Do You Desire To Bring Your Child Into The Kingdom?

It's hard enough to be a Christian parent in this world. How do we combat the forces of evil while at the same time raise our children to desire to walk in God's light? By seeking His face, His Word and inspiration from each other as we stumble through this parenting process together. You will find all the instruction, encouragement and resources you need right here at The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take to help you be the most effective witness to your child that God would have you be. Look around and come back often. Let's learn together.

Monday, June 9, 2008

5 Ways To Create A Home Of Worship - Attend Church As A Family

photo by DanieVDM

I like how Pastor Rick Warren treats the subject of worship in his book The Purpose Driven Life. He makes the case that worship is a lifestyle, a heart given to celebrating the presence of Jesus in our lives on a continual basis. It is not a style of music nor a method of conducting church service. It’s not what we do on Sunday mornings, but what we practice everyday, wholeheartedly loving our Lord.

In turning our homes into mission fields we need to create an environment of worship that draws our children into an attitude of thanksgiving. It is way too easy for them to engage in complaining and rebellious behavior, especially given the me-first mindset that permeates our society. Children find themselves comparing what they should or should not be doing with people they often do not even know but are convinced they should be emulating.

One of the observations my husband and I have made is that as children get older their frequency of church attendance tends to drop dramatically. Churches are often filled with young children attending Sunday school classes and mid-week activities, but somewhere around the middle school years the numbers start to dwindle. Get into high school and often the grades have to be combined because there are not enough students to break them into separate groups.

As we’ve inquired about the whereabouts of the children we’ve heard all kinds of justification from parents, the most frequent one being that the child just needed to sleep in. All those club projects, extracurricular activities and just letting a kid be a kid seem to have taken precedence over the spiritual salvation or maturity of the child.

Part of creating a home of worship is making God a big deal. As such, church attendance by the entire family must be an expectation, not an option. Rebellious attitudes, oftentimes exhibited as laziness, get harder to deal with as children get older, but we as Christian parents must take a firm stand on this.

All of my children at one time or another have made the pitch for staying home instead of going to Sunday morning service. They’ll try to support their effort by saying that a child they know, usually someone whose family is a member of our church, doesn’t go every Sunday, so why can’t they miss just one Sunday?

Our answer is always the same: “Because that’s what our family does on Sunday mornings, we go to church.” That may sound like a while-you’re-under-our-roof kind of an answer, but I’m convinced it’s a viable way for stating certain expectations you have for the family.

In reality, we’ve demonstrated to our children an enthusiasm for going to church. We don’t have to go to church, we get to go to church. We’ve convinced our children that not attending church will mean they’ll have missed something.

And what will they have missed?

1. Worshipping corporately, as the bride of Christ - it’s a birthday party and graduation celebration every single Sunday;
2. Fellowshipping with our brothers and sisters - we get to hang out with the best kind of people;
3. Reinforcement of instruction received at home - a revealing of the mysteries of God’s truths - they’re universal!
4. Edification as one of God’s saints - we will hear and see things that will make us stronger, smarter, happier and more powerful than we’ve ever been;
5. Being part of a testimony that others will want to emulate - what could be better than being a member of a group (your family) that others look up to and want to imitate?

Make weekly church attendance an expectation for your family. Demonstrate enthusiasm for it. It’s an important foundational layer for creating a worshipful home.
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1 comment:

Laheela Hargest said...

When did I ever not want to go to church? Must've been a long time ago. Actually, now that I think about it, I do remember an incident back when I was about 5 or 6, and I didn't want to go cuz you were making me wear this frilly flowery dress that I absolutely hated but you loved and made me wear all the time. Haha. ;D Good point like always.