Gospel Life is excited about being a place where tons of young families are gathering and choosing to call church home. Currently, our congregation is made up of 33% kids under the age of 9 and we expect this number to only increase. Being a church consisting of young families is fun and definitely makes life interesting, but it also carries with it huge responsibility. We can have great programs and fun activities, but if we don't point young parents and kids to Jesus we have failed.
My wife and I have three kids and one of our greatest fears is that any of our children will hate the church and reject Jesus. This is a scary thought, but a sad reality that I have witnessed with in my lifetime. It breaks my heart when “church kids” choose to live according to the world and reject what they have grown up to know.
The simple reality is that our kids don’t need to be entertained; the world is good at that. They don’t need watered down fluff that isn’t strong enough to with stand the storms they will face in life. They definitely don’t need another program to take up time during the week. What kids do need is to learn who God is and what He has done in the person and work of Jesus Christ and each day watch their parents repent of sin and trust in Jesus. The bottom line is that our kids need to see and experience the Gospel Life.
Now this is all good in theory, but what can you do practically. Sometimes this is easier understood by knowing what NOT to do. So if you want your kids to walk away from the Lord when they grow up, here are five ways to make your kids hate church & reject Jesus.
1. MAKE SURE YOUR FAITH IS ONLY SOMETHING YOU LIVE OUT IN PUBLIC
Go to church... at least most of the time. Make sure you agree with what you hear the preacher say, and affirm on the way home what was said especially when it has to do with your kids obeying, but let it stop there. Don’t read your Bible at home. The pastor will say everything you need to hear on Sundays. Don’t engage your children in questions they have concerning Jesus and God. Live like you want to live during the week so that your kids can see that duplicity is ok.
2. PRAY ONLY IN FRONT OF PEOPLE
The only times you need to pray are when your family is over, holiday meals, when someone is sick, and when you want something. Besides that, don’t bother. Your kids will see you pray when other people are watching, no need to do it with them in private.
3. FOCUS ON YOUR MORALS
Make sure you insist your kids be honest with you. Let them know it is the right thing for them to do, but then feel free to lie in your own life and disregard the need to tell them and others the truth. Get very angry with your children when they say words that are “naughty” and “bad,” but post, read, watch, and say whatever you want on TV, Facebook, and Twitter. Make sure you focus on being a good person. Be ambiguous about what this means.
4. GIVE FINANCIALLY AS LONG AS IT DOESN’T IMPEDE YOUR NEEDS
Make a big deal out of giving at church. Stress to your children the value of tithing, while not giving sacrificially yourself. Allow them to see you spend a ton of money on what you want, while negating your command from Scripture to give sacrificially.
5. MAKE CHURCH COMMUNITY A PRIORITY... AS LONG AS THERE IS NOTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO DO
Hey, you are a church-going family, right? I mean, that’s what you tell your friends and family anyways. Make sure you attend on Sundays. As long as you didn’t stay up too late Saturday night. Or your family isn’t having a big barbeque. Or the big game isn’t on. Or this week you just don’t feel like it. Or... I mean, you’re a church-going family, so what’s the big deal?
This post is adapted from Thomas Weaver