‘Only half our children will choose Jesus’: how would you respond?

19 July 2021

Following on from the letter from 12-year-old Alex, a loving father now addresses his church. Could this be a parent at your church? How would you respond to him? Let us know your thoughts below.

To the church leader,

A letter from a loving father:

I appeal to you to listen. Only half of our children will choose to follow the Lord. I’m sure you deeply love and care for all those in our congregation, and you want them to follow the Lord, but when it comes to our children is our church asleep?

Please listen. The vast majority of those who come to faith, do so before the age of 18. In our great commission to make disciples who make disciples, have we lost focus on those in our own house who are most responsive to the gospel of Jesus Christ? The average age for responding to Christ is said to be 12, and yet many are leaving the church by age 14.

Please hear this. Parents need support. Children need wise leaders. An hour on a Sunday as we come out of lock down, will not be enough. Parents have the biggest influence on the faith of their sons and daughters, followed by church leaders, Christian friends, youth leaders and teachers. Can we help?

Is our church investing strategically in the next generation? The social attitudes surveys show that in each successive generation the church in the UK is cut in half. As in the time of the judges, is a generation growing up knowing neither the Lord, nor his ways. Does the proportion of our investment of time and money, match up to the proportion of children in our community, or even in our own church? Have we done that calculation?

I appeal to you to listen and consider. Those who share hope, say that parents supported by churches, and even supported by schools, can disciple children, and lead them to a living faith in Christ. Will our church be a source of such hope?

I am grateful for your time to listen to the appeals of a loving father.


  • How would you respond?

  • Please share your response to this letter. We may anonymously quote from your reply in a future article.


If you are involved in education and teaching, please look at our excellent online teachers and educators conference with Canon J John, from 29 October to 30 October. Book your place today!

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