Every year the average Christian kid will spend…
…1,000 hours at school
…2,700 hours sleeping
…3,000 hours with their parents
…and 40 hours at church
It’s made me wonder: How can the church where I serve make a real difference in the lives of kids with so little time?
And even the little time we do have is being eroded by youth sports, more frequent vacations and weekend trips, and families placing less of a priority of Sunday attendance.
I realize I’m sounding a bit cynical, but I’m really an optimist by nature, so I decided to approach the question of, “Why does Sunday matter?,” with the assumption that it does indeed matter very much.
But before I get into how Sundays can make a real difference, I want to bring up something that Sundays can’t do (I know I may take a little flak, but I believe it’s just as important to know what NOT to do with Sundays as what to do): In my generation (millennials) there was an experiment in churches with the hypothesis that the church could do all the work of disciple making with kids; currently, my generation is walking away from God in droves. I think it’s safe to say the experiment has failed and churches need to use Sundays to empower parents in discipleship rather than trying to do it for them on Sundays.
That being said, here’s why I believe Sundays make a difference (I’m sure there’s plenty of other, better why’s, but for me these are my top 3).
1. Sundays are for motivating families not to ignore the spiritual.
Spirituality requires intentionality.
If families aren’t intentional in talking about God, then other things will drown Him out like: TV, smartphones, tablets, sports, meals, and Netflix.
Without Sundays, there wouldn’t be a consistent voice to cut through the noise and remind families that everything else is ultimately meaningless and only God and eternity last forever.
Sundays are an opportunity to motivate families to invest in personal spirituality and also look around and see that there are so many people right next door that don’t know God. For more on how to help families to engage the people next door in outreach, check out my post here.
Sundays are an opportunity to let families know that God’s story is so much bigger than one person or one family or one activity; it’s grand, and it challenges everyone to go out every day on a mission to draw other people into that story.
2. Sundays are for partnering with families.
Last I checked, there’s no 4-year degree for being a Mom or a Dad. There’s no universal approach to raising the perfect family every time. There’s not even a reliable parenting handbook. But there is God, the Bible, and the Church.
Sundays are a time when the church can speak God’s truth into the messiness of family life. On this day, families can know they aren’t alone and that other people are there for them. They can be safe to not be okay.
Sundays are for families to receive some personal training, to get expertise and a plan to grow spiritually, and encouragement and a challenge to not settle for a “good enough” or “we’re okay” mentality.
3. Sundays are for setting up families to win.
Sundays can’t accomplish in 40 hours what parents can in 3,000. Like it or not, kids look up to their parents more than their Pastors, and quantity of time matters just as much as quality.
When it comes down to it, Sundays, at their best, are for setting families up to win in the 3,000 hours they have together and to make sure that those 3,000 hours are of the best quality possible. Sundays are an introduction, a springboard to get kids and parents so excited, they want to keep talking about God and what they can accomplish in his story when Monday rolls around.
Even though it’s just an hour, Sundays, if used to motivate families to spirituality, partner with them, and set them up to win, can be the most important hour of every families’ week!