Posted: 08/02/2008 in Uncategorized

here’s another thought…

when parents send their children to church are we enabling them to continue living sinful lives? are they seeing their situation as where they don’t need to change because someone else (the church) is taking care of that responsibility (teaching their children Christ) for them. if the church wasn’t doing this- and the parents weren’t rely on the church as the primary education for their children, would they step it up? (i can think of some families who i think they would step it up or stop because all of a sudden they would be the example, not the church)

so if this is the case, what do we do? does our children’s program change or just our praying and our focus? because i think there are families who’s children are involved in the program who are not being enabled by our programs…  

here’s another strong thought i’m dealing with here is that, we the church, by reaching out to children instead of parents aren’t really changing the child’s life as much as we would if we were reaching out to the parent. i understand, yes, it’s better than nothing- but why settle? i believe what is instilled in the child is their foundation (0-5 yrs) and they don’t part from it. the church doesn’t usually step in until after this age. so then frantic doggy peddling goes on to try and save, when only the parents can attempt to undo what’s been done. because the church is teaching contradictory to how their parents are living– well then that’s seen by the child as hypocritical, so who does that child label as wrong, the church (why: because they don’t part from their foundation… and that’s their parents and we are to obey our parents). i believe this is why the majority of this generation now doesn’t want to have anything to do with the church because they believe that everyone that goes to church acts christ-like at church but goes home and drinks and smokes just like their parents do and did. or maybe not the “obvious” sins but simply just see nothing wrong with only popping in on easter and christmas… 

(please remember- this is nothing personal- just some brainstorming going on… problem solving some long term problems i see- i feel this is my duty as a member to see the church through observant eyes (intune with the holy spirit’s convictions instead of seeing it as something we’ve always done so it couldn’t be flawed or wrong), to constantly better ourselves, )

ok too- i believe that these children’s programs can be a tool, like so many people have said to me they started coming to our church to get their kid’s into the youth group, sonlight or children’s programs but their children are so far from church right now (5-8 yrs later) and the parent comes maybe once a month- but mostly just easter and christmas. what’s the missing link? obviously it’s a temporary tool and what must happen during the temp time they are here is equipping them with the tools they (the parents) need to go home and teach!!! i’m not sure what or how yet but there is a link missing… 

i think this has all come about because i would really like to start a deaf ministries in our church someday. but honestly, not with the children. i would love to serve the children in the way they would need, interpreter, etc. BUT when reaching out to draw in, i would focus on getting the parents to church WITH the children… (if the children are deaf and parents are hearing…) i know right now, i can’t enable… and since i feel it’s enabling and dividing families then i couldn’t do it… if the children are suffering and need an ear to hear them, don’t be the ear – show their mom/dad how to be the ear. 

an article i just found on a website i really like.

You must create a social circle for your children. It may be limited to just one or two other families who share your world-view, for you can be sure that when a handful of teenagers get together, at least one of them is going to introduce corruption to the others. We never allowed our children to stay overnight with other kids. When they wanted to go down to the local church on Saturday night to skate, Mike went with them. We never allowed them to go to parties unless one of us was there. We created our own fun that was far more exciting than the church gatherings. They never felt they were missing anything.

this may seem extreme to you – ok… whatever! but i take raising my children very seriously and doing something to just fit the mold, but lose my children is just simply not an option to me.

  1. breanna says:

    this post has gotten me thinking as i’m sure it has gotten most of you as well. i can see how this can be a problem in churches today. i heard a minister speak about how his church didn’t have a youth program because they wanted to keep the families together and have everyone be learning the same thing. i think that this is a little extreme. it’s an attempt to solve the problem by going to the far end of the pendulum. it’s like killing ants in your house by burning it to the ground. i think we need children’s programs. jesus said that if anyone causes a child to fall it would be better for him to tie a rock around his neck and jump in the river, it would be better if he had never been born. and cutting off all children’s programming feels like such a scenario to me. i’ve been thinking about why this is a problem in churches and more specifically, in our church. the answer was surprisingly simple. if you go to sonlight on any given night you’ll find dozens of children and multiple workers and volunteers listening to kids teaching kids and playing with kids. and without a doubt they are reaching these kids and i don’t want them to stop. now, on the flip side of the coin if you think about their parents or any adults for that matter and the program we have to reach out to them you see a stark contrast. we have 1 minister and 4 elders who we expect to run everything and visit everyone, making disciples of all nations because “they get paid to do it” now the elders aren’t paid but they have the same responsibility. technically elders and pastors have no distinction biblically. nevertheless, i found that contrast rather startling. so i guess what i’m getting at is that people in general seem to have the attitude of why should i when someone else can. this is not everyone, there are exceptions. but if you stop and honestly look around, tell me i’m wrong when i say that most people would rather send their kids to someone else for christian values and let someone else take the responsibility for fulfilling the great commission in the church. do we really think that if the minister reaches out to a new family and they are baptized and commit to the church that we will get bonus points in heaven because we, being members of the LCC were on the same team. i don’t think it works that way. everyone is responsible, myself included. -eric-

  2. breanna says:

    i agree Eric… nicely put… (brea)

  3. heathermama says:

    I wonder if there is a missing link here that isn’t connecting the two things! Parent programs and Children programs.

    Why can’t wednesday nights be family nights. Where the FAMILIES come and learn scripture and play games together with other families. No one is saying to ignore the children.

    When you build up marriages you are building up children. If the parents have a horrible marriage what do you have? If the parents don’t understand the importance of a relationship with their children the what do you have? You are right eric ppl just drop their kids off! And that is what the world wants.

    My solution would be. Right now while these families are used to the parents and children being split… is to train the parents to question this choice. Ask them why they do it?! Ask them what is the need. If they know how to train and encourage obedience then they won’t need games and story hour during church. I sit with all 5 of my kids during church. Alone. Hubby runs the sound. It’s hard don’t get me wrong! But I get what I need! and I see my kids learning how to be at church! and bringing home tiny little nuggets about God! Also I hear what is being talked about so if I am concerned about something because I know they may not understand I can deal with it.

    Where as when they were gonig to children’s church they would come home with crazy questions and I would be clueless as to the point of the topic or whatever! My boys both thought the golden rule was to do to others what they have done to you! seriously!!!! literally…. i couldn’t convince them! there came a day where I just had to say. Take it to the Holy Spirit! If you can’t believe me then you can ask God yourself! lol

    If the parents are being encouraged to bring the children to church with them eventually you will see that the need for children’s church is different. You will ONLY be meeting the needs of these children who truly need parental figures. You can reach out to THESE families in a bigger way. Filling the needs of maybe orphaned children or widows or single moms. which is what the bible commanded, not taking the place of parents!

    What I see is happening tho is that families are letting the church raise their children and what I wonder is….

    Look at the fruit of that! What is the fruit of these childrens’ lives? Are they growing up seeking God for themselves? As their parents did? Or?????

    It isn’t the churches fault oh NO it isn’t! It is the parents! SO EQUIP them! Encourage them! Change the focus! KUDDOS to bringing up this tough thing! It is near and dear to my heart! and something I believe God is reaching out and wanting to deal with ppl all over the world!

    I have a book on the topic
    Parenting in the Pew

  4. breanna says:

    wow heath! i think you hit it right on the head!!! i’m gonna post a new post about it so it is seen… i feel like it is the exact point i was trying to make!!! thanks for sharing!!!

  5. heathermama says:

    your welcome! it’s all good!
    get the book! it will rock your world! love ya

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