I poke my head into the dark room and say to my teens- time to wake up for church, as they grumble and roll over. Do we have too? I’m so tired, could we just watch it online?
My younger boys reluctantly get ready, but I can tell they’d rather visit the dentist than head into town for the service.
What is wrong with my kids?
Every Sunday it’s another excuse, hence an eye roll or some sort of comment which puts me on the defensive.
Honestly, none of my kids are that eager to go to church on Sunday mornings. Sadly, the only thrill for going is the dessert table where they load up their plates; like I haven’t fed them breakfast (I have).
I don’t want to force my kids to go, but I also don’t think a child younger than 13 can make this choice. On the internet, we can find many opinions about forcing kids to go to church. Obviously, I don’t want to turn my kids off to it, but I also want them to understand the importance of church.
My faith won’t get them anywhere, they need to want to have faith and grow in that faith.
According to Sticky Faith Research, studies have shown young people with parents who share about their own faith journeys tend to stick with faith after high school graduation.
Did you know, kids are more likely to go to church when their father goes to church?
It’s hard for me to hear my kids don’t enjoy church. As a Christian parent, it makes me wonder what I’m doing wrong. Am I failing?
Dr. John Townsend wrote in his book, Boundaries with Teens, Good parenting means letting your teen move away from you spiritually while at the same time keeping her pointed toward a connection with her Heavenly Father.
What if they walk away from the church or lose their faith because I don’t encourage enough?
Some of you might be thinking, I don’t need a church to have faith. While that might be true, God urges us to find a church because we can’t grow in faith in isolation.
Why do You go to church?
Isn’t that a cornerstone question? (Honestly, it took me a few minutes to come up with a few reasons.) If I can’t answer it, how can I model to my kids the importance or the necessity of regular church attendance?
20 Reasons Why Kids Need Church
1. A family/community
With the breakdown of families and community, the church is a place of stability and community.
The church is the place where brokenness is accepted, where growing in greater faith is encouraged.
3. A place to love others
Where can we practice the ability to love others in a safe community?
4. Faith Growth
We can’t grow in faith in a vacuum, we need others. We need spiritual leaders shepherding us.
The church holds us in the responsibility of our actions. Blatant sin can be addressed in a caring place.
6. Place to worship God
Our presence at church can be a model of encouragement to other worshipers.
7. Life’s Direction
Through learning about God and using the guidance of others, we can find God’s will for our life.
8. Environment to use spiritual gifts
Because of faith, the Holy Spirit gives us gifts to be used in the body of Christ. Here we can learn and practice these gifts.
9. Encourage spiritual leaders
Our church leaders are bull’s eyes in a direct assault from Satan. They need encouragement from believers.
10. Value God
We can attest to God’s importance in our lives by setting aside this time frame every week for Him.
10 More Important Reasons
11. Understand the Word of God
Pastors have gone to advanced training to learn the ins and outs of the Bible. Through them, we can learn the Bible in deeper ways than by ourselves.
The church and God have a different perspective than the unbelieving world around us. As a result, we can focus on the eternal when life is difficult.
13. Comfort when life is hard
Who can comfort and pray for us when the hard of life is present? Brothers and sisters of Christ can be a great source of support when we find ourselves in trying circumstances.
14. Bless future relationships (including marriage)
Through God’s word modeled in church, we learn how God expects us to treat others. God’s love is the model for all relationships. Learning from God will bless all relationships.
15. Eternal hope
We can have confidence – no matter what happens, we will be in Heaven someday. Doesn’t this make life more comforting and hope-filled?
16. See God more acutely in others
Life doesn’t happen due to luck or fate, we can start to see God’s hands over everything. An important point to realize is church and faith keep our focus on things above.
Every Sunday we have the chance to fill ourselves with Him, find peace and refreshment for our weary souls and tired bodies. For this reason, God fills us with His presence and we find reprieve from the stress of the world.
18. Help others
We can reach outside of our own selfish needs and help others through service, missions and ministry.
19. Teaches us right from wrong
The world is accepting a lot of what God says is wrong. We can find others who cherish God’s ideals.
We can find life-long friends who share important truths and draw us closer to God. In other words, they can urge us to grow in faith.
As you can see, the church is an important part of our lives and will be equally important for our kids’ lives.
How I’m Encouraging in my Family
My husband and I are going to keep encouraging our kids and share our experiences and instances where church has been helpful in our lives.
As the kids get older, we will urge but not force them because they need to see the importance for themselves and the hunger for more of God. My faith can’t get them to heaven or to church.
In the meantime, I am going to pray daily and ask God to soften their hearts and create a desire for more and more of Him.
I will live my faith out better so they see the totality of the faith package, it’s more than just a Sunday service. However, the Sunday service is a visual act for others to grow in their own faith and an accountability partner to keep growing in our own faith.
So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ. (Romans 10:17, NLT).