Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Importance of Church for Kids

I’m glad that I’ve taken my kids to church on Sundays since they were babies. Now that they are pre-teen and teen, it’s expected that on Sunday mornings we will attend church, except for the rarity of being out of town, having to work, or someone in the family being sick. And I’m so glad that’s the case for a number of reasons.

Obviously, the biggest benefit is that we worship God together as a family. Which is what church is for, the worship of Almighty God. It’s not about me, it’s not about you, and it’s not about hearing a sermon so that you or I can feel better. It’s all about glorifying God, and it’s nice to do that in fellowship with my family.

But more than the obvious, I am so lucky that my kids don’t argue about going to church, whereas someone who hasn’t taken their kids to church might have a hard time dragging them there at this age. Their kids may fear the unknown, and worry about not knowing the bible, the church traditions, or even what to expect in the service. And they may dread the boredom. After all, these youth think, how could church be anything but boring?

But it IS anything but boring. My family loves church (kids included)! It’s where we go to fill ourselves with the word of God. To learn how to live our life amidst all the growing troubles in the world, in our communities, and in our lives. Where we can fellowship with other believers, who also experience trials and tribulations, and who love us and accept us no matter our short-comings. (So despite church not being about making us feel better, it’s invariably one of the many positive side-effects).

And a real blessing for my kids is being able to relate to other kids who are also learning Christian values through Sunday school, and for my oldest, through a weekend youth retreat each year called Conclaves. These weekend camps are organized and led by youth, specifically for middle and senior high school kids. They learn and grow in their love of God and one another through small group discussions, and they enjoy leisure time, adventure opportunities, and even a concert.

My kids are comfortable attending church and even weekend outings with area youth. It will be up to them what they do with their spirituality when they are older and on their own. As adults, they will decide whether or not to attend church (I rarely attended church once I was an adult until I had children of my own). But at least they have a foundation on which to thrive, to build and base their decisions. That’s about all I can give them.