As a second-generation Christian who was born, raised and still is in church, it felt like a lot of my spirituality was imparted to me.

Believing wasn’t a conscious personal choice until I had been a Christian for much longer.

So, God felt a lot more like a Grandpa than a Father to me. He was my parents’ Father.

In the past, I wondered how nice it would be to have encountered God first-hand since I often struggled with ownership of my faith.

Why am I a Christian? Was it because my parents convinced me to be one, or because I am truly convicted by God?

I remember a time when one of my youth leaders asked us: Why do you believe in Jesus?

One of my fellow second-generation friends cited historical evidence as the basis of his faith. As for me, other than the fact that I had been baptised into the faith at a young age, I really didn’t know.

At that point I had already been raised in church for 15 years (since infancy), and I was so mortified at myself because I could not come up with an answer. 

I had to seriously ask myself: Why am I a Christian? Was it because my parents convinced me to be one, or because I am truly convicted by God?

Recently I had the opportunity to listen to Senior Pastor Daniel Khong (Faith Community Baptist Church) share a similar experience to mine at Summit 2022. 

Pastor Khong shared that in his early years of attending Summit, he felt God asking what his reason for being there was.

But he didn’t quite know how to answer that except: “Because Pastor Lawrence Khong (his father) said so.” 

I really related to that on a spiritual level. 


As a second-generation Christian, I understand the struggle of not being able to match up to our parents’ spirituality.

I sometimes felt like they were spiritual giants, whereas I was just a spiritual baby with such a long way to go before I could ever reach their level of faith to do great things for God like them. 

That was when Pastor Khong’s cryptic exhortation that we could be the “second generation that brings this destiny into fruition” got me thinking.

Legacy? Destiny? What were these big Christianese words supposed to mean? 

Pastor Khong explained: “Legacy is something passed on from one generation to the next. Destiny is something that will come to pass in the future.”

While we inherit this faith from our parents, we could well be the ones God uses to fulfil His destiny — His pre-ordained purposes and plans.

Pastor Khong cited the example of David and Solomon to illustrate this: King David passed on his kingdom legacy to his son, Solomon, the next king who was the one to build the Temple. This brought God’s plan into fruition. 

Looking back on my growing years, I realised that my Christian parents have indeed left me a strong spiritual heritage to tap into.

This includes their godly advice, worldviews and guidance during my formative years that have helped mould me into a better Christian today (although there is always much room for improvement!).

I also consider it a huge blessing to have been exposed to the knowledge of God through Bible stories and Sunday School.

Although I didn’t fully understand back then, my parents provided a foundation to help me slowly grow in my faith and spiritual maturity. 


At Summit 2022, Pastor Khong explained the difference between “being convinced” and “being convicted”. 

He defined being convinced as “an intellectually, preferentially or practically held belief”.

Being convicted, however, is a Spirit-led and Spirit-held belief – something that “the Spirit of God deposits upon us”.

Conviction transcends mere head knowledge and goes beyond just our thoughts or emotions. Conviction is something we hold onto spiritually.

That is faith that is caught, not taught.

For all my parents have taught me about God, at the turning point when I stopped seeing God as a Grandfather but as my own Heavenly Father, I wasn’t merely convinced by them.

I was convicted by the Spirit! The personal encounters I have had with God also helped me to truly believe.


There was another question that Pastor Khong asked that really made me think: Our parents imparted their faith to us, but how do we pass on our faith to the next generation?

Hearing that, I was reminded of some lyrics I really love in “First Love” by Hillsong Young & Free.

‘Cause the fire won’t mean a thing
If it ends right here with me
You want more than that

Just as my parents have imparted the faith to me, I want to pass it on and not just keep it to myself!

“And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2, ESV)

As we look to the people God has placed around us, how can we impart our faith in a practical way?

Perhaps we can start by sharing our personal testimonies and the Good News with them, and then encourage and journey together with them.

There’s a domino effect in doing so: We really never know how God can use these people we have impacted to make a positive difference in the lives of so many others! 


Finally, Pastor Khong talked about how an intergenerational community brings about safety and security in our faith. In a family of believers, there is strong spiritual support for all members.

Expounding on Ecclesiastes 4:12, he pointed out that a cord of three strands is much stronger than a cord of just one or two strands.

It’s a principle that can apply not just to lateral friendships, but also vertical, intergenerational relationships in one’s family and within the Church.

I feel that is one of the biggest blessings about being a second-generation Christian.

When I am struggling with certain aspects of my faith, and have doubts or question God’s direction for my life, my parents who are more spiritually mature than I am can encourage me with godly advice and point me back to God.

Likewise, if my family members are struggling with something, I can support them in prayer. Being able to pray together as a family is really such a privilege! 

As Pastor Khong ended off his message with an exhortation to “move (as an intergenerational family of believers) towards a combined destiny”, a particular verse came to my mind. 

“… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) 

What a privilege it is to be able to know and serve God together with my family and fellow believers, both young and old.

As second-generation Christians, we need to be convicted and take ownership of our faith. Let’s tap into this rich spiritual legacy that our parents have left us, and in turn impart our faith to others!

When we inherit and pass on our faith to the next generation, we can move together as one Body of Christ to serve God in whatever area He calls us to serve in. 

  1. If you’re a second-generation Christian, what are some struggles you face when it comes to the faith?
  2. How did this article challenge or motivate you to approach faith differently?
  3. What is your role to play when it comes to unity in the Church?