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Give a Parent a Break


Many of us that work at churches are guilty of giving parents the hardest time of anyone. Don’t believe me? Well, have you ever had the following thoughts:

Why are they always so late?  

I hate it when they pick their kid up early, right before the good part.

If these parents only knew how messed up their teenager was they’d get them to church more often!

Can you imagine what would happen if all these parents decided to show up on the same Sunday?

If those were my kids I would (insert really smart parenting thing here.)

Why do I even try to send them emails? They never read them.

I’m guilty, you’re guilty, and we’re all guilty together. For just a second we should consider that maybe, just maybe…it’s a HUGE win that they attempted to come. Maybe we could give parents some credit for deciding to be there, even if they decide to leave early. Maybe we could give parents some credit for trying, even if the trying seems half-hearted. Could we please stop complaining when they don’t engage us at every…single…solitary…event?

I’m learning to have enough faith in my church, my God, and myself to know that if they just keep trying; they will find it. If they can find confidence in my smile, then good for them. If they could be inspired by what I don’t say, but they know I’m thinking…then even better.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. amy dolan · January 30, 2013

    i like this post. good words.