In a Q&A, Carl Trueman was asked about why churches today are losing their young people. Typical answers to this question range from things like the temptations of this world or the irrelevance of the church–your typical answers. But Trueman makes a keen and convicting connection between our parenting and apostasy.
“The church is losing its young people because the parents never taught their children that it was important. I think that applies across the board. It applies to family worship, and it also applies to whether you are in church every Sunday and what priority you demonstrate to your children church has on a Sunday. If the sun shines out and their friends are going to the beach, do you decide to skip church and go to the beach? In which case, you send signals to your children that it is not important.” (Carl Trueman)
Now we know that artificially taking your kids to church neither bestows salvation nor guarantees it. God is obviously not honored by external religious acts without heart worship. This type of legalism is not the subject of this discussion. This is about parenting and the weight of the responsibility behind how they prioritize their time and lifestyle choices for their families.
Parents makes choices all the time for their families. As they decide on what takes priority in family, every choice is carefully observed and taken into the heart of their children. Yes, they are watching you, and they are learning from you.
Maybe the reason why our children have no love for Christ is due to the fact that we as parents do not show any love or passion for Christ, evidenced by how we prioritize our time both on Sundays and during the week. When television, sports, school, hobbies even family itself are elevated to a place of idolatry and replace the vital Christian responsibilities, then we tell our children that Christ is secondary to all these things. We tell our children that it is not necessary to take up your cross and die to yourself daily in order to follow Christ. We tell them that you only have to live for Christ when it’s convenient for you. We tell them it is okay to sacrifice time with all-satisfying Savior if something “more fun” or “more important” comes along (sarcasm indicated by quotation marks if you didn’t catch that). And this sounds like a clear path to apostasy if you ask me.
Let’s evaluate where our hearts are by observing are choices. Do you prioritize the local church? Do you prioritize the worship of Christ in your home and on Sundays? Do you prioritize serving Him and worshiping Him in the contexts of school and work? This doesn’t mean that you can’t ever miss a Sunday or that you can’t have any extracurricular activities. Instead, it is a sobering reminder that we shouldn’t put the things of God at the bottom of the priority list, because it tells our children that Christ is at the bottom of our priority list. And the God of this universe does not belong there.
My prayer is that we all would improve in this area. But beware, maybe we don’t see this because Christ isn’t a priority in our lives. And if He isn’t a priority in our lives, then our children will know and follow suit. (Related Post: Why Every Christian Needs a Local Church)
96 thoughts on “How Skipping Church Affects Our Children”
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
No one can “skip church.” The ambiguous language associated with the use of the word “church” is a serious distraction for professing Christians. If children (and adults) were taught the nature, purpose, mission, and ministry of the church from a biblical perspective, using the full counsel of God, it would serve as a flagship for future generations.
Very true, Martin. I think the word “church” has been misused in many ways. Christians do need to return to the biblical definition of the local church. I think we’ve redefined it to mean a church building, or church on the radio, church on tv, or church at home by myself, when that is not how the New Testament defined the gathering of God’s people as a corporate body to worship and to obey God (1 Cor 12; Heb 10:25). Thanks for the input!
your words of wisdom ae right on…thank you and they give me a lot to think about. I attend regularly–rarely miss and my church family is so important. Do I agree with all of them? No…but that’s what makes us stronger and human. As a single mom, my kids were raised in the church, and the male influence was great as my ex was an absent dad. My kids, 26, and 30, got away from it when they went to college and only go occasionally now. Sad for me, but I believe scripture and they will return. I pray for that.
Trueman employed the phrase “skipping church” since it is so commonly used to mean failing to join the assembly for worship on the Lord’s Day. So in that sense, there is such a thing. But you are right in observing that a Biblical understanding of the church precludes such a practice.
Rubbish, You KNOW what is meant by skipping church in this context. Don’t parse words. Children need to see that a cohesive family brings strength in emotional bonds and spiritual bonds.
