"If you didn't grow up in a Christian family, you'll probably not be a Christian yourself."

That was a question asked this morning. Here's a slightly longer answer. In fact, three answers:

1. True. Your upbringing has a major effect on your life. It's hard to overstate how much your parents influence you in terms of morality, life-choices and behaviour - for good or bad. And if you grow up in a family that teaches you the Christian faith, of course you have a huge advantage over others in terms of the opportunity to respond to the gospel and follow Jesus. Which means that someone who grows up in a Christian family and then decides to turn away will have less to excuse them on the judgement day.

2. Following that, doesn't it show what a great responsibility we have as parents? If our job is to "make disciples" (Matthew 28:19-20), what better opportunity than to teach our children well - we are their biggest influence. John Chapman said that his biggest regret about remaining single was that raising children is a wonderful opportunity to raise Christians.

3. However, it is not true that others don't often become Christians. Many (most?) of our own church family at Wellfield are not from Christian homes. Everyone has to make their own decisions, and just as 'Christian' children can sadly walk away, so others can come to know Jesus - and do so all the time. Our job as a church is to be proclaiming the good news of Jesus to people who currently don't know about him. And often it's those who know absolutely nothing who have fewest misconceptions to put them off.