“Your Kids Need to Be in Church”

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been told that my kids need to be in church.    My response is sometimes silent & sometimes aloud, but it’s always the same.  My kids need Jesus.

While I believe that the assembling together & fellowship of believers is an important part of the Christian’s life, I don’t think that my kids just need “church”.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Corporate worship is amazing & for the most part, healthy.  If I’m honest, I miss that & I’m guessing that my kids do.  My husband & I were in church all of our lives & planned the same path for our children.  We’re both preacher’s kids so we were always in the thick of the thing & mostly loved it.  All of it.  “Church” was good & fun & probably still is.  “Church” was not & is not perfect.  You know, because the church is made up of people & people are not perfect.  I’m okay with that.  In regard to my children attending “church”, it’s been suggested that something is better than nothing.  I heartily disagree.  Some of our local gatherings that we call “church” will do (and have done) more damage than good.  No thanks.  Pastors who love the sound of their own voice, but don’t give a nickel about the flock they’ve been given to serve.  Music ministry dripping with talent, but suffering spiritual drought.  People living completely separate lives throughout the week, but bubbling lovelies all over one another every Sunday morning.  Not interested.

Jesus is at Walmart & Costco.  He’s at Cookout & China 1.  We’ve met Him at the post office & the trash dump.  We recognize Him in hotel lobbies & gas stations.  And we have Church.  We are Church.  Everywhere we go, He goes with us.  We marvel over Him in the mountains & at the lake.  We smile at the strangers.  We listen to their stories.  Church.  Capital C Church.  No quotation marks to identify that little c “church” is not really Church (the Bride).  We are Church on weekdays & weekends.  We worship together.  We sing & study the Word & memorize scripture & LOVE THE GUTS OUT OF PEOPLE in our EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. LIVES.

Little c “church”, the gathering, the assembly has its place, for sure, but until we find a little c “church” that resembles the New Testament church we won’t be busting our backsides to get there for an organized production on Sunday mornings. Remember the NT church in the book of Acts?  Where the numbers reflected souls being saved, not the number of seats in a stadium?  Where there’s no mention of cute dresses, strappy sandals, 3-piece suits, or silk neckties?  Where everyone shared & gave so that all the actual needs were met instead of storing up to pay for replacement bulbs in the chandeliers & strobe lights?  Where families met all day with their children who surely cried & talked too loud & squirmed & snacked (gasp) & had to “go potty” forty-eleven times with no worry of distracting or disrupting an order of service?  Where folks sat down together daily & shared the wonders of Jesus? In their homes.  In the fields.  Wearing dusty clothes & sweaty brows.  Having Church.  The Bride anxiously awaiting the Bridegroom, knowing that He might return to gather them on Tuesday in the chicken coop instead of Sunday on the polished pew.