Teaching Childen To Love The Church

August 25, 2008

CJ and Carolyn Mahaney recently sat down and discussed how they cultivated in their children a love for the local church. You can hear the 11 min audio clip here. Here are the highlights from the interview:

  1. You build a heart for the local church into children by stressing that while commitment and devotion to the nuclear family is important, devotion and commitment to our family in Christ is of greater importance because he nuclear family will not endure (contrary to Mormon theology), but eternal family will.
  2. Communicate to your children that the church isn’t just Daddy or Mommy’s church, but it is our church. You do this by talking to them and encouraging them to participate in the life of the church. Prepare them for membership meetings. Talk to them about what is happening in the service as you parent in the pew. Turn their attention towards the elements of worship. As they get older, involve them in ministry. Don’t keep your children on the sidelines. Involve them in the life of the church.
  3. The priority of the local church over and above other meaningful life activities such as sports, ballet, swim team, Boy Scouts, etc, is biblical. As a parent your primary responsibility is to prepare your child for judgment before Jesus Christ. Cultivating a heart for God is of more importance than teaching your son to cleanly field a grounder at short-stop (though this isn’t to say you can’t do both). Our commitment to God’s people should be our joy and passion, not simply our duty. Too often (culturally) the church is seen as an inconvenience or interruption to family time or commitments, as if commitment to the nuclear family should take precedence over our commitment to God’s family. If the church is not given priority in the home, this is evidence of biblical immaturity and an indicator that the home is governedby the changing tide of desires washing ashore in the home life.
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