Thank you, Michael! When we all understand the meaning of the language – skipping church – there should be some honest discussion about it. Slipping around the intended point by using technicalities is a typical teen trick. Those raised in the church in the recent generation know exactly what it means to forsake the assembly of the brethren! Let’s be found faithful by next generation of Christians!
You knew what he meant.
It really depends on the church and how it runs its ministry. When you sat in a church and realised that it makes no positive difference to your spiritual life, you have to skip it. When you realise that your local church is waste of time, you have to skip it. When you realise that you are culturally christian at your local church and are simply paying lip service to GOD, you have to skip it. When you realise that the church attendance is a religious ritual or habit, you have to skip it. Your children will have more respect for you for who you are and your true worship of GOD with respect to how you live your daily life without going to church for the corporate worship.
Dave, I appreciate your honesty. This entry isn’t discussing the legalism issue, but since you commented about it, I’d like to respond to some points you made.
This is true, no church is perfect. And yes, there are local churches without integrity, full of hypocrisy, and false converts. This is the sad state of Evangelicalism in the world and many need to repent of this.
However, there are healthy churches out there that may not be perfect but live with integrity and consistency. And in their failures, they work hard to forgive one another. No, you will not find a perfect church, but that is part of modeling the Gospel in a local church family. It is about serving one another and living together, even when it’s hard, like a marriage that powers through until the end and does not give up at the first sign of turbulence. Dedicating yourself to a local church is a loyal commitment to sinners saved by grace, so that you can continue to manifest the unconditional love of God through continued forgiveness. “Skipping” or “running away” does not help improve the situation or correct people in their sin.
And it is not legalistic to call believers to a consistent participation in the life of a Gospel-driven, Bible-believing local church. The Bible actually demands such a life.
So I’d have to disagree with your final statement. I don’t think you can have “true worship of God” without being a member and participate in a local church (which implies corporate worship).
There is no such thing as a “lone wolf Christian.” 1 Corinthians 12 is crystal clear on this issue. “The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” (1Cor 12:21). Hebrews 10:24-25 states that we should not forsake assembling together, as is the habit of some. But I think the big kicker is from the 1 John passages:
“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1John 3:16-17)
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. ” (1John 4:7-9)
So it seems pretty clear. You cannot say you have a true love for God and not a love for His people. I know this was a lengthy response, but I do hope you prayerfully reconsider your position and search the Scriptures rather than your feelings or personal opinions.
Your personal experience says it makes no “positive difference” or it’s a “waste of time,” but we need to make sure we do not elevate our experience over the authority of the Bible. Like I said, maybe you did not encounter any healthy local churches in your past, or maybe you gave up too soon (I don’t know). But there are plenty of resources out there where you can find healthy (not perfect) local churches that can aid you in your relationship with the Lord.
I pray that you see the church as vital to your relationship with the Lord. If you want to read more, please visit our post on why every Christian needs a local church.
Amen, and well said.
Manglo, you are dead on! I appreciate your biblical and loving response.
Very well said. And the Bible references were very relevant to the issue and I just want to say thank you.
“Church” was not anything like it is now in New Testament time. Travel was time consuming and often impossible. Many biblical leaders did not have the ability to be in “church” every single Sunday. Many Jews went to synagogue once a year.
We have taken a good thing like meeting together and made it an idol in our lives. The true church is the body of believers. I can fellowship with them in any location. In fact, early believers met in homes and in the markets and in the public squares. There was no million dollar buildings with stain glass and oak trim.
Where does the definition of weekly Sunday attendance come into any of the bible passages you listed above?
What you have done is cherry pick a verse here and there to support your “church” ideology.
I became a member of the family of God upon my profession of Jesus death resurrection and saving grace not on standing in the front of a building saying I choose to belong to the 1st whatever church of wherever. Anyone that says different is trying to sell something or keep themselves employed.
