Volume 33, No. 18
Bring Your Kids to Church
Bring your kids to church. I realize it’s going to be early without enough cups of coffee. I know there will be yawning and griping, both the kids and you. It’s ok if you are a little late, we will smile, hug you, and welcome you anyway. Just bring your kids to church. Bring them to church where they’ll hear about the love of God and the life of Jesus and the good work of faithful people. At church they will know that every person is a wonderful creation of a really big God. So, bring your kids to church.
Bring your kids to church even if their lives are really busy. Let them know that church is important and that loving themselves, loving God, and loving others is also important. Bring them to church before you take them to baseball games or soccer games or piano lessons. Bring them to church even before you take them on vacations or to Grandma and Grandpa’s house or to the beach. Bring them to church where they will get a sense that God created them, their Sunday School teachers love them, and their friends miss them during the week.
Bring your kids to church and don’t worry about the wiggling and whispering, the sleeping and scratching, the moving and moaning. Because that’s not all they will do. They will also sing the songs of the heart of God. They will see you worshipping and smiling and hugging and know that God is a God of life and love. They will see that you read the Bible and want to know more about its stories and poetry and art. They will one day recall the faces and voices of their teachers and friends and remember that God continues to surround them with loving people. They will see you bringing food for the hungry and carrying diapers for babies in need. Bring them to church and have them join you in helping others.
Bring your kids to church where they will experience grace and acceptance. In church they don’t have to be perfect. They can simply be. They don’t have to be the best or the smartest or the funniest or the most athletic. In fact, they probably need a break from their busyness to find a place of authenticity and rest. Your kids should ask questions because the world is big and beautiful and complex. And it’s ok to say “I don’t know.” The edges of God reside in the “I don’t knows.”
Bring your kids to church. Because if faith and community and worship are important to you, these things will be important to them and the future of the world will be in good shape. Bring your kids to church because they need a lot more kindness and hope in their lives and all the adults sitting in the pews need their warmth and whimsy too. The church needs sticky hands, runny noses, and tight hugs around the waist. The church needs the curious questions to keep them ever observant and involved. The church will see the appearance of God in the face of your children. The church isn’t done learning and can discover a lot through your kids. The church needs Jesus, but the church also needs your kids.
Bring your kids to church. You will be glad you did. So will they.