Having your kids in church with you is hard. And it matters. I promise.
You Are Fabulous
To all the parents out there: You are fabulous. Yes, you! I guarantee you that you’re better at raising kids than you often think you are. And all you’re investing in those little humans is already at work in them. This is true even on those days (yes, even those days), when there isn’t even a glimmer of confirmation of that fact.
I see you showing up to church with your arms full. In one hand, the snack bag, a tiny hand in the other and the diaper bag slung over one shoulder. And off you jog after your other little one who’s charging across the parking lot, while shouting back to your oldest, still dawdling, “Lock the car when you get out!”
I know you’re already tired from last night’s less-than-luxurious night of sleep. Yesterday, you were probably at a tournament for your oldest before rushing over to that afternoon swim party.
And, yet, you’re here.
And even when you’re not here…we still think you’re fabulous. We all know that church attendance is not what it was back in the day, and we’re not bemoaning that. Really. We get it. This life stuff…it’s hard. And busy. And filled with many wonderful opportunities for children and youth. And with the schedule of so many families today, sometimes what a family needs more than anything is the chance to just be together on a Sunday morning.
But when you are able to make it to worship, we know the question you might be asking as you pull into the church parking lot…
“Is It Worth It?!”
You probably wonder if it’s worth it. Does it really matter that you show up at church on Sunday morning? Is it making a difference to anyone that you scramble to get everyone dressed and out the door to be here?
Parenting is hard. It’s so rich and beautiful, lovely and heart-expanding. It’s more than any of us ever imagined it would be. More joyous, more disappointing, more invigorating and more demanding.
And I’m here to tell you that in the midst of all the more-ness of parenting, I’m in awe of you. I don’t need to know you. If you’re the parent who’s reading a blog about having kids in church, I can definitively say I am in awe of you.
And when you invest in having your kids in church – it matters.
Kids in Church Matters
Kids in church matters to the congregation.
Your family brings with it the gift of your children’s voices. From the sweet sound of their singing to their unassuming (sometimes loud) questions, children invite joy.
When kids are in church, we are all reminded that it’s simply about showing up as we are to worship together. Children’s unfiltered curiosity and authenticity consistently help us let go of our pretense. For this reason, children force us to let go of the notion that worship is an hour-long performance.
Life is messy and unpredictable, and a life of faith isn’t any different. Thank goodness your kids are in church, so we don’t forget that piece of wisdom.
Also, God’s family in it’s most vibrant expression is diverse. So, when we’re all together, we are at our best. We remain the most supple of heart and mind, learning Spirit’s teachings through one another.
Being in church matters to your kids.
A faith community’s life together is the absolute best teaching tool a church has. Children learn most effectively through observing others. And what better way for them to understand a relationship with God than by watching their spiritual grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles walk the road?
Having your kids in church teaches them that their presence and their worship matters. When children are a part of worship, we show them that they are enough just the way they are.
Your investment in them, pushing to make it here on Sunday morning is nurturing their faith, showing them what it looks like to love God and how valuable they are, merely by being.
And you’re doing it. Great job! And thank you. I share with you my sincere gratitude on behalf of all churches everywhere, because what you’re doing is hard and because it matters to us all.