Are you a minister or Christian teacher wondering why you have so many children attending your church or class, but not the parents? Are you a parent who was made to go to church as a child, but your own parents didn’t always go? Article explains.
Years ago you may have been the child told to go to church while your parents stayed home. You may have wondered why was it that your parents felt it all too important to send you, but they didn’t go? The church experience is what many parents desire for their children because they feel it helps them spiritually. They believe that teaching children good morals to live by will make them overall good citizens. However, when the church experience is not a positive one, it doesn’t matter what well-meaning intentions the parents might have had, the child is left scarred possibly for life. He or she may never return back to a church setting or to God. So why might parents send children off to church in the first place, but not go themselves?
One. Local church good for the children, but not for the parents.
There may be positive talk amongst neighbors and friends about a local church, so parents may take their children to the services. Things may go on at the church that are fun for the children such as a movie night, game days, and pizza parties. However, the same church may not have activities for the adults that are very positive. From bad bible studies to argumentative members, the parents may have felt disheartened about visiting again. Yet, they like what the church is doing for the children, so they allow their own sons and/or daughters to continue to go.
Two. A needed break from children.
Some parents have no time away from the children through the week except when they work. Other parents may not have a job, but stay-at-home with young children each day. So what better way to get some free time from their sons and daughters? They will send them to a church where they feel they can trust most of the people. The parents gain about an hour or more to themselves this way.
Three. They falsely assume that the children will turn out better than themselves.
There are those parents who believe that if they can establish a Christian foundation with their children by sending them off to church that they will turn out better than they did. However, that all depends on two things: is the parents living model lives and is the church experience going to be a positive one as mentioned previously? If the parents aren’t practicing what they preach, the children will most likely mimic the parent’s behavior. If the parents are strict about sending the child to church and then once they arrive the church is strict about teaching them, they will not enjoy learning. Peers can make or break a church experience as well especially if the child is being bullied and teased during the study. The atmosphere tends to be at times more relaxed than school which allows for more opening up of one’s feelings which also leaves plenty of room for others to hurt the individual emotionally. Not only that, not every person is sincerely a believer teaching these bible studies which should be cause for concern. We have all heard the reports of sexual abuse in the church. When a child has any or all of these negative experiences in the church, he or she may actually turn out worse than the parents.
Four. Parents believe change is good for the children, but not for them.
The parents want their children to get involved in the church because they believe it is good for them. However, when it comes to committing to the church and all the responsibilities that may come with it (like assisting with the children’s ministry, singing in the choir, and greeting church-goers) they aren’t interested. Parents know that they will eventually have to sacrifice time and money, both of which they have little of.
Five. Pressure from family and/or friends to send children.
Grandma sent her children to church. So did an aunt and a cousin in the same family send their children to the same church. So a family will expect other generations to follow suit. Sometimes parents will send their children to church because everyone else around them is going and they don’t want to be the one talked about in circles for not sending at least the children. This is not the greatest reason for sending children to church, but this is what some parents will do.
Now that you have some idea why parents will send their children to church while they remain distant, understand that the children can still win their parents to Christ if they remain faithful. God has a way of using children to fulfill His will.