In Part 1 we discussed knowing the reasons why you are meeting with the church and taking the time to communicate those reasons with your children (https://www.uticacoc.com/family/family-ministry/as-you-go-to-church-pt-1).
Again, if the parents don't really think it is important to show up to meet with the church on Sunday, it is probably not happening.
The popular excuse has shifted from, "It is hard to get the family up and going that early on a Sunday morning" to something like "it's hard because my kid thinks church is boring."
This reveals a lot about our attitudes toward the church meeting.
If your child says that they don't like school because it is boring or the teachers mean or some other reason, how do you respond? Most of us see school as very important and even necessary and send them back into the fire.
If your child won't eat their vegetables, how do you react? Some of you who are not healthy eaters are just as happy to eat chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and pizza every other night for dinner. But most parents are making some effort to form good eating habits for their children and require some portion of vegetables to be eaten at supper.
A couple of take-home points:
Know who is making the decision to meet with the church. Someone recently reminded me that in all of their research, car insurance companies still find that human beings are not capable of making good choices until they are 25 years old. Don't let your 4, 7, or 11 year old be the spiritual decision-maker in the family.
Make the meeting a priority. Meeting with the church is not as good when we show up tired and unprepared. Make good choices throughout the week especially heading into Sunday. Get enough sleep.
Make the meeting a joyful occasion. If you are dragging, your children will see it. If you are excited about meeting with the church, they'll catch that too.
Help your kids make friends in the church. The meeting is about praising God and learning about God. We can do those things on our own. Meeting with the church is also about community. A child with no friends in the church is a lot more likely to want to stay home. A child who does have friends is that much more likely to want to go to where they are.
Church attendance has dropped off severely over the last 10 years in the US. We need the encouragement that comes with meeting with the church and worshiping God with one another. Teaching our children about God "as we go" is vital, but connecting them with the community of believers for support and encouragement is a no-brainer. Make plans to meet with the church this Sunday, understand your reasons why and lead your children to grow in their knowledge and love of God.