The following is one part in a series of letters to Parents. All of it is meant with the most serious of intentions, and is not directed at any one parent. It is simply the writing of a man that has worked with children and their parents in a church setting for many years now.
Thank you for coming to church…last month. Where ya been? I love seeing you and your family, but it’s been a while. Don’t lie about how much you attend, because nowadays I can track your kids attendance pretty easy with all the sophisticated software solutions out there. I’m sure your schedule has been really busy lately, and you feel like you’re having to choose to say no to some things. And I’m sure that it’s easy to say no to church attendance. I mean really, you can always go next week, right? I know that there are weeks that there really are conflicts; soccer tournaments, out-of-town trips, and the occassional sick times. But in all honesty and with as much sincerity as I can muster, what do you have going on a Sunday morning that takes priority over worship?
Let me be your cheerleader for a moment: You can get here to church more regularly! You can get there, I know you can! And I’d like to encourage you to make it more of a priority. But why should you?
- The Bible Says So. // That is always a great fall-back, huh? Seriously, you should read some of what Hebrews, Romans, and James says about the matter. It’s important to be in church, period. The church was and is a part of God’s great Rescue Plan to introduce Jesus to the world. It also exists to helps us grow, learn, and give to a community of people all seeking the same things. You knew I’d say this one, right?
- You need to establish good habits with your kid early on. // I’ve rarely met a person that attends church once-a-month that would say that they want their children to grow up and NOT attend church. It’s quite simple really, if you want your kids to grow up and be a part of a community of believers (church), it’s in your best interest to attend one yourself. Make it a priority for your family, and your kids will learn that it’s a vital part of their walk with God.
- Without regular attendance you miss the mentoring and relationship benefit of Children’s Ministry. // This same principle applies to every area of the church, but let’s talk about your kids for right now. One of the best benefits of taking your kid to a thriving ministry for Children is that they get to know other kids learning about God’s Best for their lives, and the adult leaders leading these areas. If you attend inconsistently, you are greatly diminishing the chance for one of our fantastic Small Group Leaders or Classroom Teachers to make an impact on your child’s life. Trust me, it’s so important that your kid hear the same things you tell them coming from a different voice.
It’s obvious, in that you sometimes attend, that you do indeed value what church means in your life, and what it can mean to your kids as you are walking this journey of parenting them. Now it’s time to make it more of a priority, and start getting involved. It starts with being here consistently, then we can happily start finding places for you to serve in this wonderful family called “The Body of Christ.”
Your Friendly Neighborhood Children’s Pastor