Leadership

Christian Parenting | Simple Ways Parents Can Raise Godly Children w/ Sarah Cowan Johnson

In this episode of Modern Church Leader we will get insight from Christian Coach and Consultant Sarah Cowan Johnson on how to Teach Your Children Well and how the church should be involved.

H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Listen on your favorite podcast app:

“Our lives speak loudly to those around us, especially the children in our home.” - Billy Graham

Teaching our children well and building a strong faith foundation in the home has never been more important than it is right now.

As parents, the magnitude and pressure of raising children can be daunting and overwhelming.

How do I know I’m parenting correctly?

How do I know I’m doing all we can to help my kids?

How can I make sure my children know Jesus?

If you are asking these questions, then you’re already doing something right, and our guest is here to give you some encouraging answers and helpful resources to move forward successfully.

In today’s episode of Modern Church Leader, we talk to Christian Consultant, Coach, and Author, Sarah Cowan Johnson. Sarah’s specialty is helping parents become spiritual leaders in the household and equipping churches to partner with parents along the journey.

As many of us know, statistics say that 50% of children will leave their Christian faith after graduating high school.

Sarah Cowan Johnson is determined to help you defeat those odds.

In her recent study, she found that there is a similar statistic with one very significant difference: “[For] parents who talk about and practice their faith in the home, 82% of their kids go on to follow Jesus as adults.” - Sarah Cowan Johnson

As parents, these numbers are too significant to overlook.

Through Sarah’s ministry, she is seeing firsthand how being intentional and involved in your child’s spiritual life at an early age can have a lasting impact as an adult.

“It’s a really simple behavior… it’s just talking about and practicing your faith at home.” - Sarah Cowan Johnson

In Sarah’s book, Teach Your Children Well, she provides multiple ways to incorporate age-appropriate spiritual practices into the everyday life of your children, how to start spiritual conversations, and how to engage your child in their faith journey.

“Filled with exercises and activities for families to do together, this handbook is an essential resource for discipling children with confidence and creativity.”

By the end of this episode, you will learn:

✅ Simple spiritual practices to incorporate in your home today

✅ Resources for raising your children in the faith

✅ Ways the church can begin partnering with parents

✅ Encouragement for parents who don’t know where to start

Resources Mentioned:

Listen to episodes of Modern Church Leader: Modern Church Leader

Follow Tithe.ly on Instagram: tithe.ly

Follow Tithe.ly on Twitter: tithe.ly

Like Tithe.ly on Facebook: @tithelyapp

Visit Sarah’s Website at sarahcowanjohnson.com

Shop Sarah’s book on Amazon - “Teach Your Children Well” by Sarah Cowan Johnson

Other Episodes You May be Interested In:

The Ultimate Parenting Paradigm that Every Parent Should Follow

How to Nurture Female Leaders in Your Church with Kadi Cole

Why Christian Fellowship Matters

Money Will Try to Destroy Your Marriage with Clayton & Ashlee Hurst

Here’s a glance at this episode…

1:00 - Intro to Sarah Cowan Johnson

5:20 - “Teach Your Children Well” by Sarah Cowan Johnson

7:00 - The “why” behind the book”

8:00 - How Sarah equipped her church to partner with parents

10:50 - 6-week parenting course

12:19 - Frank asks for advice in parenting his 10-year-old boys

15:30 - How Sarah has helped other churches adapt to parenting with parents

17:45 - Things Sarah has seen that really helped equip parents for parenting well

21:50 - Barriers to parenting well

22:30 - Deuteronomy 6

24:00 - Why family dinner time is so important

25:45 - D6 - A ministry that helps align what parents are learning and what kids are learning

27:45 - Someone Sarah has been most influenced by in her life

29:21 - A book that Sarah thinks everyone should read

30:00 - A podcast that Sarah is listening to right now

podcast transcript

(Scroll for more)

Frank Barry (00:25):

Hey guys, Frank here from Tithely with another episode of Modern Church Leader, excited about talking about parents and families and kids today. As you guys know, I'm a dad of three triplet boys, and, I'm joined by my new friend Sarah Cowan Johnson.

Sarah Cowan Johnson (00:40):

Hi.

Frank Barry (00:41):

Good to have you on the show today.

Sarah Cowan Johnson (00:42):

Yeah. Thank you so much for having me.

