I was recently intrigued when I had the opportunity to interview Terence Chatmon. Terence Chatmon is the Chief Executive Officer of Victorious Family and is a leading voice in crisis management and transformational leadership for more than 30 years. He’s also the author of Do Your Children Believe?: Becoming Intentional About Your Family’s Faith and Spiritual Legacy. Chatmon believes that the current COVID crisis has revealed the true state of the family.
Do Your Children Believe
Y’all know that I am a parent of three amazing kiddos. I’ve told them, many times, that my ultimate goal in parenting is to see them become fully devoted followers of Christ. In addition to caring deeply about whether or not my own children believe, I serve as part of a Family Life Ministry Team in our local church. Well before the COVID crisis began, our lead Pastor started imploring us to “Focus on families with children in the home.” Given that our team had been processing and responding to the call to focus on families with children in the home, I took advantage of the opportunity to interview Mr. Chatmon. For what it’s worth, I rarely interview book authors for my site. It’s just not something I’ve ever really done.
From the publisher, Thomas Nelson: “As parents, we all want our children to enjoy a vibrant relationship with Christ. But how many of us ever attach this hope to a concrete discipleship plan? In this practical study of intergenerational faith, Chatmon offers step-by-step guidance for how to lay a spiritual “track” in front of the fast-moving train of family life.”
Interview with Terence Chatmon
I should clarify that my interview with Terence Chatmon was by email. Since I recently failed a hearing test , I avoid talking on the phone whenever possible. I emailed my questions, and the responses follow:
According to the Do Your Children Believe website, you’ve served in leadership roles with several Fortune 50 companies, but felt you were failing to become the spiritual leader of your home. What led you to believe you were failing to act as the spiritual leader for your family?
I had abdicated the responsibility to the local church and my spouse.
What changes, or fruit, did you see in the lives of your own family through implementing the strategies you discuss in Do Your Children Believe?
- Family unity
- Strong spiritual foundation
- Strong biblical worldview
- Deeper relationship with the Lord
- Reprioritization of non-negotiables
- Stronger and healthier family
- Children dedicated to the Lord
- Ministry work and involvement
- Strong marriages
How might the implementation of these strategies look different for a single parent versus a two-parent household? Or in a two-parent household where only one parent is a believer?
The core principles of our teaching don’t change regardless of the authority structure.
The key is that the person (s) in authority of the children be equipped and responsible.
In regards to a two-parent household where only one parent is a believer, it is no doubt a challenge but even increases the need for a strong spiritual foundation. We are to teach our children about intercessory prayer. we are to pray without ceasing. We have seen marriages be reconciled. We have seen marriages struggle. All parents desire to see their children have a better life than them. Kids need a spiritual foundation of faith.
The implementation of the process looks different if the non-believing parents decides to not participate in the discussions and family plan process. The conversation has a different starting point but the destination is still the same.
Aside from recommending Do Your Children Believe to parents, how can the church effectively partner with parents to ensure that they are developing a spiritual legacy for their children that will survive the test of time?
Churches are to make mature and equipped followers of Christ.
I am advocating that the process be home centered and church supported verses church centered and home supported.
What if the healthiest families came from the church?
A church can encourage and train every parent to have an intentional plan for raising kids in the Lord. That is our parenting mandate. Ephesians 6:4 Deut 6, 7 etc.
If the home and church does not take their rightful position in our society the home will turn to the worlds influences.
No nation can rise beyond its spiritual condition! We have no option but to rise up NOW.
First, and foremost, when I read Mr. Chatmon’s response of, “I am advocating that the process be home centered and church supported verses church centered and home supported” I was like, YES! YES! YES!
The fact of the matter is, the children’s pastor or youth pastor only has your child for 1-3 hours per week — before COVID. Our hope, as ministry leaders, is to come along side parents and support them in their role as spiritual guides for their children. We want to help parents develop their family discipleship plan.
As for the book? On page 35, he writes, “When we become truly serious about doing something different in regard to the spiritual discipleship of our children, we need to flip the switch to a new kind of planning, and we need to do it now.” I cannot agree more. We plan for vacations. Most people also plan for retirement. We absolutely should have a plan for the spiritual development of our families.
This book affirms that challenging and insightful. It affirms that family discipleship is practical, possible, and preferred to leaving it up to chance. I firmly believe this book would make a great gift for any parent, and at just $3.99, on christianbook.com, you could get a stack to keep in your “gift tote” so you have one available whenever a gifting opportunity presents. I also think this book can be utilized by churches, when budget allows, to equip and empower parents to become the spiritual leaders in their own families.
What We’re Changing
I’ll be the first to say, we don’t have it all fleshed out yet. I don’t know what our discipleship plan is for 2021 yet. But, in addition to teaching faith, one of the things our family has done is to add worship into our mornings more frequently. The kids each get to pick a worship song, and we worship together as a family. We were already doing family devotions together, so adding in worship was a natural thing to do.
Beck to School
Speaking of planning… It’s Back to (Home) School time!!
More and more families are joining the ranks of homeschoolers this year. With all of the uncertainty surrounding what public school will look like this fall, many parents are adding the role of educator to their list of parental duties. Why not include an intentional faith plan?
One of the scary and overwhelming things about making the leap into homeschooling is the financial aspect of it, especially if you are Homeschooling Multiple Grades or if you are Homeschooling the Uncooperative Child.
Curriculum can be expensive (although it doesn’t have to be) and one of the parents might have to quit their job or cut their hours to help make homeschooling a reality for their family. While working and homeschooling or being a one-income family is totally doable, it does require some sacrifice and sometimes that means tightening the budget.
A Christianbook.com Giveaway
I’ve teamed up with a great group of homeschool bloggers that would like to bless a few homeschool families this year and help lighten the financial load, even if it’s just a little. We wish we could bless more, but we will be able to give THREE families $200 to spend at Christianbook.com to buy curriculum, resources, and supplies for their homeschools.
To enter for your chance to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Now I know this is quite a few entries, but each of these bloggers has generously chipped in their own money to make this giveaway possible, so I hope you will take the time to do all of the entries. And hey, the more entries you do, the better your odds are of winning!
The Fine Print (the giveaway has ended. Winner will be announced soon)
Giveaway ends August 14, 2020 at 11:59pm ET. Must be at least 18 years of age. Must be a resident of U.S. or Canada to enter. Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn. By entering this giveaway, you agree to be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers (see the Terms & Conditions on the Rafflecopter form for the complete list).