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How can we do church well, even when it’s hard? image

How can we do church well, even when it’s hard?

Introducing Timeless Parenting Episode 2.

For Christian parents, getting to church each week is an important part of our faith. It strengthens our relationship with God as we hear his word, it points us back to our Saviour Jesus, it allows us to express our love for God through prayer and song, and it unites us with fellow believers.

But what about our kids? How do the kids in your house respond when you say ‘Come on everyone, it’s time for church!’? If your family is anything like mine, it’s not always with unbridled joy.

Sometimes it feels like our children are involuntary conscripts in our participation in church. Taking them to church with us can be really, really hard work. For example (I may or may not be speaking from personal experience!):
•    when your toddler crawls underneath people’s legs (and skirts!) towards the front while you’re stuck up the back breastfeeding
•    when your baby spits up all over your shirt—and you didn’t think to pack a change of clothes for you
•    when your preschooler gets the chance to speak into the microphone and decides simply to smile and say ‘butt’—on the day when the Bishop is visiting
•    when your older son throws a paper plane—and it lands among the votive candles and catches on fire
•    when your children simply don’t want to go to church.

The Bible is clear that, despite the potential challenges, our kids belong in church as much as we adults do. Children are not just the church of the future—they are part of the church of today. This has always been the case for God’s people. In the Old Testament, children were expressly included in the regular festivals and in the public reading of God’s law. In the early Christian church, believers met in their homes for worship and shared meals, which naturally included their children. When Paul wrote to these churches, he specifically addressed both parents and children (Ephesians 6:1–4). Peter’s first sermon finished with the reassurance that ‘The promise [of forgiveness and the Holy Spirit] is for you and your children and all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call’ (Acts 2:39).

Spiritually speaking, our children are part of the church alongside us. But how can we help them to know and to feel that they belong? How can we persevere in bringing our children to church when it gets hard? And how can we respond when our younger children decide that they don’t want to come?



We spoke about all these things in the second episode of our new podcast, Timeless Parenting. This podcast, a collaboration between Growing Faith and Mothers Union Sydney, is where we have real conversations across the generations exploring God’s wisdom for modern families. In our second conversation, we spoke with Al James, father of four and Youth Ministry Advisor with Youthworks [pictured with us above].

Listen, be encouraged and share it with your friends!

You can also find our podcast on SpotifyApple Podcasts and other platforms.

Mothers Union Sydney runs an annual seminar about Christian life and parenting. Listen to talks from previous seminars on Soundcloud.


If you want to get in touch with us to offer some feedback or suggest a topic, you can write to us at: timelessparenting@youthworks.net

Timeless Parenting is brought to you by Growing Faith, a ministry of Youthworks Media, and Mothers Union Sydney.

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