Taking Our Kids to Church
I think we’ve got it wrong.
The church seems to be in almost a panic about losing our young people right now. I’m with everybody else, it devastates me to think about the mass exodus out of the church doors.
But still, I wonder. I wonder if maybe it isn’t that they are leaving church, but possible that they can’t leave somewhere they haven’t ever been.
Sure, we have taken them to the church every Sunday. We never miss Sunday school. We do Youth trips and Wednesday nights. My son could drive our car to the church in his sleep…and he isn’t even seven.
I’m not talking about that church though, not the building that we call the church. Not the gathering place for the activities that we do for church.
I’m talking about making our kids a part of the church. The church that is believers of Jesus coming together to strengthen, minister, and serve. The church that is the body of Christ, with each member serving his or her purpose in the church.
“So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone.” Ephesians 2:19-20
See the reason I think we are wrong is that we see them leaving the building without recognizing that they never participated in the body.
I’m a research junkie. More and more experts are finding that our kids are losing purpose in our culture. Children are having a crisis of self-esteem because they don’t feel like they have anything valuable to offer. We hand them everything on a silver platter and tell them to do, we have forgotten to teach them how to be.
It turns out that you can’t be taught how to be a part of something without experiencing it. There is no curriculum to tell you how to be a friend, nor do you become friends while sitting in a squeaky clean house, serving food already made for you , while discussing a prescribed script. Friends are forged in the fire of the kitchen.
Water running, oven beeping, “grab that potholder for me, will you?” kind of kitchens. We learn in the doing and our kids are no different.
We can’t sit them down in the middle of a perfectly decorated classroom, serve them perfectly portioned memory verses, and hand them a pre-packed curriculum and then expect them to do church for the rest of their lives.
More and more I am coming to believe that they need to be participating in the greet people, serve people, teach people kind of ministry that the church does in real life.
“And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness.” Ephesians 4:11-13
What would happen if instead of always cheering our kids on, we guided them through the scriptures where Paul encourages his friends and then asked them to do the same for each other?
What would happen if instead of preaching to them about the disciples, we showed them how Jesus taught his disciples and asked them to find someone to disciple them? What if we asked them to find someone that needs to be discipled?
What if we asked them to give instead of just handing them the check to put in the plate? What if we showed them where their giving was going.
Moms and dads. Church members. Church leaders. Can we hold hands and move forward on this? Let’s make a commitment to our kids be they new babies or all grown-up to be in the church. Let’s hold hands and let our kids know they are valuable to God. Let’s teach them that they are valuable to the church. Let’s ask ourselves…
What would happen if we really invited our kids to church?
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I like to share about all the glory that God shows me over at my blog kayliehodges.com. I write about faith, family, and funnies. I love to listen to stories, and tell tales of the beauty from ashes that is adoption, and often motherhood in general. I am currently working on a book about sharing lives and sharing faith!