Any management group that was satisfied with this scenario would be fired forthwith. I personally think church leaders should be asking themselves hard questions about their effectiveness in light of the horrible statistics of young people who reject God after growing up in the church.

But what we can say for sure is this—church-based discipleship is not working for America’s young people.

The emphasis of Scripture is on parents teaching their children to love God Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Ephesians 6:4). It is a delicate balance, but the vision needs to be a nurturing family that launches young men and women into the world for service to the Lord.

The Great Commission does not merely call for evangelism. In fact, evangelism is only implied, not directly commanded. It calls for making disciples. Disciple your children. Send them into the world to engage in spiritual combat in service of the King of Kings.


1 The Barna Update, 24 September 2003.

2 The Barna Update, 12 February 2002.

Courtesy HSLDA. Used with permission.

Since founding HSLDA in 1983, Michael Farris has used his extensive experience in both politics and appellate litigation to defend parental rights and help grow the organization to over 80,000 member families. He is also the founding president and current Chancellor of Patrick Henry College, a Christian institution with the mission of training students through a classical liberal arts curriculum and apprenticeship methodology to impact the world “for Christ and for Liberty.”

Farris has written over a dozen books, including three novels, a constitutional law textbook, and works on marriage, parenting, homeschooling, political advocacy, and religious liberty. His daily radio program, Home School Heartbeat, airs on several hundred stations nationwide.

In recognition of his work in home education, Education Week has named Farris one of the “Top 100 Faces in Education of the 20th Century.” Heritage Foundation awarded him its Salvatori Award for American Citizenship in 2002.

Mike and Vickie Farris live in Purcellville, Virginia, and have 10 children and 10 grandchildren.

Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Through annual memberships, HSLDA is tens of thousands of families united in service together, providing a strong voice when and where needed.

Publication date: July 13, 2012