Do you know what’s influencing your children?

May 11, 2020

For better and for worse, Joash was a man who was easily influenced.

After being made king of Judah at just 7 years old, Joash led his people to turn away from idol worship and to re-establish correct worship of the Lord, all thanks to the influence of a priest named Jehoiada. Indeed, King Joash “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest” (2 Chronicles 24:2).

Unfortunately, this good influence didn’t last. After Jehoiada passed away, princes of Judah came and encouraged Joash to restore idol worship. Joash listened to his new influencers and led Judah to serve the Asherim and other idols (2 Chronicles 24:17-18).

When I read the story of Joash, I think about the 50 or so children under my care.

Serving as a children’s pastor, I get a firsthand glimpse at the range of people seeking to influence this next generation. In addition to parents, friends, teachers and coaches, there’s a whole world of strangers seeking to influence people from afar.

Children, as well as adults, are regularly exposed to advertising, TV shows, movies, video games, social media and more that seek to influence them. It’s estimated that the average person in the United States sees thousands of advertisements each day. Combine that with regular amounts of mass media consumption and social media interaction, and it becomes clear that our children are inundated with potential influencers.

So, what can we do to help our children avoid the fate of Joash?

Parents should join their children in their digital worlds.
Many parents today take great care to keep up with their children and to know where they are at all times, as well they should. But parents need to be just as vigilant to keep up with their children in the digital world. After all, it’s easy for children today to fall prey to negative influences, even while sitting on the couch.

To guard against this, parents must take the time and effort to learn what their children are watching and with whom they are interacting. Parents must set clear limits on what is allowable and what is not.

In addition, children’s social media accounts should be open and accessible to parents. A product like Circle, which lets parents track and restrict all internet usage on their home network, could be a great help. Church leaders should encourage and equip parents to take an active role in their children’s digital lives.

Each of us should be a positive influence.
Titus 2 gives us a clear template for older church members positively influencing and discipling younger church members. These types of mentoring relationships are desperately needed today as children swim through a sea of competing influencers. Though parents should serve as the primary influencers of their children, the rest of the church has a wonderful opportunity to help parents by coming alongside them to help encourage their children.

Church members with no children at home should consider serving in their church’s children’s or youth ministry. Or they could make time, even if it’s just once a month, to be a positive influence in a child’s life. Imagine what a blessing this would be to children.

Let’s be the church family that drowns out unhealthy voices with life-giving truth and love.


by John Moore  /  Associate Pastor for Children  /  Sandy Ridge Baptist Church, Hickory, N.C.

Fisher retires after 36 years at Caldwell Association

Dale Fisher received quite the surprise on his 70th birthday. Not only did ministry colleagues serenade him with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” during the N.C. Associational Missions Conference in early April, they also recognized Fisher for his long tenure of service in leading...

The power of a name: God’s faithfulness in mental health

If I have learned one lesson this year, it’s that there is power in a name. When we give our struggle a name, we are able to better distinguish truth from lie and work toward healing. Naming opens the door to freedom and sheds light on truth that can feel uncomfortable, exposing...

Scholarship to cover tuition for new Fruitland students

New students now have an opportunity to attend Fruitland Baptist Bible College tuition-free this fall. Fruitland recently announced a new scholarship that will cover tuition costs for new, full-time students attending the Hendersonville campus during the fall 2022 quarter. The...

Un pastor de Charlotte planta una segunda iglesia después de pasar meses en el hospital

El otoño pasado Oscar Muñoz por fin regresó al hogar después de pasar ocho meses en un hospital y también en un centro de rehabilitación donde recuperó sus fuerzas luego de batallar con complicaciones por causa del COVID-19.Unas semanas más tarde, alrededor del Día de Acción de...

Ongoing prayers for the end of Roe

Nearly 50 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide through its decision in a case known as Roe v. Wade. Since that time, millions of Christians have been praying for the reversal of that decision, and now there are strong indications the high court is closer...

6 common questions about foster care

May is National Foster Care Month. Throughout the month, advocates raise awareness about the realities and needs of foster care, including answers to these six common questions. Here’s what you should know. Who are the children?Foster children can be any child in North Carolina,...

One year in: Remembering what God has done

It’s hard to believe it’s been one year since I started as your executive director-treasurer. At the same time, as I look back on all that God has done, it’s hard to believe it’s only been a year. He indeed can do far more than we ask or imagine.  A year ago, I presented a...

Top 5 resources for May 2022

Every few months, we spotlight five helpful resources for you as you seek to walk closely with the Lord and make disciples. Many of these resources are created by N.C. Baptist staff to help meet the ministry needs of leaders across the state.Check out this month’s roundup, which...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!