It is sad that the state of our religious strength comes from selecting an earthly building to attend and listening to the same “pastor” get up and speak week after week after week. Show me in the New Testament where that stands up to the verse stating how worship is to take place. Show me where I forswear my membership to an earthly denomination. show me where a 10th of my income should go to pay the electric bill for a church elevator…..
Good comments all. With all respect, The church has NEVER been about us. NEVER, it is all about worshipping and giving glory to the only one worthy of that glory and honor. We should prepare our hearts and minds by crucifying our desires every day in our walk with him. When we attend a worship service with fellow believers with the joy that comes from a heart that is humble and focused on honoring our Savior, suddenly it’s a lot less important that we received anything, and instead that God received OUR Humble worship. If we end up paying lip service to God, the problem is not the church nor God, it’s staring back at us in the mirror.
Well said! Thank you!
I highly disagree to an
Extent on this.. Both my children while growing up were brought up I’m the church and knew how important it was to attend church.. As they became of age they made a choice of their own. One doesn’t attend at all and the itjer attends but not regularly.. I as a parent feel like I have done my part in having instilled not only how important it is to attend church but also how important it is to serve whole hearted. Sometimes we tend to make excuse for ourselves and our children but in reality we are individuals and we as one make our own choices.
If attending church doesn’t make any difference in your life maybe it is because you do not try to make a difference in the church, such as going with a willing heart to hear what is being taught, joining in with the body of Christ and really worshipping and not just filling a seat. We need to be willing to let God use us to help others and we will be changed because of that.
AMEN! My sentiments exactly! Guess he was never taught the song, “I am the church, You are the church. We are the church together.” So sad.
Sherri and Manglo, you are both so completely correct. We are a body and as such we need each of our members, especially in the last days. I see this is why in Hebrews 10:25, he instructs us to
“foresake NOT the assembling of ourselves together and so much the more as we see the day approaching.” Far too many people are coming to church to be entertained and to be ministered TO rather than to do the ministering themselves. I am reminded of the old statement..be the change you want to see in the world. In this case, be the change you want to see in your church. If you feel you aren’t being ministered to enough, try ministering to the others around you. I am 39 years old and was born a pastor’s daughter. Now, my husband is a pastor, and it’s an incredibly lonely and difficult life. However, I have found that the overwhelming issue with people leaving the church and not attending regularly is because they are so solely focused on themselves. They are looking at what they came to get out of the service instead of praying and asking Jesus prior to the service how they can be used for his glory in that service. When we start to look at things in this way, it really changes our opinion on what it means to join others of the called out assembly in worship.
if you eat like you skip anything and everything you would be dead . just a thought.
Understand where you are coming from, but suggest that, in this instance, we find another church. There are many God worshiping, life giving churches out there. I am blessed to have one. But it did take visiting several churches. Churches are not perfect, they are made up of imperfect people, of which I am one.
Then show your children that Church (Christian fellowship, that God told us in his word not to “skip”) is important by actively searching for a God honoring Church. And they are out there, if you really want to find one. Just depends on how important it is to you. It was important enough to God to devote many books and chapters in the bible to how it should be conducted. That’s what this whole article was about.
Dave that is assuming a lot, First God said in Hebrews 10, ¶ Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. 26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
In order for a person to be a true Christian he must worship God, God way. Now it wounds like you have judged by your own experience those who you have worshiped with. Lets say you were right, and the were fake in their worship, what is stopping you from establishing a Congregation of God’s Church in your home, and growing it, both in the knowledge of God’s word and in the Spirit who works through those same words written by God. and then grow in number because God commands it? Why are you giving such a irrelevant excuse?
