One common concern I often hear from parents and other adult church members about including children in the corporate worship setting is that kids won’t “get” anything out of the worship or the sermon. From an adult perspective, there are certain things we want to walk away from church with such as a sense of having been in God’s presence or having learned something that will help us grow in our faith. We presumably come to church for a reason and it is easy for us to assume those same reasons apply to our kids.
But they probably don’t.
You see your kids are young in their faith. They don’t understand the desire for fellowship or the beauty of corporate worship or the need for continued learning and growth in their walk with Christ. They go to church because they follow you to church; they are your disciples and they are learning what being a Christian looks like by watching and emulating you (if I were a psalmist, I’d write a “Selah” after that and encourage to to “stop and think about” that for a moment).
So, parents often express this concern:
My kids are only going to church because I make them. It’s bad enough when they are going to Sunday School where they get to have fun but when they are just sitting in “big church” and they don’t get anything out of it, it seems rather pointless.
I get it, I do! I have kids and I know that often the worship service is geared towards adults only and not applicable or appropriate for them (future blog for churches in that). I too have struggled with the fact that they don’t seem to “get” anything out of those corporate times. But I have also seen and read many studies that show definitively that these times of worship and learning in the midst of the larger congregation are one of the leading reasons for increased “stickiness” of faith in young adults. Thus, there must be something to it, even if what they get out of church is not the same as what we adults “get” out of attending church service.
So, what is it? What do kids “get” out of going to “big church”?