A Springboard for You

For a better life and a better eternity

The Church and Family Togetherness (an excerpt)

Built by the Lord

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If you haven’t read the last two Springboards for Your Family Life as part of this series, I encourage you to read “The Great American Struggle” and “Meaningful Together Time” first. That will get you caught up for this final installment in the series.

The Church and Family Togetherness

At this point we enter some muddy waters. The modern trend is for churches to provide activities for all the young people. Even if the activities are scriptural in nature, I begin to question the ultimate benefit of the church being overly involved in this.

Churches, instead of being another institution that separates the family into age categories, ought to do everything possible to get families together. We must remember the church is not supposed to take the place of the family.

Satan is working in our culture to rip our families to shreds. Churches must stand as shining beacons to overcome Satan in this by drawing families together in Christ. Perhaps we really should encourage kids to sit with their families in worship. Maybe we should try family-based Bible classes sometimes and not just age-segregated classes. Maybe we should teach fathers and mothers to train their children instead of just scheduling another training class at which parents drop off their kids. I am not sure all the ways this can be done, but I am sure we need to examine this.

Whatever the approach of the congregation, we must keep in mind our family has got to stay together. What are we doing to draw our families closer? In our culture this kind of togetherness does not happen accidentally. If we are not doing something to accomplish this on purpose, we are probably not going to accomplish it.

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October 21, 2008 - Posted by | A Springboard for Your Family Life, Family Time, parenting, Raising Kids | , , , ,

6 Comments »

  1. Thanks for this. I have two 7-month-old daughters and this has become a live issue for me of late. Too often, in the Church, we give in to our culture’s tendency to isolate children from adults and to create hostility and misunderstanding between the two (this is what American youth culture is all about, it seems to me). It’s easy because that is what everyone else is doing (the lure of the youth group at the church down the street is too strong for many children raised in non-institutional churches). This is sad, because we have a real opportunity, in the Church, to proclaim and to live out a better way, if we had the nerve to do so.

    Comment by Chris | October 21, 2008

  2. Yes, Chris, I agree. Sadly, too many churches take the verse that says “…and a little child shall lead them…” literally.

    I’m not saying we should get rid of “youth activities” entirely. We simply need to make sure that the congregation is not merely becoming another institution which keeps the family apart but rather helps bring it together.

    Comment by edwincrozier | October 21, 2008

  3. Once a month during our early morning service we have a bible class where everyone participates, both young and old. I never imagined how much the children and their parents have enjoyed this class. I’m not in favor of doing away with the regular, age separated classes, but I do agree that we should do more to keep families together in a bible study setting.

    Comment by bradinathens | October 22, 2008

  4. Great idea, Brad.

    One time we took a quarter and did a class for our teenagers that also involved their parents. On Sunday morning, they were together in the class but on Wednesday they were in separate classes discussing what came up on Sunday morning. I wasn’t in the class, but I heard it went very well. I hope we make that a repeating part of our classes at least once per year or bi-annually.

    Comment by edwincrozier | October 22, 2008

  5. Interesting…I’m sure that there are a number of ways for churches to help their families stay faithful to the Lord, and perhaps some go overboard in trying to provide “activities” for the young, etc. But my wife and I have always commented on what a great percentage of young people who were always present at such activities have remained faithful to the Lord. We are ever grateful to our parents for making sure we were at youth gatherings and summer camps and monthly studies, etc.

    Comment by josh | October 22, 2008

  6. That’s very interesting Josh. I would be curious to hear a detailed explanation of the percentages. Most folks that I’ve heard of even with youth group activities rarely seem to be able to document any higher than a 50% retention rate of the young. Sadly, I haven’t heard of any other approach doing much better than that.

    Comment by edwincrozier | October 22, 2008


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