Book Reviews, What's On Your Nightstand?

Book Review: Family Driven Faith

Family Driven Faith

“The question is not whether or not our children sin later in life.  The question is, do we have a biblical obligation to train them before they leave home? Is there any biblical validity to the idea that Christian parents should allow their children to experiment with ungodliness?” (pg. 18)


As the mom of a young child, the years of training ahead of me (and my husband) can seem daunting, almost overwhelming at times.  Especially when I consider the number of “Christian” kids who leave the faith each year.  The thought of my daughter someday being among that number terrifies me.  And, that feeling is even more acute, seeing as how she will probably grow up as a “PK” – a Pastor’s (or Preacher’s) Kid.  Sadly, “the term preacher’s kid has become a euphemism for the poorly behaved, rebellious, oft-neglected sons and daughters of our leaders.” (pg. 15)  This phenomenon is not restricted to children of Pastors.  I have seen it happen to childhood friends, who grew up much like I did – in strong Christian homes, and under solid biblical teaching in their churches.  But, many have rebelled against, or in some cases, completely abandoned the apparent “faith” of their childhood.  It is a sad, sad thing to witness. 


“There are many worthwhile pursuits in this world, but few of them rise to the level of training our children to follow the Lord and keep His commandments.  I desperately want my sons and daughters to walk with God, and I am willing to do whatever it takes, whatever the Bible says I must do in order to be used by God as a means to that end.” (pg. 20)

In his book, Family Driven Faith, Voddie Baucham, Jr. uses the words of Deuteronomy 6 to offer hope and instruction to parents, and churches, who want to see their children walk with God, and are willing to do whatever it takes to see that happen.


When I first picked up this book, I was a bit wary that it would set the stage for little more than another spiritualized form of legalism that would only serve to produce little Pharisees.  But, in Chapter 4 (Give Him Your Heart), Baucham addresses this very issue.  He explains that, “legalism simply sets up external, extra-biblical standards that take the place of biblical thinking.” (pg. 85)  He emphasizes the importance and necessity of spending time training our children how to think biblically, and giving them the foundation of a biblical worldview.  “That is not to say that children armed with this information will never violate the principles they have been taught, but it will require thought-out rebellion as opposed to the logical assumption that the activity is justifiable.” (pg. 120).


Raising godly children takes time, commitment, and hard work.  We, as parents must be committed to teaching, and living out, the Truths of God’s Word in our homes.  “God has designed your family – not the youth group, not the children’s ministry, not the Christian school, but your family, as the principle discipling agent in your children’s lives.  The most important job you have as a parent is to train and disciple your children.” (pg. 118)


In Chapter 7 (Mark the Home as God’s Territory), Baucham asks a simple, but key question: “Why are we here?” (pg. 137)  He answers it this way, “if our family exists to glorify and honor God and to lay a biblical foundation in the lives of our children, then we must not allow anything to interfere with our commitment to family worship, prayer, and Bible study.” (pg. 138)  Family worship…I grew up in a strong Christian home, and while my parents occasionally tried to establish family devotions, for whatever reason it just never seemed to “take.”  This book offers seven practical principles for implementing, and conducting family worship in the home, and seven blessings that will come as a result.


Chapters 9 and 10 bring about the logical conclusion of implementing the truths and convictions so carefully laid out in the preceding chapters.  But, as the title of Chapter 9 asks, “Is the Church Ready for Family Driven Faith?”  Practicing family driven faith is going to require a revival within the church – one that is beginning with “the recent rise in parental awareness, desperation over the future of our families, churches, and communities, the homeschool movement, and the family-integrated church movement….” (pg. 169)  For some, the mere mention of the word “homeschool” will raise many a red flag about family driven faith, and the family-integrated church.  While it is true that many who follow these principles are homeschoolers, “this is not a question of homeschool versus non-homeschool.  The question is whether or not we are willing to adjust our entire lifestyle around the incredible responsibility God has given us to prepare our children to be launched from our homes as arrows (or ballistic missiles) aimed at the kingdom of darkness.” (pg 172)


We must realize that adopting the methods, principles, philosophies outlined in this book may require families to rethink their convictions on the role that the church plays in the training and discipling of their children.  This may mean that we conclude, as Baucham does, that the current model of church ministry is not working to this end.  Fully aware that many may disagree with this stance, Baucham addresses some of the more common questions and objections carefully and biblically.  In doing so, he points his readers to a somewhat radical approach to church ministry – in the form of the family-integrated church. 

“This term is used to describe churches that do not segregate their members by age.  There are not classes just for young married couples or teens or senior adults.  There are no youth groups or KidZones.  We view the church as a family of families and expect families to worship together and teach the Scriptures in their homes (hence no Sunday school).” (pg. 217, from the endnotes) 


Growing up in the church, I have seen many of the faults associated with the current models of church, youth, and children’s ministry.  And, I see the incredible possibilities that this paradigm-shift offers.  Although my current church does not follow a family-integrated model, I do not feel the need to “jump ship” as a result of reading this book.  Baucham says, “We probably can’t all go out and transform our congregations into family-integrated churches.  Nor do I think we need to.” (pg. 213).  I agree.  But, that does not excuse us, as parents, from doing the job that Scripture has called us to do – training, educating, and discipling our own children.  Regardless of what model of ministry our church leadership chooses to employ, our families can still uphold and incorporate the principles of “a biblical view of marriage and family, family worship and discipleship, Christian education, and biblically qualified leadership.” (pg. 213)


I cannot recommend this book highly enough.  You will come away challenged by Voddie Baucham’s biblical approach to parenting, discipleship, education, and ministry – and how they all fit together under the mandate of Deuteronomy 6:4-9,

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord God, the Lord one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”


  1. We are reading this book and challenged by it. Thanks for the review. May we all live up to the challenge of teaching our children diligently.

  2. […] The Family Worship Book, by Terry L. Johnson – This book is a wonderful resource for family devotions!  It practically breaks down why you should do family devotions, offers practical help for how to do them, and also includes suggestions and resources for what to do.  It has been a great follow-up to Voddie Baucham’s Family Driven Faith. […]

  3. […] The Family Worship Book, by Terry L. Johnson – This book is a wonderful resource for family devotions!  It practically breaks down why you should do family devotions, offers practical help for how to do them, and also includes suggestions and resources for what to do.  It has been a great follow-up to Voddie Baucham’s Family Driven Faith. […]

  4. […] Family Driven Faith, by Voddie Baucham, Jr. – **My review can be found here.** […]

Comments are closed.