Frank Barry (00:44):

Yeah, yeah. Why don't you, I mean, we have lots of folks on the show and I always love learning about your journey into ministry and kind of how you got to today. So why don't you take us back and give us a little bit of history?

Sarah Cowan Johnson (00:57):

Yeah. So I, I grew up in a Christian home. I'm actually a PK. My dad was a pastor, and my mom was in ministry as well. She did campus ministry, so with inner varsity and, so yeah, I never thought I was gonna go into ministry, but, you know, I, in school I studied international relations. I thought maybe I would go do development work in sub-Saharan Africa. That was kind of like the trajectory I was on. And then, I don't even know, I went to Urban, if you're familiar with the Urban Missions Conference in 2000 and felt a call to full-time ministry. And then, so I went into college ministry, went on staff with Inner Varsity and that's where I met my husband.  , we've been married 17 years.  , so I was on staff with inner varsity for 13 years and then, moved into the church world. I was the executive pastor at a Covenant Church plant here in Providence where I live.  , and did that for several years. And then right before the pandemic I launched out on my own to do ministry coaching and consulting. And, that's what I'm doing now. My biggest client is the Covenant denomination, and I've been doing church planter training for them and working on some discipleship resources and coaching pastors and all kinds of things. So yeah, I've been doing that for a couple years and wrote about

Frank Barry (02:25):

Right, right in the midst of the pandemic, you decided that. That's a big step. I mean, I'm sure that's a scary step anyways.

Sarah Cowan Johnson (02:33):

Right?

Frank Barry (02:33):

To go out and do something on your own like that, for all kinds of reasons. But what, what was the thing that kind of made it happen? Like what, what got you to the decision to jump out?

Sarah Cowan Johnson (02:44):

Well, yeah, I, I had a lot going on personally, so my mother-in-law passed away, and then my mother passed away, within 18 months of each other. And so that was, we just had a lot going on. Yeah, right, family-wise. And so being in a local church, loved it, loved being executive pastor in a church plant because it's just fast-paced and, you know, but there's a lot of weight, to serving in a local church. And I just was feeling like, I think I, I, I love equipping, I love, creating tools. I love coaching, and I think for a season I need to, I need to step into a space where I'm doing that.  , and so yeah, it was talking to our director of church planting for the denomination about training, and he said, Well, what if we talk about a six-month contract? And it was like a light bulb went on in my head and I was like, Oh, <laugh>, maybe I don't want a job. Maybe, maybe I wanna start my own thing and look for contracts. And that's what I've been doing, and I love it. Yeah. So sort of working on the church rather than in the church, if that makes sense. Yeah,

Frank Barry (04:03):

Yeah, absolutely. And do you find you spend most of your time with church plants or like what's the

Sarah Cowan Johnson (04:10):

Yeah, kind of. So that's like the, that's like the little pocket of the church that I kind of hang out in. Like, I serve on the church planting team for our denomination in Canada, so I consult with them. So I do a lot, with church planting in Canada. So yeah, that's kind of like, that's where my heart beats a little bit is for church planting. But I also, did a lot of coaching through the pandemic for other departments in the denomination. So I was coaching, you know, rural pastors who have been at established churches in towns of like 400, you know, have no, like, oh my gosh, so different.  , or yeah, a coach to pastor at a church here in New England that just celebrated its, you know, hundred 30th birthday, you know, So yeah. So wide range, but I really, I mean, church planting is kind of my, those are my people, so

Frank Barry (05:03):

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I love that. And in the midst of all that, or somewhere in that journey, you also wrote a book

Sarah Cowan Johnson (05:09):

Yes.

Frank Barry (05:10):

<laugh>, which sounds amazing on Yeah. And like that has to do with parenting and parents being successful, raising their kids in the faith. So what, what inspired that? Like, tell us the title of the book and Yeah. And those kind of things, but what I'd love to know what inspired you to write that?

Sarah Cowan Johnson (05:24):

Yeah, yeah. So the book is called Teacher Children. Well, a Step by Step Guide for Family Discipleship is published by IVP and a varsity press. And, yeah, it is a, it's for parents and also for pastors and ministry leaders.  , so for parents, it's a, it's a guide to help equip them in discipling their kids in the home, and for pastors and ministry leaders, sort of, how do we partner well with parents in our churches. So what led to that was when I was, serving as executive pastor, we didn't have a kids person on staff and, I was trying to fill the position and trying to hire and wrote this job description, and we just, the position was just open <laugh> and it just kept being open and we could not fill it. So I decided, you know, what, if I lean in for a year and work with the lay leaders, like develop a team and kind of interim direct this ministry for a year, and then we'll try again in a year to hire.

