It’s interesting to reflect back and think about the people who have helped shape the Christian faith I have today. There have been a handful of people who have modelled to me what it means to follow Jesus: family friends, an elderly member of our church, a youth worker and my grandad. But the greatest influencers were my parents.
One of the most significant people in helping me make a decision to follow Jesus was my dad. We’ve all had different experiences with our dads. My dad was by no means perfect, but he was a great role model. He died when I was in my 20s and I still miss him.
Revealing faith naturally
I remember one time my dad tried to introduce a family Bible study each morning. He wanted us to explore the Christian faith as a family with a 30-minute study to start the day. The problem was, mornings were always a bit manic. There was the battle to get my brother and me up, homework to finish and lost school shoes. Ultimately, my brother and I had no desire to sit down and do a family Bible study together. I think his plan lasted about three days!
Family Bible studies will work for some families, but they didn’t work well for us. However, when we were out with my dad hiking, on a long drive or at the beach, he would often tell us Bible stories. That didn’t feel like a Bible study. It felt much more natural, as he shared with us what was important to him. By the stories he told and the life he led, my dad showed me that the Christian life was one of adventure. He showed me that following Jesus wasn’t boring and predictable but meant a life laden with potential, looking for what God was up to and joining in.
Teaching my own daughters today
I now have two daughters, seven and nine years old, and I want them to discover the great adventure that I have found in following Jesus. Over the last few years, I have chosen not to do sit-down Bible studies but, instead, to take my kids on mini adventures – building dams, making kites and hiding in the woods. It’s as we have these adventures that I have begun to share with my own kids some of my favourite Bible stories and ultimately share about why I am a Christian today.
As my kids get older, they will have to make their own decision about whether or not to follow Jesus. But I have found it important, while they are young, to work with their natural curiosity about God; to make talking about God something that we do naturally in the everyday.
My new book, 52 Faith Adventures for Dads and Their Kids (Care for the Family) is a collection of adventures that I hope will help dads, as well as and other significant people in young people’s lives, to create some special moments with their children where they can share what they have learned about God.
To find out more about 52 Faith Adventures for Dads and Their Kids click here.
Andy Frost loves adventure – over the years he has run ultra-marathons, surfed big waves and wing walked at 12,000 feet. However, he believes the greatest adventure is following Jesus. He the director of Share Jesus International, a popular speaker and author of books including Raising Faith and Long Story Short. He also loves getting to work with Care for the Family on the Kitchen Table Project. Andy is married to Jo and they have two young adventurers, Eloise and Talitha.