Part 3 in observations from a Pastor’s heart: Why Doesn’t My Kid Want to Come to Church?
Graceless was left to struggle alone in the Slough of Despond. But he kept his face turned toward the distant hills, and even while floundering in the mire — he now and then caught glimpses of the shining light.
By and by, he reached the farther side; but there the mire was deep, and his burden was so heavy that he could not climb out. For a long time he struggled there — but scarcely was he able to keep himself from sinking entirely in the dreadful mire.
Pilgrim’s Progress Part 1, John Bunyan
In the story of Pilgrim’s Progress, Graceless makes it to the edge of the swamp and can’t get out, and then along comes “Help.” Another thought in this series, There is a need for the people of God to take ownership in the church and spiritual life of our teens. We refuse to leave them struggling alone in the mire, but we are willing to go with them and not abandon them, we are willing to be there on the other side to help them get up and keep moving.
Why don’t my Kids Want to go to Church? They don’t have ownership in the worship! We so desire to have the children come and the teens to stay but we so often won’t let them take ownership of the ministry to God! The image of the Alter Boy is a stunning picture of discipleship.
Why don’t we have the children participate in the service? Why don’t we expect them to worship God with us? My teenager pays better attention when he runs the sound system and the video projection unit. My youngest looks forward to being able to serve communion even if the table is guarded and he is not allowed to take it himself. Our young ladies jump at the opportunity to help with worship, table preparation or even taking up the offering.
Maybe our kids are not interested in church because we don’t allow them to take ownership in the service to God? Yes, we can “be there.” Yes, we can be active ourselves. But do we take the relationship seriously enough that we would disciple our children in the way we worship?
One of the greatest efforts of this with Living Stones Rockford is when our young men were tasked with making sure the sanctuary was cleaner when we left than when we arrived. It wasn’t relegated as “women’s work” it was put as a task that had to be done. One man saw the need, he stepped up and runs it every week. Now it happens if he is there or not. This is a small example of discipleship in service.
Real leaders stay until the job is done and pick up the broom themselves and get the work done. Be a leader, take ownership of a teenager in your church — put your act of worship along side them!