(06:23):

And, yeah. I really at that point had no, background in children's ministry at all. No. To be honest, no, no. Huge amount of interest.  , I had little kids, but I think as a woman pastor, I'm always a little sensitive about, you know, I'm not the kids' pastor, right? So I was a little hesitant.  , but the minute I started working with this team about what do we wanna teach our kids and how, I was hooked, and so the thing that led to the book was coming across a couple of statistics. So one you probably know, and probably a lot of your listeners know, the big bad, horrible statistic that half of our kids are more,  walk away from the faith after they graduate, but then reading more and doing research,, realizing that actually there's something that makes a really big difference in that statistic.

(07:20):

And it's nothing related to better church programming or more staff, it's parents. And so parents who talk about and practice their faith in the home, 82% of those kids go on to pathologies as adults. And so for me as a pastor trying to work with this kids team, I'm like, We could put all of our energy into Sunday morning. Right. Or we could put at least half of our energy into equipping parents. Right. So that's what we started doing. Yeah. And then that led to eventually, you know, a few years down the road led to the book.

Frank Barry (07:53):

Yeah. I love that. How, how did you, and I mean, I guess you have your own experience and maybe what you've also helped other churches kind of think about or start doing.  , so I'd love to break it into two parts. There's the helping the church think this way Yep. And, and do things to equip parents. And then there's the parents, Right. And kind of helping them what, what they got equipped to do and all those kind of things. So like, talk to me about the pastoral side, like the church side of it. Like what kind of things did you guys start doing to like, get the thinking around equipping parents to help their kids and not like the parents thinking the church is what's gonna help their kids, kind of thing.

Sarah Cowan Johnson (08:32):

Exactly. Right. So we're sort of working against this idea that, yeah, I drop my kids off and you all disciple them, which is what we do with everything else as parents, where we want our kids to grow. Right? Right. We, we kind of, delegate that to the professionals.  , and yeah, the way that the western churches kind of set up that really prioritizes the paid positions and the pastoral role in the, in the area of discipleship, that doesn't really help. But yeah, so what we started doing, first of all, we, changed our vision statement for our children and family ministry to reflect that. So, you know, we had something about, I don't even remember the previous vision statement, but something about, you know, helping kids love Jesus. I don't know, I don't remember. But we changed it to the, that every child in our ministry would encounter Jesus on a Sunday morning.

(09:25):

And that, everything we would do on a Sunday morning would also serve to equip and empower parents to take the lead at home. So that would just became like, stated upfront that this is a value. And then, we kind of built programming around that. So I developed a seminar that we started doing as kind of a one off, you know, event that we would do a couple times a year for parents to share, you know, the, the vision, share those statistics and give them very practical tools for how to do this, how to talk about and practice your faith at home. Yeah. In simple, not gonna take tons of time, not gonna require a seminary degree, Like how do you do this in the midst of soccer practice and dinner time and all that. So that seminar, we, yeah, I did a couple times a year.

(10:15):

And then, from there, n that kind of turned into a cohort experience, so like a six week class that we run for parents now regularly at our church, and so I've done that at a number of other churches. But yeah, it's really just inviting parents to be, the thinking of parents as leaders. So that was kind of what really felt, powerful to me as someone who loves leadership development, was every parent is a leader, a kingdom leader of their own little ecosystem. And how do help them see that? And then how do we help them equip how do we equip them? Yeah. That,

Frank Barry (10:50):

Yeah. What, what'd you do in the six week course? What kind of things would you cover?

Sarah Cowan Johnson (10:54):

Yeah.

