I am not quoting anyone. I am making a statement about reality. I am also making a statement about the way it is supposed to be: church is not meant to be fun.
I often encourage children to stay for the whole service, even while I preach. One simple reason I encourage that is because it seems to communicate something very contradictory when I say, “the preaching of God’s Word is the most important time of the week for you,” in one breath, and “ok, kids, go away while I preach” in the next.
Probably the biggest reason in anybody’s mind as to why they might be hesitant to force their child to sit through a sermon is because they think their child will not enjoy it. Just a few thoughts in response to that:
- Teach them what to enjoy. We enjoy whatever we like. Teach your kids to “like” God’s Word
- “Force” your kids to sit through sermons in the same way you “force” them to eat vegetables or go to the doctor for shots or do homework; those are not necessary evils!!! Those are necessary goods!
- Ten years of seeing adults revere God’s Word will do more to teach kids about God’s Word than ten years of children curriculum. I do not remember hardly anything from “children’s church” growing up. But I can remember my dad’s desire for me to be in the Word. I remember the seriousness of worship services (I also remember being in churches where skits were more attractive than the preaching, and what harm that did to my soul).
- Gospel preaching is what saves people. Period. Why would you not want them to be under gospel preaching?
- Do not sell your kids short by thinking church needs to be fun for them. Fun is not the only good in life. I do not want anyone to be drawn to our church by “fun.” Teach them that church is not fun. But it is good.