tshealthy – Thank you for quoting Hebrews 10: 19-26. This text tells us specifically what believers are to do when they “assemble”. “Stirring up one another” and “exhorting one another”. When you walk in a church with a pulpit and pews there will be zero seconds devoted to these 2 “one another” instructions. It will be 100% driven from the platform in strict one way communication. That is the opposite of this text. Getting lots of people in one room to hear a Bible lecture does not fulfill this text. They are “forsaking the assembly” this text describes. This is a severe corruption in the household of faith driven by 1800 years of traditions of men. This form of “assembly” forces God’s people to consume 84% of their giving to buy the special sanctuary (or rent) and the hired Bible expert. Only 16% goes beyond the “givers”. Now our giving is pooling to buy goodies for mostly ourselves. Now only one man comes prepared to express truth instead of every believer. Now the gathering is non-relational between leader and alleged followers. There is no sermon in this text. This text tells every believer to walk a “new and living way” Step one: Let us draw near with a true heart… Step two: Let us hold fast the confession of our hope… Step 3: Let us consider how we can stir up one another to love and good works… This is 24/7 church where believers drive the assembly, not a hired expert. Do you see what KIND of assembly this text calls for? Do you see that this KIND of assembly does not happen when there is a pulpit and pews in the room?
Hi Dave, the coming together of believers to worship and listen to God’s word is crucial in our walk with God. In a situation where your Church is not changing or impacting your life positively, then change the Church. But never stay away from the gathering of the saints.
God requires us to faithfully attend a good, Bible-believing church. Our relationship with Christ depends on it. He has commanded us: “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25. If you attend church for no other reason, that is reason enough. God commands it. We cannot pick and choose what we want to do in obedience. Do your children get to decide what they want to obey and what they don’t? Of course not. If you don’t have a good church, find one. And attend with a heart toward God, not an eye on others.
Good stuff June. Thank you for putting it in this perspectives ❤️
True daily life is the proof…..but if your church is as you described it then I would suggest another church.😎
That is a church you leave!
I agree today’ some churches preach A little and then all they talk about is how you should”Contribute to this fund or for the school they want to build, for the needy ,for this and that…..
I respectfully disagree. It is getting harder to find churches that preach the truth (in love), but when none is available, your children still need to see God as a priority in your life. They need to see you praying, reading and studying God’s word, having devotions with them. If you can’t find a good church, find good preachers on Sermon Audio. It’s a free download. You can go the websites of the churches listed, read a list of the sermon topics, and listen to those that interest you. If you neglect Christ in their upbringing, you are by default leaving them open to Satan’s plan. Deut. 6:7; 1 Peter 5:8
You for sure want the church to do everything for you and your children. This not the church Jesus established according to the N.T. President John F Kennedy had a better perspective when speaking of our patriotism and support of our country. He said “ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what can I do for my country?”. That’s the perspective we need to have for the church, what can I do for my church to make it more relevant to others, instead of suggesting, skip your church attendance and service to the head of the church Jesus Christ.
Education does not imply salvation,in other words, just because you know, doesn’t mean you are saved. Salvation, however, would and does lead to education. In other words once you have been saved by grace through faith you will undoubtedly want to know, read and learn more about this grace which was undeservedly been given to you. One part of this learning, education, will be taught in the Church and you need to physically go to church for this “Spiritual food”. ( if physically possible) I was always taught that our going to church was similar to the morning and evening prayers made by the early Christian Church. My father explained to me that, If we even neglect one of these “prayers” or “services” on a regular basis, we are risking our children attending at all. Let me explain, when I lived in the Netherlands in a small town we had three reformed churches, just using the reformed church for this illustration.I immigrated back to Canada in 1980 which is now 36 years later and there is, to my knowledge, only one service held from the six back in 1980.One generation later and not faithfully attending led to a complete spiritual decline. May God help us to remain faithful !
I agree, John. As I stated, taking kids to church services does not guarantee salvation, since that would be by works (Eph 2:8). However, it does put them in a good position to hear the Gospel and get saved, and we want to put our children in the best scenario possible, don’t we? Of course, it all depends on God’s grace. But He has ordained the means by which people hear of the saving work of Jesus Christ. And our children won’t be saved unless someone tells them of the good news (Romans 10:14-15).
