Exiting the Church (Part 4): Faith in Real Life


As we conclude our exploration the topic of students exiting the church, today we will look at our final possible reason for this exit: Students never saw modeled a faith that impacted real life.

It has been said that it is easy to be a Christian when everything is going well, but when the circumstances of life put our feet to the fire, that is when our beliefs rise or fall.  The beauty and challenging of being a parent is that your children get to experience all of the stages and moments of life with you – victories, successes, wins, failures, losses, and trials.  At each moment of life, children are watching to see how Jesus fits in all of these life situations.  As we approach this amazing yet challenging task, we know that each one of us who influences the lives of children will need great grace and help from the Holy Spirit.

Through the ups and downs, good times and bad times, we are called to constantly model the truth of the Gospel.  This is a truth that is liberating and life-changing.

  • First and foremost, the Gospel reminds us that we are all sinners.  There are no perfect parents – not even Christian ones.  As we seek to live out faith before our children, we will fail.  Just as they will at times fail to follow Jesus themselves and fall into sin.  We can have hope that God is not through making us who He wants us to be.
  • Second, the Gospel reminds us that grace is the central truths of our lives and parenting.  We cannot do it, yet Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be our helper.

As we seek to model faith, may we model a faith that is grace-driven and acknowledges the work that God is continuing to do in us and our children as we seek to more faithfully follow Jesus.

To get started in modeling the gospel in your home and parenting, I would recommend:

“How can I hope to be an effective parent today when attacks on the family are stronger than ever before?”The answer, says Farley, is the gospel.Claiming the gospel as their own has an enormous effect on parents’ marriage, their integrity, and their love for their children. Keeping the gospel at the forefront of every aspect of marriage helps parents fear God, sensitizes them to sin, motivates them to enter their children’s world, and causes them to preach the beauty of the gospel to their children through their marriage.


BenMinister of Students
Ben Birdsong

Ben Birdsong was called as our Student Minister in September 2013 after serving with students for four and a half years at First Baptist Church of Pelham.  Ben is married to Liz.  He loves Starbucks, reading, movies, music, and spending time with family and friends.  Ben has a great desire to see students grow in their faith in Christ and to see God use them to make an impact for Him on their campuses and in their communities.  Ben was ordained and licensed into the ministry from the Church at Brook Hills in July 2009.  He holds bachelor’s degrees in marketing and human resource management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a master’s degree in divinity from Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School.  Ben is currently a Doctor of Ministry student with a focus in Ministry to Emerging Generations at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary just outside of Boston, Massachusetts.