Spiritual habits. It’s not exactly an exciting phrase. Many of us aren’t even sure what spiritual habits really are—let alone how to teach them to our kids and students. In today’s show, we’ll break down the idea of spiritual habits and explore ways we as leaders can help kids and students incorporate four faith skills into their everyday lives.
First, we’ll hear from Adam Duckworth, as he explains how relationships are a key factor in developing spiritual habits. Then we’ll hear a great interview with Stuart Hall and Brooklyn Lindsey, discussing four specific faith skills and how parents and ministry leaders can make them a regular part of their homes and churches.
Welcome to Episode 17 of the Think Orange Podcast.
Dave and Ashley introduce the idea of spiritual habits (2:18)
Today’s podcast sponsor: Orange curriculums (4:45)
Ashley and Dave introduce today’s guests (6:41)
Adam Duckworth shares how he got started in ministry (8:13)
Kids need consistent leaders and adults in their lives to help them implement spiritual habits (10:07)
The world of kids today (11:30)
God leverages community so He can reveal Himself to us (12:41)
If you think about your own spiritual journey, there was someone who impacted your pursuit of spiritual habits (13:25)
What if the best way for a kid or teenager to know God is to know people who know God? (15:13)
The way you love and accept a child tells them something about who God is (19:17)
If you want to help a kid or student know God better, get to know them better (20:25)
Beginning of Brooklyn Lindsey’s interview with Stuart Hall (21:36)
Spiritual habits begin defining authentic faith (25:18)
How you love yourself shapes how you view the importance of spiritual habits (26:19)
Four spiritual habits leaders should be helping students develop (30:44)
- HEAR from God (33:29)
- PRAY to God (37:12)
- TALK about God (42:02)
- LIVE for God (47:05)
Healthy spiritual habits start with trusting Jesus (31:36)
Helping kids and students establish spiritual habits isn’t about telling them to do it and walking away—it’s sticking with them in the process (34:47)
Habits are learned through observation (39:31)
Expressing doubt is a key part of being able to talk about God (42:10)
Serving helps kids and students feel like they belong (47:18)
How we can begin developing spiritual habits in kids when they’re young (50:22)
Where to start in teaching spiritual habits (53:14)
Many students choose not to read the Bible because they view it as an old book and as “anti-me” (55:32)
How we can enlist parents to help their kids develop spiritual habits (57:13)
Every parent cares about the well-being of their child, and as church leaders, we believe the most important thing about a child is their relationship with God (58:45)
Kids need more than one adult invested in their spiritual development (1:02:40)
Ashley and Dave’s final thoughts (1:04:45)
People, Places & Helpful Resources
Brooklyn recently founded The Justice Movement, a church youth movement that helps teenagers help others. Her priority is to inspire and resource youth to break cycles of poverty through faith in action. An ordained pastor, Brooklyn has served in full-time youth ministry for the last 16 years, authored numerous books, contributes and communicates for Orange Leaders, and speaks at camps and conferences. She, her husband Coy, and daughters Kirra and Mya live in Lakeland, FL where they like being outside, playing with their dog, Marley.
Stuart provides vision and leadership for two highly effective non-profit organizations (XP3: A Division of the Rethink Group & DASH INC), deeply desires to develop spiritually influential students that engage culture, partners with great organizations like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to develop students as leaders, travels and speaks to thousands of students and leaders each year, has coauthored three books (The Seven Checkpoints: Seven Principles Every Teenager Needs to Know, MAX Q: Developing Students of Influence and Wired: For a Life of Worship, Leaders Edition), is working on authoring one or two more, laughs incessantly, coaches his daughters’ basketball teams, relishes watching his son play football and basketball and his daughters play basketball and soccer and loves his beautiful wife Kellee with every fiber of his being.
Quotes from This Episode
If you’re serious about giving kids a mobilized faith and you want to impact spiritual habits, you need to get serious about connecting kids to consistent leaders. Click To TweetThere’s something about the character of God that is revealed best when we show up for each other and simply enter into someone else’s life. Click To TweetUntil I see as God sees, I’m going to be less likely to do as God says. Click To TweetYou catch habits, you don’t teach habits. Culture is learned. Click To Tweet
Ideas to Influence the Next Generation
The idea of developing spiritual habits can be difficult for a kid or student to understand. As ministry leaders, where do we even begin to implement a culture that embraces spiritual habits as part of our DNA? Here are three ways you can encourage small group leaders and parents to engage their kids in learning spiritual habits and putting them into practice:
1. Talk about them.
Sure, it may be awkward at first, but the more you incorporate the four spiritual habits into your conversations and small group discussions, the more natural it will become. Use language and words that are easy to understand. For example, around Orange, we often refer to spiritual habits as Faith Skills. And to make it even easier, we’ve broken them down into four faith skills: HEAR from God, PRAY to God, TALK about God, and LIVE for God.
2. Model them.
If you desire for the kids and students around you to develop faith skills of their own, you have to show them what it looks like to live out your faith in a real way. This can happen in quick, impromptu ways, like taking a moment as you drive in the car to say, “This morning I was reading a verse in the Bible that reminded me that God wants me to love others—including my coworkers.” Or it could mean taking a week of vacation and asking your high schooler to join you on a mission trip. Kids and students are perceptive of when adults are being authentic with them—so let your desire to know God better be evident to them.
3. Take them one step at a time.
The last thing you want is for kids and students to view spiritual habits as a boring checklist of things that must be done in order to be a Christian. Instead of focusing on doing #allthethings at once, provide clear examples of ways kids, students, and parents can do just one more thing each week than they did the week before. Maybe it’s encouraging families to participate in a five-day Bible reading plan. Maybe it’s praying together one night a week. Spiritual habits aren’t about doing a list of tasks—they’re about developing a lifestyle that follows Jesus for the long-term.
Conversation Starters For Your Church
As leaders, mentors, and parents, do we live in a way that reveals Jesus to the next generation?
As church leaders, what’s one thing we can do to foster communities that give small group leaders, kids, and adults the opportunity to practice spiritual habits together?
How can we cue parents to do just one thing this week to bring spiritual habits into their homes?
When he’s not working as a pastor at North Point Ministries in Atlanta, Dave is usually making his family cross their arms, roll their eyes, and tap their feet while he takes “just one more quick photo” on family outings. You’ll also often find him up to his neck in “Jewish stuff” as he researches the cultural context of Jesus for his daily Instagram devotions. Learn more about Dave at daveadamson.tv.
Ashley serves as the Director of Middle School Strategy at Orange and the USA Director of Carry 117. She has worked with students in public education, athletic and ministry settings for the last 12 years. She is most passionate about resourcing the local church, communicating on stage, developing leaders, working with students and world missions. In her downtime, you’ll find her watching Friends, cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers, traveling, reading, or on one of her Fairytale Friday Adventures.
Join Us Next Week
Thank you for listening to the Think Orange Podcast.
We hope you’ll join us for next week’s episode. More importantly, we hope that when you think next generation, you think Orange.