Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kids in "Big Church"

My husband and I are trying to find a church closer to where we live and the search is getting difficult.  Every church seems to have Children's church up to 6th grade.  Some churches may not call it that, but that is in fact what it is.  I am not saying that Children's church is bad, but just not for our family. 

We believe our children should be in worship with us.  They should learn to sit still and listen to what the pastor has to say.  They should see dad and mom worshiping together and reading the bible together.  For us, children's church is another way to separate the family.  If your children go to school, then do a sport after school 3 days a week, then go to Awana's or whatever program on Wednesday night, and then go to their own Sunday School class and now their own church service; when do they have family time with their parents?  I read a book called Socialization Trap.  Rick Boyer states in this book that we outsource our children to learn team work by putting them in sports.  We outsource our children to learn by taking them to public/private school.  We outsource our children to learn about God by putting them in a separate programs at church (Awana's, Sunday School, Children's Church).  Then we wonder why as teenagers they won't listen to us.  It is because they haven't had to listen to us.   

There is something special about going to church with your children and hearing them sing the same songs you sing.  I've heard the argument that children won't like their parent's music.  Well, let me answer this argument by using my own family as an example.  Our daughter who is 5 1/2 loves Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.  Why?  Because I like it.  She knows the songs and loves to sing them because I do.  Your little kids will like what you like, for the most part.  Then there's my favorite argument about children being bored.  So let me share my thoughts on that.  They are bored, because they are entertained to death.  We can't expect 6th graders and up to like "Big church," if they have been entertained (drama, hand movements to fast songs, etc.) in children's church.

Our kids love going to church with us and opening their own bibles.  They love getting pencils and pens to write with or color.  They are young, but we are teaching them to sit still.  Our oldest just turned 7 not to long ago and we have talked to him about listening more during church instead of coloring.  This past Sunday he didn't color as much and actually paid attention more.  Now he doesn't understand everything, but we help him with the parts he didn't get on the drive home from church.

I guess I'm from the old school that thinks the Bible is interesting on it's own.  A little drama here and there is fine, but are we so media driven that we have to be entertained every Sunday with the T.V.  That's also what I'm finding in our search for a church.  The T.V. is used every Sunday.  You know I'm ok if every now and then a clip is used to emphasize a point, but not every Sunday. 

We believe that if you love church, so will your children.  If you get excited about going, so will your children.  If you love the songs, so will your children.  And if you live out what you believe every day of the week, SO WILL YOUR CHILDREN.  We aren't just teaching our children what to do on Sundays.  We are teaching our children a lifestyle.  We are teaching them reverence.  We are teaching them how to listen.  As we teach our children to sit still and pay attention to a preacher on stage that is seen, we are preparing them to be able to hear God who is unseen.


Dr. George Burroughs said...

I love it! Very well written and thought provoking. As a society, we DO outsource too many aspects of our children's lives...and, as you noted, then wonder why our teenagers won't listen to us.

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