Our children catch what they are taught more than what we say!!
So true, Margaret! Children observe and watch our choices. They learn how to live by watching us live, so we need to be extra careful!
Reblogged this on Treasures by Kesha.
Thanks, Kesha! Miss you guys. Hope you both are well. We need to go fellowship sometime.
Young people are leaving church because they have never become part of the body of Christ and they have never been discipled. A lot of churches like it when teens serve for special occassians, but how many churches take the effort to find what a teens spiritual gift is, and then train them how to use it effectivly? Churches want their kids to not do wrong but when a young person is struggling with stuff and they go to a mature christian in the church to ask for help most of the time they will be blown off because the mature christian has to deal with real problems. Galatians 6:2 is only there for married Christians.
The hardest thing I have ever done as a christian is find someone to disciple me. If the young people in the church are not part of the body of Christ then they are right to leave. If no one will disciple them when they are immature christians then they are right to leave. If no one is provoking them to love and good works, or exhorting them then they are right to leave. I dont blame young people for not going to church. I blame the church for making such a huge schism between the adults and young adults. I blame churches for makeing a schism between the married and unmarried. There is no bond or free, male or female, greek or jew, but in most churches there is adults and teens. If teens are not part of the body of Christ in their local churches then they should leave according to the scripture. They can not be right with God and go to church somewhere where they are not part of the body of Christ.
Caleb you are right on! I agree, parents must model faithfulness in following the Lord, forsake not the assembling together. But what happens when you walk in the church door, kids go one way and the parents go another! We are to train our children in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it. HELLO, most churches are “training” children in a fun, child minded Jr. church, Well according to the Word they will not depart from it, what, Jr. church not the “adult” service. It’s no wonder that fun, child minded churches are growing! That is how they’ve been trained! How are parents and other adults to model church when once they get there they don’t attend together?!?! Sure Sunday School classes are fine but there is no reason to separate the family more than that. And please get rid of “Youth Group” churches. Teens spend more than enough time with their peers, that’s part of the problem! They need mature, strong, Christians to spend time with and learn from. So yes, parents need to model faithfulness but churches stop separating the family so parents can model faithfulness at church!
I partially agree with your comment but I do believe that “children’s church” and youth groups have their place. I’ve seen many young adults turn into wonderful servants of God and they group up in children’s church and youth group. I think the difference between these “kids” and others is that some of the children’s churches and youth groups don’t teach the kids to be servants of God, they just teach them where to look in the bible when they are struggling with a personal issue. All 4 of my kids have grown up in church. One of them never lost her faith or stopped worshiping after she moved away. One of them struggled with some things and decided to attend a different church because he felt like he was being judged and not receiving support that he felt he needed at our church. One is autistic and she attends for the social aspect but absorbs more of the Sunday message than most people think she does. And our “baby” who just turned 18 seems to be experiencing spiritual growing pains. The youth group stopped having Sunday morning gatherings a little before the former youth pastor stepped down and the new youth pastor came to us with his feet running full speed ahead and hasn’t slowed down since he and his wife arrived. I’m hoping we will hear about how he plans to incorporate the high-schoolers into corporate youth worship once the busyness of summer ends and everyone gets back into a regular routine. Since the youth have stopped having a specific group of peers to worship with, my son has expressed less of an interest in attending church. As much as our kids and youth need mature Christian mentors they also need to be with people their age that are struggling with similar issues so there is a place for both children’s church and youth groups but I also agree that our kids need to serve and worship with the mature adults/christian’s that make up our church body.
Well said! And very true!
another factor about skipping church is the influence of “Christian Colleges. As attending chapel service is not mandatory, and very few attend chapel, it crates an attitude attending a particular church is not essential. By the way a very dangerous development.
Interesting observation, Christoph. I agree, I can see that happening. In my experience, I actually see Christian College students using their college and chapel services as an excuse not to be part of a local church or involved at all. They treat college like their “church” when that should not be the case.
