How Do We Encourage Our Children to See the Church as Valuable?

Our children won’t see the church as valuable unless we see the church as valuable.

The number one way we can get our children to see the church as important is to model to them its importance. If we make it a priority, and we encourage our children to be with us at the usual meetings of the church, it tells our children that we value it and so should they. When our life is ordered around the things of the Lord, when he is the first priority, our children will see the consistency with which we put those things first.

 

We had an interesting, if perhaps emotionally loaded, discussion at our home group this evening. We have spent the last few months looking at our church membership covenant. We have six pledges that – whilst not quite a word-for-word rendering (I think) – owe their form and existence primarily to Thom Rainer’s book, I am a church member.

The pledge was about bringing up our children to love the church. Much of the discussion centred on how we lead our children and families well. We cycled round the standard things such as not allowing clubs and games to take priority over the church, praying for the church with our family and doing more than just bringing our children to church but explaining to them precisely what we are doing and why at each point in the service.

Then things moved onto the question of how we encourage our children to keep coming to church. It was noted how hard it is to keep them interested when they get to certain ages. Some wistfully wondered about their own children. So, how do we encourage our children to love the church?

First, our children won’t see the church as valuable unless we see the church as valuable. If our children see that we’re happy to drop church whenever it suits us, there isn’t going to be much hope that they will view it as important. Likewise, if we’re happy to permit them to go to anything that clashes with church, it will be clear to our children that church is something that simply fits around our other priorities as it suits us.

The number one way we can get our children to see the church as important is to model to them its importance. If we make it a priority, and we encourage our children to be with us at the usual meetings of the church, it tells our children that we value it and so should they. When our life is ordered around the things of the Lord, when he is the first priority, our children will see the consistency with which we put those things first. We will model the value of the church to them.

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