Frank Barry (10:55):

Like, it sounds like the church still does it, so

Sarah Cowan Johnson (10:57):

What, what, Yeah. Yeah. We do. And I actually put it online and churches can, can take the course.  , so yeah, we, it's a lot of the stuff that's in the book, but we start out, talking about, sort of our priorities as parents, right? How do we, how do we move spiritual development of our children up on the list of all the other great priorities we have for them?  , and then we talk about, so two different types of discipleship. One, which is what people normally think of, which is what I call proactive. And that's like, you make a plan, you think about like, I'm going to disciple my kids at bedtime by doing this spiritual practice.  , but the other one is responsive discipleship, which is looking for ways that God is already at work in your child's life, and how do you respond to these god moments in their life, Right? And so, do a little bit on God moments, you know, there's a week on that. And then there's, a couple weeks on proactive discipleship and thinking about your child's age and stage and how their, their spiritual development relates to discipleship.  , and then there's a week at the end about yeah. Habit formation and, and where do we go from here? So, yeah.

Frank Barry (12:15):

Right. I love that. What, So I have three 10 -year- old boys. Yes,

Sarah Cowan Johnson (12:20):

You

Frank Barry (12:20):

Do. What do I do? What do I do at 10 year old boys?

Sarah Cowan Johnson (12:23):

Oh, man. Okay. So 10 year old boys are in, So this is a model of spiritual development called, from John Westerhoff.  , so, and this, I actually really love this model. So he talks about three stages in, between birth to 18, the first stage is experiential. Those are little kids like up through about school age, where the primary way they engage with faith is by doing the actions of faith. Okay.  , but your boys are in the affiliative stage, which is when they begin to really associate with the group.  , and you probably have noticed that like even in how they think about their friends now. And so the primary way that kids in the affiliative stage interact spiritually is, with a group mentality. So it's, I believe because we believe so because my people believe in Jesus.

(13:19):

I believe in Jesus. So, Right. So my family that's, you know, their peers, this is when we often like, help them get connected to youth group later, you know, middle school, stuff like that.  , and so yeah, for, for those kids, it's really, helping them to participate in the church as, as their own person, Right. And yeah, I mean, practices that I love with that age group are things like, teaching them how to keep a prayer journal, you know, teaching them how to, yeah. How to sort of listen for God's voice, you know?  , but yeah, that age is a funny age. We started, you, you might appreciate this, we, during Covid, my, my oldest son was 10 at the beginning of the pandemic, and there were seven 10-year-old boys that were or orbiting our church. Yeah. And we pulled them together in a weekly Zoom bible study that we called the preteen Boy Squad <laugh>. And they did,  bible study, like inductive Bible study on Zoom. And, they're still meeting, so now they're, they're almost all 13. They're still meetings. So that sense of like tribe, I think is really important for that

Frank Barry (14:36):

Issue. Right, right. And they did it on Zoom. That's actually, they stayed, and I mean, I guess, you know, my kids do interact with friends online quite often in various ways. So, I guess that makes, Yeah,

Sarah Cowan Johnson (14:49):

They, we sort of, I wouldn't call it bribe, but we, we did a half an hour of content and then with parents' permission, a half an hour of unsupervised, you guys can hang out on Zoom together time and share stupid memes and whatever, 10 year old,

Frank Barry (15:04):

That's, that's what they do. It's, that's basically all they do. Just I know. D b memes and like play Minecraft and, and stuff like that. Yeah.

Sarah Cowan Johnson (15:14):

Yeah. So they got, you know, half an hour of time with their friends that they couldn't see in person. And, so yeah, they're still doing it and they also do things in person now, but yeah.  , we've actually kept the Zoom thing going because they live in, you know, different places and everybody has soccer practice or whatever. So I've just done it on Zoom.

Frank Barry (15:32):

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's pretty cool. Have, have you helped other churches, like do some of these things? It sounds like the seminars and then the, the six-week workshop Yep. Are kind of the pillars of mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like the programming, if you will, at the church that's focused on helping parents think about all these things to do at home. Like how have other churches like adapted to it or thought about it?

Sarah Cowan Johnson (15:57):

Yeah. Yeah. I, so I have done some consulting for individual churches where I'll meet with their pastor or their , children's ministry team. I think it is helpful when the, when the lead pastor is connected and involved. Yeah.  , but so one of the ones that was really amazing was a, a church in the Boston area that I worked with for a season, helping them to think about a pathway for kids from birth, the 18. So a lot of times churches think about what's our discipleship pathway for kids, but we did that plus what do we want parents to experience through that same birth to 18? How are we gonna equip and resource parents. So yeah, I would go and meet with them. We did it, you know, every other time was on Zoom and in person and, help them like come up with Yeah.