Sunday morning is an option for a 12 hour shift worker (hospital, police, fire, nursing home employees) 1 week out of 4 unless you can come off a night shift and not sleep on a Sunday morning. Part time workers (including students) often have to work weekends as well. If the church has to find ways to serve these people too, If I am not at church on Sunday, I am being the church to the sick and dying people I work with at the hospital.
Ruth, I totally understand the dilemma. My mother works at a graveyard shift nurse, and we have members who work on Sundays sometimes too. And yes, local churches need to find a way to minister to those with uncommon work schedules.
But these people aren’t the issue under discussion. I think I am referring more to those who are deliberately choosing to neglect the life of the body of Christ for their own selfish and worldly pleasures. These are professing Christians whose time and scheduling choices are completely within their control, and they would prefer a list of 20 things other than gathering with their local body.
Well said Caleb!
Maybe the Church would be full of children if the Christians of today did not use birth control. A sin in itself.
Why would any God fearing individual want to be part of an organized religion that picks and chooses parts of Gods words they like and throws out the parts that do not fit their lives. Starting with the 4th commandment.
There is no perfect Church as you say, but from my understanding of the Bible, we should not be using that excuse. Too many people of the Churches today are sheep in wolves clothing (hypocrites) and that in turn drives many of us away. Too many preachers turn a blind eye to those sinful actions for fear of having another empty seat and probably less going into the collection plate.
I personally would love to find a Church that is of God, for God but sadly I have not found one yet.
Starting with the 4th commandment? Why not start with the 1st commandment? It is just as important. I personally know a lot of people who are hung up on the 4th commandment. They put it above all else which makes it their god.
There are a lot of Churches that are of God and for God.
I am a pastors child who grew up in the church. My husband is as well. We both grew up in the church as did our children who are now 26 & 21. It breaks my heart but churches and we have served many as worship leaders and other leadership, are failing this generation. It is a social club to share food and talk different then go home and do whatever. I have seen groups of regulars at a bar more real than most Christians. My children don’t attend regularly and I it breaks my heart but when they tell me the church isn’t real (I’m not talking one) that they speak one way there and leave and do another it is true. I can’t argue. So for now I pray and ask God to send mentors and people into their lives (some have been requested) but sad thing especially men of the church are too busy or don’t care. I may sound bitter not at all….I am the oldest of 5 children and 1 of us attends regularly so somewhere the church needs to get authentic and stop playing….Stop judging and Stop speaking like foreigners your loosing the next generation because they can see fake and have been taught to question and we don’t have the answers because we are too busy planning social events.
Hello Hope, thank you for your openness. It is true that the church is filled with inconsistency and a lack of integrity. And that is shooting down its witness. 1 John 1:5-10 is a passage that really speaks the importance of living that consistent life. Romans 6 is also a testimony to that as well. We need to pray that God does a work in these lives, because it is sad to see this epidemic of ungodliness.
As a preachers child, I absolutely agree! My Dad pastored the very church he started in 1961 until he retired in 2001. We are all still members of this same church and I have seen all kinds come and go! My Daddy has always taught that if you have your eyes on Jesus you can’t see what others may or may not be doing!
I skipped church a few times but at those times people got save and and healed, so I hope the Lord is okay with that.
Hello Jeffrey, I think it all depends on what you mean by “skip.” If you’re describing an emergency situation, or something that “came up,” then yes God is not “angry” with someone because they missed one day (I address that in the blog). If you’re addressing that God still continues His work even if people don’t attend a local church gathering, then yes that is true. God’s work in the world never has depended upon man.
But if your’e suggesting God doesn’t care whether you are part of a Bible-believing local church or not, then I think you are wrong (See the above comments for the biblical reasons).
And I don’t think Christians are in the business of making rules out of exceptions. The issue isn’t “Does God only use me to save people and work in their lives?” or “God can’t get anything done without me” (One would be pretty arrogant to say yes to those questions). God can use anyone and anything to accomplish His purposes. And He uses us despite our unfaithfulness and shortcomings, not because we are be-all and end-all.
