I’ve been working with teenagers for a long time. It is easy to spot the ones who want to attend church or small group, and the ones who couldn’t care less about being there. More times than not kids adopt the attitudes and practices of their parents. Children are very observant and can discern even the slightest hint of superficiality. Here are 5 ways to make your kids hate church.
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 article was originally posted at the theResurgence.com by Thomas Weaver. Check it out for a lot of good writing on many different topics.
Your fellow worker in the field, Adam