(16:45):

Vision statement plan.  , and that was super fun. So, yeah, I actually one time right at the beginning when I was just starting to think about all the stuff, the book didn't exist yet. I like randomly was like, you know what? I wonder if anybody would come to a Zoom seminar if I just did a seminar for church leaders on how to partner with parents mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And like, this isn't gonna cost me anything. Like I'll just toss it out there and if I get, you know, five people, I'll be happy. And I had like 65 pastors sign up for this thing and I was like, Oh, this is a, I guess this is a need. Right. You know?  , so that was really fun. And that was, yeah. How do you use your calendar, you know, through a calendar year to think about opportunities for empowering and equipping parents.

Frank Barry (17:36):

Yeah. Yeah. Is there any other, I'm just trying to pull out like ideas for people listening. Like are there other things that you've done or seen churches do. That really helps equip parents, to do these things at home?

Sarah Cowan Johnson (17:49):

Yeah. So another thing that we're doing at our church that I've also started sharing with other churches, is so a lot of churches think about like a family Sunday, once a month.  , some churches, you know, especially smaller churches might have a, a week a month that they don't offer kids programming, things like that. Our church has a family Sunday that is, we just highlight, our children and family ministry. We still offer kids programming. But what we've started doing is, we have a family discipleship practice of the month. And that's something that I actually send out to subscribers to my newsletters, like a practice of the month. So we've done a God hunt, which is like a version of the examine for kids. Like where did you notice, God, this week we've done prayer walking. We've done, a really fun thing that actually my mom created, when I was a kid called a prayer tree that helps you like visualize, answered prayer.

(18:47):

So things like that that are, you know, creative for kids. So in on Family Sunday , we have a kids' moment in the service that is really a parents' moment <laugh> in disguised. So we take two or three minutes and describe the practice for parents. Okay. So tell them about the practice and then we invite the kids up and model the practice. And then we send home a, a sheet that basically is like, how to do this at home. And so then the challenge is to do this for the month. Yeah.

Frank Barry (19:19):

Do well.

Sarah Cowan Johnson (19:20):

Yeah. Yeah. So we feel like that does a number of things. It sort of highlights our children and family ministry gives us a chance to say that vision every month and talk about why we are, why we empower parents. Yeah. Because even that statistic, we talk about that. So it's like said from the front once a month.  , then we give parents a really simple tool, we model it for them and then we give them like instructions. So that has been awesome. Yeah. And, again, that was another thing I sort of put out online, like, would anybody be interested in this? And it was like, sharks, like, Yes. So I think I'm just sort of learning like, oh, there's a real hunger I think out there in churches for how to, how to equip parents. Well, yeah.

Frank Barry (20:05):

No, I think there is, I, I like, I think churches , and this is a massive generality, so it's not true of everyone, but you know, they think a lot about kids and kids programs at church. Yep. It's a big focus. It's oftentimes, you know, when you're planting a church or growing a church, like think about kids make it awesome cuz it brings the parents, but it's because the parents are craving their kids being helped. Right, Right. And you're meeting that need in a particular way. Yep. But then the, the need is still real. Like, they still want their kids to be helped and maybe they don't feel equipped to do it or know how to do it, or Right. It's scary or they're afraid or you know, they've never seen it themselves cause they didn't grow, grow up that way. And so there's all these things and if you start helping parents, like every parent, every Christian parent going to church, like wants to help their kids, you know? That's right. Like, I think that's just true and Yep. They may not all know how to, you know, and Right. You need somebody, I

Sarah Cowan Johnson (21:04):

Think a lot of times, Oh, go ahead.

Frank Barry (21:05):

No, I was just gonna sort of finish it with like, what's helped me the most is having other like families and like strong men that were leading their families and doing stuff. Like I've been able to see it in action.

Sarah Cowan Johnson (21:18):

Yes. Yes.

