Something exists in the heart of children to watch their parents do what they cannot do yet.  They stand in awe at early ages of what their parents can do.  I desperately want my children to stand in awe of the way I live for God.  I don’t care if they are impressed by the house in which we live, the details of our vacation spots, or the hobbies that I master.

I want them to see me living for Christ all of their days.  When asked about their greatest spiritual mentors, I pray that they model after the ministers in our church, but how I deeply want to make that list as well.  Could I live in such a way that my children would know what it means to follow Christ if no one else taught them but me?  Can I model obedience to God rather than just mentioning its importance?

This world is a challenging place for a child to become a disciple of Jesus Christ.  The solution is not the hippest youth minister in town, the most alluring programs, or the church gymnasium where all the cool kids hang out.  The solution for your children is you.

Children need their parents to invest spiritually in their lives.  We need to be the ones telling them the gospel. We need to be the ones modeling what it looks like to live for Christ.  Our lives should be the greatest sermon they ever hear.

If that idea is intimidating to you, I promise that you are not alone.  Every honest parent would admit that evangelizing and discipling one’s children is a daunting task.  While the challenge is great, disciples are known by their willingness to risk everything and be used by God in what seems improbable or even impossible.

You have a limited window of time with your children in their formative years; how will you spend it?  You may be an empty-nester who has a list of regrets longer than your list of approved accomplishments, but it is not too late to make an impact on your children.  We all are leaving a legacy, but it has yet to be declared what each of ours will be.

No one leaves a godly legacy by accident.  Throughout this process, God revealed biblical principles and parental practices that are being used to make disciples of the next generation.  I watched God use his Word to impact my home and my church, and faithful stewardship beckons me to share with you what he taught us during this process.

Excerpt from the upcoming Don’t Drop Your Kids Off at Church.

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.