I grew up in church. We went through those big wooden doors what felt like 15 times a week.
It went like this: Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon meals with missionaries at our home–usually, pot roast and homemade pies–Sunday night, Wednesday night prayer meeting, Thursday night choir practice, for our parents while we were to sit quietly doing homework in the church pews–yeah, right. Many of those pews have my initials carved in them to this day.
Friday nights were youth meetings, Saturday morning Rosebud meetings (do not get me started on my Rosebud years.) and Saturday night potlucks. In addition, we visited the sick from church, babysat the pastor’s kids and had summers filled with Vacation Bible School and camps.
You get the picture.
Church was my spiritual, social, emotional and physical life until I left home for college.
I believe my parents had the right idea. They developed habits in us they prayed would keep us attending church as we got off on our own. Honestly, to this day, I am so comfortable in church. Once I go through any church door, I feel a sense of being clothed in a soft security blanket. I feel at home.
So, where am I going with this warm fuzzy walk down Memory Lane?
I think many parents instill a relationship with church in their kids, when it is a relationship with God they intend.
I tell young families how important it is to put a “face with the ‘place” when taking their kids to church.
Introduce them to the love of Jesus as the reason for the fun at church. IN ADDITION, yes, it is important that they have fun at church. Go to a church where children are a priority ministry. Sunday mornings are easier when kids jump out of bed and are excited about going to church.
Do you want your kids to know and love God? It takes a lot more effort than just getting the cute clothes, curled hair, clean shoes and trying to arrive at church before the first song has finished. It will include conversation, repeatedly, about WHY we go to church. WHO do we learn about? HOW should this change our hearts and behavior during the week?
When we talk to God every day, HE becomes more and more real in our lives. A spiritual saturation will achieve the relationship with God. Taking your kids to church is important. However, church attendance is not the most essential thing you can do for your kids.
The most important legacy you can give your kids is allowing them to witness YOUR personal, passionate, intimate relationship with God–making it something they SEE and WANT for their own lives as they grow.
Question: What are your childhood memories of going to church?