Frank Barry (21:20):

And, but you know that sometimes that doesn't exist or you don't know the people or whatever. Right. So churches like can be big and scary too. So like, finding ways to equip parents is like awesome

Sarah Cowan Johnson (21:34):

<laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. Well I think a lot of times, So I think the barriers, to parents doing, and again, it's a really simple behavior. It's not parents who are like teaching Sunday school classes in their homes. It's just talking about and practicing their faith at home.  , and I think the barriers, I think n ber one is yeah, a lot of times parents feel like I, I wouldn't even know where to start, like, Right. What, what do I do? So part of what I'm trying to do is give them simple, simple tools that are like easy, you know, things you can just replicate.  , I think another barrier is parents feel like they have no time. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, which you probably feel that way. I feel that way. <laugh>, you know, life

Frank Barry (22:13):

Is busy.

Sarah Cowan Johnson (22:14):

Yes. Life is very busy. And so, another thing that I try to encourage parents around is you don't actually need to add a ton of time to your life to do this. Well, if you look at Deuteronomy six, which is like, talk about my law, you know, with your children as you walk along the road and as you lie down and as you get up and as you go to bed, it's like the same strategy that God used with Israel I think applies today, which is, you know , we can weave discipleship into our normal everyday rhythms. And so I think that when parents, you know, kind of get the vision for like, Oh, I'm not like carving out an hour <laugh>, I'm actually looking for three to five minutes in the car, or like 10 minutes at dinner to have a conversation or , you know, that kind of changes. It makes it doable.

Frank Barry (23:06):

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No, I mean, I think maybe if you boil it all down, it's like your relationship with God has to kind of be real and your kids have to see it.

Sarah Cowan Johnson (23:15):

That's right.

Frank Barry (23:16):

Like, just day to day, whatever that looks like, you know? Right. And, maybe sometimes it has to be more intentional cuz maybe, you know, some people keep it personal or, you know, it's like a, something about it is kept close to them, so they gotta like express it. Like it's gotta come out to their family in a, in a way. That's right. Yeah. So you gotta be intentional about it.  , Yep. I forget who said this, but I remember doing another podcast, and they had done a bunch of research on kids and everything, and they brought up just purely like having dinner together. Yes. Like sitting at the table having dinner Yep. And taking the 10 minutes Right. To, to talk about, and, and it doesn't, I feel like it was like three or four days a week. It doesn't have to be like every single day. Yep. Seven days a week though, that's probably the best in the world. But Yeah. Even if you do it a few times a week, sitting down having a meal within or no tech, having

Sarah Cowan Johnson (24:10):

A conversation, get those phones <laugh> out of that space. Yeah. I think that was like a back in the day, I think that was a focus on the family, like, you know, strategy. But yeah, I mean, research sort of, even secular research shows that the family dinner table is so powerful, Right. It's correlated with better grades. It's correlated with like lower rates of drug abuse and teen pregnancy and higher vocabulary. It's like all the things you want for your kids <laugh> somehow correlated to family dinner.  , and so yeah, that's in, in our house. So we have boys who are eight and 12 that for us right now is the best discipleship lab time that we have. So when they were smaller, dinner time is a little bit chaotic. Right.  , and when they're older, I don't know if that will be interrupted. We're we're really pushing against the, like get your kids into every activity that you can Yeah. Thing. So I hope that doesn't really change, but I know that, you know, it may, but right now that dinner time is so, so good for, for our family. Yeah.

Frank Barry (25:18):

One last question and then a few rapid-fired ones. Yeah. Have you, you, have you ever seen a church, sort of marry the parent teaching and the kids teaching so that the parents and the kids can talk about what they're learning together more like

Sarah Cowan Johnson (25:39):

A sudden? Oh, yeah. Right. Yeah. Yep. Yeah, there's a ministry, called D six that I have connected with, so it's based on Deuteronomy six and they have a whole curriculum hat kind of does that that basically lines up, the adult and the child teaching. Yeah. So that, yes, because I think that, I think that that, that's an incredible way to Yeah. Bring that to the dinner table is, you know, is to align it. So at our church there's a couple times, you know, so we're using an external curriculum, so yeah, they have their own sort of scope and sequence, but, there's been a couple times where when we're working through something really specific for our church, like around the vision or, you know, definitely advent, things like that where Yes. We're aligning. Yeah, the kids program.

Frank Barry (26:35):

Yeah. Yep. Now there, there's a pastor out of a live church that, his name's Jeff Love, Like, he, he actually has been working on the same thing. And he had this idea like years ago. He, he's like, he just felt this like, man, a lot of kids leave the church. Yep. And then he was like, But the key to that is parents. And so he goes, What can I do to help parents? He's like, Yeah, maybe one of the easiest things is I can make sure they can talk to their kids about spiritual things

Sarah Cowan Johnson (27:03):

That Awesome. Yeah.

