“It’s time for our children to be in church.”
As a children’s pastor, these are the words I hear regularly from parents who are starting (or starting again) to come to church.
Of course, this is a good thing. Many of these parents grew up in church and, for various reasons, drifted away when they left home for the adult life. Once we have children of our own, they have a way of helping us appreciate our need and their need for God.
Yet, leading children regularly to church takes time and effort. Something else must be forfeited. When I think about the struggle of exchanging that something else to be at church, I often think of Jesus’ words:
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.” – Matthew 16:24-27
Following Jesus will cost us something else in this life. And that cost is always worth the sacrifice. Leading our children to deny some things that are temporary and fleeting in exchange for that which lasts forever should be a no-brainier. Yet, the struggle for the souls of our children is real. The world is a distracting place with seemingly lots to offer. However, Jesus reminds us that it’s here today, but it’ll be gone tomorrow.
There’s nothing the world has that’s worth a soul. Is it time to lead your family to church?