the revealed truth of the Scriptures. But we cannot let our children fall prey to this soul-killing idea.

  • Some 72% of adult evangelicals say they made the decision to follow Jesus before age 18 — 43% say they came to Christ before age 12.
  • Less than 25% of today’s believers made that decision after age 18.

The cement had already set.

Adults do come to faith in Christ. There is that hammer and chisel that is the Holy Spirit that chips away at them and shapes them into the followers of Jesus they were intended to be. But it’s far easier and more effective to shape the malleable minds of children with the truth of the Gospel.

You can’t do it alone; parents and families make the greatest impact on young minds, but there are steps you can take to make the first and longest-lasting impression when building a biblical worldview in children:
  1. If you don’t have a children’s ministry, Sunday school program, or evangelism outreach, start one. Children don’t give an offering or support an agenda, but they are precious in God’s sight and are the Church’s future, and we must train them up in the way they should go.
  2. If you do have a children’s ministry, make sure the workers and children’s pastor have a biblical worldview. They must believe and teach that they are created in God’s image — that there is a heaven to win and a hell to shun — that all have sinned but all can be saved from sin through the sacrifice of Jesus, who is the only way to salvation.
  3. Educate adults and families in the basics of a biblical worldview and communicate to them how important it is to build these basics into their children. Consider devoting a sermon series or small group study to the topic of a biblical worldview, what it is, and how to communicate it to children. Equipping parents is the best way to ensure it is received.

I hope this information is helpful in inspiring you to empower children and families in your church or mission field to grow in God, develop a faith in Christ that will stand the test of time, and reach others for Him.

You can also access the City Harvest Network website for more encouragement and upcoming ministry opportunities.

I pray the research and analysis I present in these Cultural Clarity Reports is valuable as you seek the direction of the Holy Spirit, minister, and teach those around you. Thank you for being a partner, and God bless you!

Yours for the Harvest,

Dr. Rod Parsley

Founder & General Overseer