Here are a few highlights from an article in the August 31st Christian Standard. The article is entitled "Parents Matter" and can be read in it's entirety here.
"More than anyone—peers, teachers, youth ministers—the greatest single influence on a teen is his parents. That may shock some parents who feel like a discarded shoe when their children reach adolescence. Research proves parents have the greatest effect on their children’s choices, including their religious and spiritual practices."
"The alarming rate of teen church dropouts (61-88 percent depending on the research study) requires urgent attention. When young people leave the church, we lose the spiritual assets of fresh talent, spiritual gifts, and passion that the body of Christ needs to be complete."
"Fifty-one percent of teens in the study said they would like to talk more about religious matters with their parents. According to USA Weekend magazine, one in three teens say they rarely or never have a conversation with a parent that lasts longer than 15 minutes."
"LifeWay Research found that 57 percent of teens remain in church after age 17 when it is an established expectation. Teens need to hear that church attendance matters to their parents. Parents must also walk their talk. Parents who attend church regularly, and who genuinely like church and actively serve in church, are more likely to have teens who remain in church. Fathers actually have a greater impact on teens’ decision to stay in church after age 17."
Everything that I have read confirms the statements made in this article. Our ministry is based in large part on the concept that YOU are the primary influence in the lives of your children. One of the questions posed in another article recently posted on this blog, "Indoctrinated or Educated" is this..."Are there things we’re teaching kids in youth group that parents are undermining in the home?". Based on conversations that I personally have had with students about religious activity within the home, I'd say yes.