The Barna Group, a premier Christian research organization, recently reported that nearly two-thirds of U.S. 18-29-year-olds who grew up in a Christian environment have withdrawn from church involvement as an adult after being active as a child or teen. Further, Generation Z (born 1997-2012) is considered the first truly "post-Christian" American generation.
With statistics like these, we think you'll agree that Wesleyan's mission to partner with parents to equip their children to serve Christ and influence the world takes on an even greater meaning every day given the significant cultural and secular influences being thrust upon our children.
One of our new 2020-2025 strategic initiatives states that we will "partner with families by equipping parents and students with culturally relevant resources and training." To this end, with a steadfast commitment to provide more encouragement to our families, we are pleased to share a new resource for our parents designed to proactively seek God's wisdom, knowledge, and discernment in leading our children forward in God's truth and discipleship.
Wesleyan will provide recommended readings or host webinars each year that will be selected from those that we as school leadership have found helpful in our experiences. To launch this initiative, our first book recommendation is "Pray for Me," by Tony Souder, founder of the Pray for Me Campaign, which is a church-wide initiative to equip adult believers to pray for children and students.
We are all busy and preoccupied with the urgencies that a day presents to us and can unmistakably put off the importance of prayer until a significant need or crisis occurs. Then we are suddenly asking God to intervene.
Mr. Souder has developed a refreshingly simple yet powerful prayer guide for adult believers involved in our children's lives to give their prayers "focus, clarity, and consistency" in just a few minutes each day. "Pray for Me" structures daily devotions around what Souder calls "The 7 Essentials in 7 Days": favor, wisdom, love, faith, purity, speech, and conduct. Each day of the week is dedicated to one of these "essentials", for example:
This is my second time going through this timely and simple prayer guide for my own family, and I know many of our staff and sponsoring churches have been doing the same for their children and yours. I have experienced God's strength and presence and a higher level of spiritual accountability for the hearts of my own children, in addition to a renewed commitment to pray for all of our Wesleyan students through this helpful guide.
If you do not have a resource like this, we invite any of our Wesleyan families to join together with other interested parents, grandparents, teachers, and staff to pray God's promises and Scripture over our children through Tony Souder's "Pray for Me". Each devotion is brief, relevant, and biblically sound.
\Wesleyan has purchased 100 prayer books that will be available for a reduced cost of $10 via the Academy's main office. If we run out and find there is more interest, we will be happy to order more. If you wish to purchase your own, you can find it here and via other Christian booksellers.
We look forward to providing more recommendations in the future, so please watch for those in the coming months.
For His glory and our children's good,
Dr. Rob Brown
Head of School
*Souder, Tony. Pray for Me: Prayer Guide: Adults Praying for Students. 2001, Crossway. 2015, 2019 T. Souder.