Just because you experienced the “end” that God desires, doesn’t mean that the “means” to that end honored Him. So I would say, no God isn’t pleased if someone sinfully neglects the assembly of God’s people.
It has been my observation that many of the younger generation who profess to be Christians, and who have been reared in a pleasure-seeking culture have an erroneous understanding of the purpose of gathering together as Christians. They are looking for something to please them, something to entertain them. They want to “feel good” about their “church” experience. When they discover that their desire for pleasure, entertainment or “feeling good” can be better served through another venue, church attendance becomes less frequent, often to the point of dropping out altogether. The apostles tell us that we assemble together not only for worship and prayer, but also for the purpose of being equipped to serve others and to encourage one another and stir up one anther to love and good works – all for the advance of Jesus’ Gospel, for the sake of His Name, and the glory of His Kingdom. Unfortunately it’s not only the younger generation that doesn’t understand (or submit to) these things. If truly regenerate people would understand and submit to the Biblical purposes for the church regularly meeting together, then the widespread cultural problem of “skipping church” would be solved. It takes time to go to church. Time is a treasure we all possess. And “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Great input, Doug. Sounds like Eph 4 to me. The church really needs to evaluate its health and how it approaches ministry.
Attending church regularly is to tone up our minds,gain Spritual growth,food for the soul, gain security, n can count on our Lord Jesus for protection, trying to obey his laws.
Yes! It is vital to our souls! Even Psalm 133 explains how sweet fellowship can be to a person.
One aspect to this that gets left out is years ago people had 6-12 kids at least in farm country. Both my parents, mom 12 siblings, dad 8. Fast forward I had only 5 brothers and sisters. Nowadays it’s 1-3. Years ago two families and you had a bunch of kids. Now, two families might mean just two kids combined. You have to reach more families to get more youth.
Good observation, Charles. Families are having less kids. This is true. The church does need to reach out to more families now since this is the case
Good article. I believe this sentence: Let’s evaluate where our hearts are by observing are choices. should read: Let’s evaluate where our hearts are by observing our choices.
Yes Jan! Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt 6:21). We can easily evaluate where our heart is by evaluating our choices.
I thank GOD for my Parents example that showed me the importance of families worshiping together. Dad owned a 1929 Chevrolet coupe with a large trunk. Every Sunday morning he piled us five kids in for the trip to church (Two girls in the front seat and three boys in the trunk).
Depending on your denomination and where you are in the country, I think we’re actually a generation removed from the ‘skipping church’ generation and are well into the ‘not attending at all’ generation of parents. To me, as the cultural expectation to attend a church waned, it exposed who was committed (or experiencing a compelling/dynamic ministry & faith) from those who were not. If not, lots more skipping, and the results you discussed are already parents themselves, the ‘nones’.
I would disagree with the idea that expository teaching does not cover enough broad doctrine over a 2 – 3 year period. If someone listened through John or Ephesians or Isaiah or Genesis you would get a great amount of solid doctrine that would cover what is needed doctrinally. However, this is not to say, that some topical preaching with a doctrinal emphasis ( i.e., preaching through the Apostle’s Creed) would not be helpful or effective.
I am referring to something he said in the video. I am in full agreement with the comments concerning the importance of church attendance for our children and youth and adults. There are always other options on Sunday morning. Though I am not a Sabbatarian, I believe we should set aside the Sunday morning time, at least, and make that time more of a priority than sports and other activities, most of the time.
Reblogged this on blickandbild.
We all make choices based on perceived value; kids choose to do other things because, by definition, the church has never helped them assign proper value to the enormous spiritual firepower faith and commitment provide. That is because it has focused on commands and rituals instead of how to move mountains. While the church of our Lord should be the least religious organization on the planet, over the centuries it has chosen form over effectiveness. And this Internet generation isn’t buying it. Show them how to use God’s power within them toward a great life and there won’t be enough pews to hold them all.
