Are you familiar with Dorothy Law Nolte’s poem, ‘Children Learn What They Live’ ? It certainly rings true. Parents/caregivers influence their child’s basic values, behaviors, and issues related to their future. Kids are watching, listening to us, and they’re following our lead.
Anyone with grown kids will probably concur that childhood goes fast! We have to seize the opportunity to model the importance of putting Christ at the center of life. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of competition between church and the rest of life. For my family we contended with many Sunday morning hockey games (who schedules these games anyway?!). I confess, you’d find us sitting on cold bleachers instead of a pew on those Sundays. If I could go back …
Maybe it’s not activities you’re competing with so much as your own church commitment. Perhaps you’re wondering where you fit in to the church. It may be you’re letting your kids decide about church attendance. If you weren’t raised as a church-goer (like me) you may not be sure of the benefits of being a committed, active participant of the church. It could be that church is new to you.
I can say, without a doubt, that 1) you belong in the body of Christ – there is a spot for you, 2) your kids belong in church and will benefit immensely, 3) you’re setting the ultimate example for your child(ren) when you make church non-negotiable, and 4) the church is here to support you, to help disciple you so you, in turn, can disciple your children.
8 Winning Reasons to Attend Church
There’s no doubt that adults and kids are blessed by consistent church attendance and being an active participant in the church body. Here are eight positive ways children benefit from church life.
- Balance – The world is really loud, often too loud. Worship, Bible study, prayer time, Sunday school are all harmonious ways that we can counter the world’s cacophony. Regular church attendance provides necessary balance.
- Creating a Habit. The Bible instructs parents to train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he won’t depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6) When you train someone, you do the same thing over and over until it becomes second nature, part of life. If we want our children to attend church as adults, we need to form the habit early.
- Connection & Community – Adults and children alike make positive connections with others who share the same values, form friendships, and discover their place in God’s family by using their spiritual gifts and talents.
- Strengthened Families. Consistent church attendance helps create stronger families. Church-attending parents are setting a positive example for their children about the importance of participating in the church body, praying together, reading God’s Word together, discipling and being discipled.
- Opportunities for Kindness, Helpfulness, Generosity. Church goers have opportunities to help others through community programs (perhaps helping an elderly couple with yard work, volunteering at the local food pantry, helping a family in need) and with national and global assistance (collecting needed items for low income families, raising money for the poor).
- Intergenerational Role Models. Children growing up in the church are surrounded by Christ-following role models from teachers, pastors, youth leaders, and folks of all ages. Parents can model being an active church member while teaching the importance of belonging to a church family.
- Better Health & Well-being. There are many studies indicating that churched children do better as teens and later in life than unchurched children. Findings from a study of more than 100 social scientists, conducted by Dr. Pat Fagan of the Center for Research on Marriage and Religion, found that children who attend church are less likely to get divorced later in life, are more able to overcome poverty, and do better in school.
Additionally, Dr. Meg Meeker did a summary of research findings in her book Strong Mothers, Strong Sons and writes, “The studies found that faith improves a teen’s chances of staying away from…drugs, drinking, sexual activity, and truancy.” She also noted that faith increases self-esteem and decreases the risk of depression.
- Church Goers are Happier. According to the Pew Research Center, people who consistently attend church are much happier than those who do not. The research found that people who attended church at least once a week were happier than those who went less often. The least happy? Those who did not attend church at all.
Let us know how the church can support your family! We’re here for you.
CCC Family Ministry Director