Frank Barry (27:04):

And if, if what the kids are learning in, you know, Sunday school or kids' ministry is also what the parents are learning in like the regular church service. Exactly. Then they can talk in the car on the way home. It's not like, Hey, Johnny, what'd you learn today in class? Like, you know what they talked about in class? I love that

Sarah Cowan Johnson (27:23):

Extent. Right.

Frank Barry (27:23):

Yeah. And then you have dinner, you can, you can talk about the same thing. So I just thought, that was such a cool idea to help parents, like kind of in a really easy way. Like not even doing anything else other than like being on the same page with what you guys are learning.  , being able to talk to your kids. It's

Sarah Cowan Johnson (27:40):

Really smart. Yeah.

Frank Barry (27:41):

Yeah. It's cool. All right. This has been great.  , I got three quick questions to kind of end it with, Yeah. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.  , first one is, who is someone that you've been most influenced by that that just had a big impact on your life that people should know about?

Sarah Cowan Johnson (27:55):

Wow. Well, so <laugh>. Oh man. I mean, I have shared this a lot lately.  , but yeah, my mom had a huge impact on my life and my mom, passed away while I was writing this book. And so a lot of every <laugh> I kinda like, everything I learned about family discipleship, I learned from my mom. Yeah.  , and so yeah, my mom, oh man.  , yeah, Charles Wesley has this quote about, you know, everything I learned about, Christianity, I learned more from my mother than from all the theologians in England. <laugh> like that is, that's how I feel about my mom.  , she modeled all the family discipleship stuff for me, but also, so she was diagnosed with this horrible neurological disease.  , and it lasted, you know, four years until she died. But she lost her, her ability to walk, her ability to move, her ability to talk, all of it. And, in the end, she was communicating with her eyes with a device, and I just, the way that she graciously and humbly, just suffered. And, you know, it was like Jesus just, was amplified in the way that she, she went through that. So

Frank Barry (29:15):

Yeah. Oh, that's beautiful. Come on, mom. I love that. Yeah. Okay. Second one. What the book that everyone should read, you can throw your book in, but gimme another

Sarah Cowan Johnson (29:24):

Too. No, I won't.  , a book that everyone should read.  , so just on this topic, so there's a lot of other books that I would, throw out there, but, if you have children, I love Jared Boyd's, Imaginative Prayer. It's a fantastic resource. I haven't seen anything quite like it before.  , but yeah, Jared, Patrick Boyd, it's, 52-week kind of, not program, but a 52-week experience Yeah. Where he takes kids through like a credle poem of 52 Truths about God that he does with these,  really creative imaginative prayer experiences into is

Frank Barry (30:13):

Phenomenal. That's cool. I love that. Yeah. Okay, last, last one.  , what's a podcast you're listening to right now?

Sarah Cowan Johnson (30:20):

Oh, <laugh>.  , well, it's an, you know, I,  so this cultural moment, John Mark Comer and Mark Sayers. So their first couple seasons literally changed kind of like how I'm thinking about the church.  , and so I recommend that podcast,

Frank Barry (30:40):

Love it. This cultural moment,

Sarah Cowan Johnson (30:41):

This cultural moment, John Mark Comer and Mark Sayers is absolutely brilliant. And if you have been , in church ministry for, or in the church for more than 20 years, it will explain the shift that you've experienced. Yeah.  , it was like, for me, it was like, Oh my gosh, this describes, this explains so much of what I've experienced.

Frank Barry (31:04):

Right. You're like, you're describing my feelings. This is amazing. Yes.

Sarah Cowan Johnson (31:08):

<laugh> no, it's, it's really, really excellent. So,

Frank Barry (31:11):

Oh, that's awesome. Well, Sarah, this has been so fun. Is there a website or social media that people should go to to check you out?

Sarah Cowan Johnson (31:18):

Yeah. sarahcowanjohnson.com. I'm on, you know, Instagram and Facebook, but I'm not like <laugh>. I don't have a huge social media, you know, presence.  , but yeah, my website has all kinds of free resources and, things for parents and for churches.

Frank Barry (31:37):

So, Love it. I love it.  , well this has been awesome.  , thanks for doing the work you're doing and helping parents.