It is important to understand that everyone is on a journey of faith and looks at their own spiritual walk in different ways. However, “where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am with them.” Jesus is present when we gather together. The problem isn’t that your church tends to bore certain people during services and they don’t “get anything out of worship.” Furthermore, it isn’t that “we can’t go to church because we are the church” so traveling to the church building is somehow not a part of the goal to be better Christians. Let me remind you that there is no perfect church because it is made up of imperfect people. If your goal is to find a place that excites your spirit and gives you a mountaintop experience week after week, then ask yourself this question. Did Jesus himself find a place to worship like that? Or did he go to assemble with folks because of what he could offer them? I’m not saying that church can’t be exciting and lead you to a mountaintop experience. I’m just saying that church attendance should be less about what I get out worship and more about what I give to honor the one to whom I have come to worship in the first place. My choice to attend does speak to the condition of my heart. If you love Jesus, then you love His Church. You don’t ignore what you love. Rather, you make a commitment to love “in good times and in bad,” His church. As a father of three, I can tell you that my children will learn from the experience that I have modeled for them. Make no mistake, a legacy of faith is being passed on to them and I pray that they will be people who love and cherish the Church. With all my heart I want them to be committed followers of Jesus.
Thanks for the sharing!
Even after a great article like this one, which is really not insulting at all — so many people are obviously insulted and hurt. So many are here to make great excuses. I think because of this your article really holds true.
How about defending the truth and reinterpreting the misconception that we have to attend a single place of worship to follow the biblical mandate of “going to church” which in and of itself is a mythological concept. We don’t “go to church” we “are the church”, and until we can keep these concepts separate you can’t have an intelligent discussion about it.
Attending and earthly building and swearing membership to it and counting the weekly attendance is no different than what David did in 1 Chronicles 21.
The corporate “church” has become in and of its self a idol to most attending members. They attend weekly, making a two hour sacrifice of their time and leave 10% at the alter and leave placated feeling they have done their weekly duty as Christians – most don’t even make it out of the church before they return to their worldly thought processes.
I’m speechless. Have you ever heard of “preachers kids” or better known as PK’s? They are at church every time the doors are open! But what happens to them when they go off to college? Do they find a local church? Nope. They jump head first into the world. What about kids who go to church every time with their parents and then when they grow up they “come out” as gay. Just because your kids go to church every time the doors are open does not guarantee they will be great Christians. Take your kids on a cruise, take them to the beach, take them to your lake house or mountain home and spend TIME with them. Church doesn’t guarantee jack squat.
the parents must establish the priority of corporate worship when the children and maintain with strictness, if necessary as the children become teenagers. During my growing up years there was never any question about attending church on Sunday and Wednesday nights. Whatever I was doing on Wednesday came to a halt around an hour before church time and I went into the house and prepared myself for church. Parents today make church an convenience rather than a priority. The worship of the Lord should be the top priority of our daily lives.
Leon, I totally agree with you. I was not raised in a Christian home. We never went to church until I started high school. It started with me going to Methodist Youth Fellowship every week. There were lots of activities but not once in the three years I attended did I hear the gospel. If I had not married into a Christian family I might still be lost. But my sweet sister-in-law made sure I heard the gospel and, as a result, I accepted the free gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
But many people today, as you said, treat church attendance as a matter of convenience. Yet we expect God to answer our every plea while we keep Him on the back shelf, paying lip service when it suits us. How arrogant. Then we blame Him when struggles come and tragedies happen. Most of us think way too highly of ourselves. We worship Hollywood and its icons, race car drivers, sports athletes, and push the God of the Universe into a corner and tell Him to stay put until we need Him. Many people say they can worship God just as well at home as in church. That is only true if God is worshipped at church also. It is impossible to have a good relationship with someone you ignore.