La Mesa Adventist Community Church

4207 Spring Gardens Rd, La Mesa, CA, 91941-7964

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Understanding Your Family’s History of Faith

First Generation Christians: Neither parent grew up in a home with a strong commitment to Christ.  Maybe attended Church once in awhile.  Both became Christians later in life.  As parents they are plowing new ground.  Not much support from relatives.  In fact just the opposite because at family gatherings their faith is sliced up alongside the turkey as family criticizes  and mocks Christianity.  Little built-in knowledge or experiences to draw on.  However their zeal for Christ and their past creates an enthusiasm they want to pass on to their children.  They consciously begin developing a Spiritual Growth Plan for their family.


Second Generation Christians:  Grew up in a household of faith, going to Church regularly and having regular family devotions.  Have pretty good understanding of the Bible, a personal history with God and have people in their live helping them live out their faith in an everyday world.  However, they have lost their passion for God because as Second Generation Christian parents they took God for granted.  Like the Israelites of Joshua’s generation, while they knew of God’s power they got comfortable in the Promised Land and began to take God for granted.  They did not actively teach their faith to their children--in spite of the warnings and commands Moses gave in Deuteronomy 6:4-9.  And the next generation ended up rejecting God.  When parents lose their passion and neglect their calling to actively spiritually train their children, the children usually walk away.  The don’t understand their faith or see it as something that makes a difference in their parents’ lives or as connected to their own lives.


Third Generation Christians:  Have the advantage of having two or more generations before them who loved and followed the Lord.  In some cases being a third generation Christian means having grandparents who know and love God but parents who don’t actively participate or show this love of God as important in their lives.  However, this third generation Christian has witnessed how this whole cycle of passing on a genuine, vibrant faith works.  If each spouse comes from a different generation of Christians, find ways to use your differing strengths to your advantage when creating your family plan.


Take time to examine, think and then fill in your spiritual history checklist.  If doing this as a couple, use different colored pens.  Take a few moments to consider the strengths and struggles for your generation.

  •   I’m a First Generation Christian

Strengths this gives: Struggles it brings:

_____ Passion ____ Little knowledge


_____ Enthusiasm ____ Little support


____ Willingness to learn ____ No positive habits of Bible Study


____ No negative spiritual habits/routines ____ No godly heritage of faith


____ Chance to learn along with children ____ Difficult past to recover from


____ Personal knowledge of God’s saving power ____


  •   I’m a Second Generation Christian


Strengths this gives: Struggles it brings:

____ Bible knowledge ____ Is it real for me?


____ Example to follow ____ Take God for granted


____ Experience with positive spiritual training ____ Parents assumed my knowledge


____ Personal experience with God ____ Parents lost vibrant, growing faith


____ Knowledge of effectiveness of God’s ways ____ Faith unconnected to daily life


____ Spiritual support ____ 


  •   I’m a Third Generation Christian


Strengths this gives: Struggles it brings:

____ Generations of spiritual wisdom ____ Passion has grown warm or cold


____ Solid foundation of Bible knowledge ____ Knowledge disconnected from daily life


____ Positive experience spiritual training ____ Pressure to believe without freedom to question


____ Positive support and role models ____ 


____ History of God’s active goodness ____ Possible negative spiritual experiences


____ Personal experience with God ____ 


____ ____

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