It was the regional track and field meet. Only 32 teams in the state were competing that weekend. The fastest of the fast. Athletes from all over the region had come to our school for a chance to compete in the state meet. The relay team I was a part of was fortunate and fast enough to have made the cut. While our time was not the fastest we knew we had a chance if we could run our best time of the season. We were all nervous as we took our place on the track and gave each other one last nod of encouragement as the race began.

Our lead runner was off. It was his best start of the year. As he rounded the corner I watched my marker like a hawk, not wanting to leave early or late and cost us valuable time. I took off, got the baton, and sprinted down the back straightaway. Our third runner awaited as I entered the exchange zone and executed another flawless handoff. As he rounded the curve and got ready to pass the baton to our final teammate I realized we were in a position to finish in the top four and move on to state. I quickly glanced up at the scoreboard to see our time and then back to see how the final exchange had gone. That’s when my heart sank. Our final handoff had been dropped. We were disqualified. We would not go on to state. Despite our best times of the year, our season was over, all because we didn’t execute a handoff.

The single, most powerful causal influence on the religious lives of American teenagers and young adults is the religious lives of their parents.

Christian Smith

As any runner will tell you, relay races are won and lost in the transitions. Of course, you need 4 quality speedsters to compete, but just having speed will not secure a victory in a relay race. The team who has not practiced, perfected, and performs the handoffs will never run the race well. The same is true of faith. Handing off the faith to other generations requires practice, communication, and effort. This is why parents are so vital in handing down the faith to the next generation. James Emery White shares 4 interesting findings regarding parents and “Handing Down the Faith“. Check it out.

What did you think? Pretty interesting to see how vital the role parents play in the religious and faith life of their children. As a seminary professor of mine repeatedly stated, “more is caught than taught”. This is true in any arena of parenting, but especially so when it comes to matters of faith. Parents I couldn’t leave you with a better challenge than White does at the end of his article, “Where you are at with Christ is more than likely where your child will be with Christ“.

So the question to ask ourselves is this: “what do I hope my child’s relationship with Christ will be? Is my relationship there?” What can you do today to become the person of faith you want your kids to emulate? As always, I love to hear from my readers. What did you enjoy about the article? What stuck out to you most? Leave me a comment and I’ll be sure to reply. As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.

Until Next Time…

Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash