by Adam Kronberger / Head of School
One of the key foundations of discipleship training is the development of faith ownership. Key relationships in a person’s life are often an initial factor in someone's declaration of faith. This is often a part of God’s plan as parents pass on their faith to their children, or as friends share their salvation with loved ones. But as the parable of the sower explains (Matthew 13), receiving the Word initially with joy is short-lived without developing long-lasting roots.
The process of developing a personal authentic faith is based upon convictions. Convictions are the core of true belief, and they determine worldview and actions. But we know that not all convictions are equal. I hold a conviction that the Diet Coke from McDonald’s is better than Diet Coke from a can. Now while I may be able to back this up with research, the consequences of this conviction on my life are minimal. Perhaps you know of someone who holds the conviction that the world is flat. They may be able to provide their own research as well, and hopefully, the consequences from that conviction are also minimal.
Other convictions carry much more significant weight. And our children are developing convictions at an accelerating rate. Even demonstrations of apathy quickly develop into habits and convictions surrounding purpose and value. While a true authentic faith is no longer dependent on the faith or support of others, the development of the convictions of such an authentic faith still remains in our hands. As parents and educators and disciplers, we need to daily facilitate constant reflection and development of personal core beliefs founded on God’s truths. It is the application of these truths in reality, and the resulting relevant questions, that can develop a personal ownership of faith.
Jesus remarks, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18-19). It is our responsibility to contribute to a home, a school, and a church that is constantly and clearly juxtaposing the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world. If we choose to relinquish this responsibility to the world, the consequences will far exceed falling off a flat earth, or sipping on a flat Diet Coke.