Sarah Cowan Johnson (31:43):

Yeah. Thanks so much for having me on the

Frank Barry (31:44):

Show. Yeah, absolutely.  , thanks, everybody. Glad you're listening.  , tune in next week for another episode of Modern Church Leader. Bye.

H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Special Offer

Blog

Christian Parenting | Simple Ways Parents Can Raise Godly Children w/ Sarah Cowan Johnson

Christian Parenting | Simple Ways Parents Can Raise Godly Children w/ Sarah Cowan Johnson

In this episode of Modern Church Leader we will get insight from Christian Coach and Consultant Sarah Cowan Johnson on how to Teach Your Children Well and how the church should be involved.

Show notes

Listen on your favorite podcast app:

“Our lives speak loudly to those around us, especially the children in our home.” - Billy Graham

Teaching our children well and building a strong faith foundation in the home has never been more important than it is right now.

As parents, the magnitude and pressure of raising children can be daunting and overwhelming.

How do I know I’m parenting correctly?

How do I know I’m doing all we can to help my kids?

How can I make sure my children know Jesus?

If you are asking these questions, then you’re already doing something right, and our guest is here to give you some encouraging answers and helpful resources to move forward successfully.

In today’s episode of Modern Church Leader, we talk to Christian Consultant, Coach, and Author, Sarah Cowan Johnson. Sarah’s specialty is helping parents become spiritual leaders in the household and equipping churches to partner with parents along the journey.

As many of us know, statistics say that 50% of children will leave their Christian faith after graduating high school.

Sarah Cowan Johnson is determined to help you defeat those odds.

In her recent study, she found that there is a similar statistic with one very significant difference: “[For] parents who talk about and practice their faith in the home, 82% of their kids go on to follow Jesus as adults.” - Sarah Cowan Johnson

As parents, these numbers are too significant to overlook.

Through Sarah’s ministry, she is seeing firsthand how being intentional and involved in your child’s spiritual life at an early age can have a lasting impact as an adult.

“It’s a really simple behavior… it’s just talking about and practicing your faith at home.” - Sarah Cowan Johnson

In Sarah’s book, Teach Your Children Well, she provides multiple ways to incorporate age-appropriate spiritual practices into the everyday life of your children, how to start spiritual conversations, and how to engage your child in their faith journey.

“Filled with exercises and activities for families to do together, this handbook is an essential resource for discipling children with confidence and creativity.”

By the end of this episode, you will learn:

✅ Simple spiritual practices to incorporate in your home today

✅ Resources for raising your children in the faith

✅ Ways the church can begin partnering with parents

✅ Encouragement for parents who don’t know where to start

Resources Mentioned:

Listen to episodes of Modern Church Leader: Modern Church Leader

Follow Tithe.ly on Instagram: tithe.ly

Follow Tithe.ly on Twitter: tithe.ly

Like Tithe.ly on Facebook: @tithelyapp

Visit Sarah’s Website at sarahcowanjohnson.com

Shop Sarah’s book on Amazon - “Teach Your Children Well” by Sarah Cowan Johnson

Other Episodes You May be Interested In:

The Ultimate Parenting Paradigm that Every Parent Should Follow

How to Nurture Female Leaders in Your Church with Kadi Cole

Why Christian Fellowship Matters

Money Will Try to Destroy Your Marriage with Clayton & Ashlee Hurst

Here’s a glance at this episode…

1:00 - Intro to Sarah Cowan Johnson

5:20 - “Teach Your Children Well” by Sarah Cowan Johnson

7:00 - The “why” behind the book”

8:00 - How Sarah equipped her church to partner with parents

10:50 - 6-week parenting course

12:19 - Frank asks for advice in parenting his 10-year-old boys

15:30 - How Sarah has helped other churches adapt to parenting with parents

17:45 - Things Sarah has seen that really helped equip parents for parenting well

21:50 - Barriers to parenting well

22:30 - Deuteronomy 6

24:00 - Why family dinner time is so important

25:45 - D6 - A ministry that helps align what parents are learning and what kids are learning

27:45 - Someone Sarah has been most influenced by in her life

29:21 - A book that Sarah thinks everyone should read

30:00 - A podcast that Sarah is listening to right now

video transcript

(Scroll for more)