20 Reasons Church is the Best Environment for Kids
Inside: God urges us to find a church because we can’t grow in faith in isolation. The ministry to children should be church’s greatest role.
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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 of 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 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?
Here's the thing, if kids don't go regularly to church during their childhood, they aren't going to go as adults. Click To Tweet
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. Our kids need the ministry to children!
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?
Here are some examples of sharing ministry to children!
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 what a ministry to children our churches can be!
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. A 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.
Ministry to Children
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 the 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).
Bible Time Kids – A Quiet-Time Handbook for Creative & Active Children: Devotional Journal and Coloring Book (Keep Your Kids Calm & Quiet in Church)Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side: 40 Conversations to Help Them Build a Lasting FaithSticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your KidsForensic Faith for Kids: Learn to Share the Truth from a Real DetectiveBuilding Faith Block By Block: [An Unofficial Minecraft Guide] 60 A-to-Z (Kid Only) Survival SecretsReal Kids, Real Faith: Practices for Nurturing Children’s Spiritual LivesRaising Kingdom Kids: Giving Your Child a Living Faith
I love your post and how you’re wrestling with such important questions. As a former youth pastor I wish more parents did, as a former youth who went to church (and stayed) and as a mom who now has adult ‘children’, I recognize how important it is to ‘help’ your kids stay involved in church. It’s finding that fine balance between encouraging and forcing. This takes a great deal of spiritual discernment. I found the parents who were OVERLY strict and didn’t balance that out with lots of love and affirmation pushed their kids out of church. On the flip side, those who never encouraged their kids that youth or church was a priority had teens who usually left the church. Parenting godly teens is not work for the weak 🙂 I can tell you and your kids are going to make it because you’re asking those questions. Praying for a greater gifting of discernment for you.
Sherry- thank you so much for sharing your experience! It is helpful on my parenting journey!
You stick to it, brave mama. They will thank you one day. Thanks for reminding us how important it is to get ourselves to church. I know that I don’t feel it some days as well, but i am always better for going.
Lyli- thank you! Yes, I feel like that on some Sunday mornings, you’re not alone:)
Even though I don’t have children, I found your post so interesting as I thought about my own upbringing. At times, I didn’t like my church growing up but I’m glad my parents did make me go since it birthed a discipline to follow God, even when I didn’t feel like it. I’m glad I was raised in a family of faith and it set a foundation for navigating difficult times down the road of life. Hoping your children will connect with God and a church where they can grow in the faith you’re instilling in them! xo
Valerie- thank you for sharing your story! It’s so helpful as a mom in this journey!
This is so crucial: “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.” Your example will speak more to them than anything else, Julie! Thanks for sharing this.
Lisa- thank you for stopping by! Have a great rest of the week!
Aww…I pinned this article earlier this week, but I didn’t know it was from you….because I was on rapid pin mode. LOVE THIS!
Sarah- Thank you so much!
We wrestle with this too, but I feel it’s so important to keep them in the environment with the most chance to plant seeds of faith and nurture them toward knowing God. I can only do so much on my own. It truly takes a village and it’s so crucial for all of us to worship and learn in community.
Kathryn- I’m glad I’m not alone in this! Yes, it does take a commmunity!
Thank you for stopping!
I didn’t grow up in church (wish I did) and these wonderful truths are such a blessing. I know there are times, even as a PW, where I wish I could take a day off but I can’t play hooky. When I push through I know there’s always a blessing in store! 🙂
Lillian- thank you! There is a blessing when we go with the right mindset. I hear so many say, “I didn’t get anything out of church.” Was your heart open, were you expectantly waiting for something?”
I appreciate your friendship!
Great list! This gives me a lot to think about as I consider how I should respond to one of the challenging choices we face as parents.
Shannon- thank you for stopping!
This is such a great list. I attended several different churches growing up and finally found one where I felt at home when I was in high school. One I went to even when my mom didn’t. One where I understood what the pastor was saying. I think that makes a difference.
Heather- I think that’s key! We can’t go to a church because our friend goes there if we aren’t feeling fulfilled. We need to choose a church where we feel filled.
When my husband and I moved to a new state a large part of our church seeking was based around the children/youth department. We wanted to make sure that the teaching was sound and a place that our children wanted to go. So far so good. We’ll see if that changed in 5-10 years!
Melissa- our church has a huge emphasis in youth and also missions in our neighborhood and in the world. My husband and I really liked our church based on these two facts!
When we look at attending a church we look at the children’s ministry & the youth ministry first. It is so very important to have a good foundation in both so that our children can grow closer and closer to God. I am a youth leader and it is vital to have a wonderful ministry for young people and children alike. Just keep praying girl, do not give up! Your kiddos will learn from you and your husband just how important it is to attend church.
Keisha- thank you for sharing and the encouragement! 🙂
What you write is so true. I figured that it was my duty to put them where they might have contact with the Holy Spirit. And then I just had to trust that He would show up for each of my children. He really did, but it wouldn’t have happened without church.
Alice- Trust is a huge concept being a parent isn’t it? I’m not so good at trust either, God is really working with me in trust!
Loved this post. If kids don’t go to church regularly then they will not when they are adults, I loved this line. Amen! Those 20 reasons are very powerful. I believe in it 100%
Ann- thank you! Yes, the statistics aren’t good when kids don’t grow up going to church, they won’t return as adults.