My love-hate affair with church attendance – part four

there have been massive changes in the ways families have functioned over the course of my lifetime…and they have had a huge effect on how life in a church family  looks.

when i was growing up,  i played little league baseball.   it was the most sacred and enjoyable eight weeks of my year.   it always started the middle of april and ended mid-june…except for the year i made the all-star team.   that year we squeezed another week or two out of the season.    when i was twelve years old,  my team played 22 baseball games.

when corey was twelve years old,  he played ten months and about 100 games.   (god bless texas.)

…and that was thirteen years ago!   i don’t really have the time or space to write about the culture children are growing up in today.   sports…dance…gymnastics…cheerleading…band…school… school…school…pressure… competition… fear… anxiety…stress.

total craziness.

no wonder church is reduced to just another activity to pencil into weekly schedules that already have no room to breathe…no room to rest…no room to re-create.   attendance  at church activities is often seen as an intrusion… impositions that are begging for apologies,  instead of invitations.

and i get it.   i totally get it.

i don’t think anyone…not the planners,  nor the participants…believe that church programs are pointless exercises in time-wasting.   i believe people see the value in church programs.   i believe people see the value in christian education and corporate worship and shared service.

i believe that,  deep down,  most people desire authentic friendships and spiritual accountability.   i think most people even feel a certain amount of remorse when they choose not to attend…for whatever the reason.   most people sense a responsibility as part of the whole and know they are missed when they are not present.

but for most,  family events…especially activities for the good of their children’s education and personal development… will always trump church activities.

this discussion is difficult.   there are no easy answers.   the value of home life and the value of church family life are not to be mutually exclusive.   they should support and honor each other.   they should exist for the growth and development of the other.

but,  the kingdom of god lived out in our families…and the kingdom of god lived out in lives of people we don’t share a roof with…should be the same kingdom.   sadly,  for many,  they are kingdoms at war with each other.

what’s it like for you?


2 thoughts on “My love-hate affair with church attendance – part four

  1. good question. i will always remember andrew’s elementary principal telling parents that if their kids need a day planner that they were over scheduled. kids need to be kids. i think adults need to be less busy too. we over schedule ourselves and then we wonder why we’re so tired. how can we hear god’s voice when we’re doing all the talking or are too busy to listen? a few years ago i was invited to go away to a monastary and not talk for a whole weekend…i’m sorry i missed the opportunity. i wish it would come again.

  2. Does your post mean that all single people with no kids have no excuse for not participating in “church”?

    Do we use our kids as an excuse to steer away from deep meaningful relationships and kingdom activities?
    Who gets more out of children’s activities anyway? Me or them? Are kids my reality video game that I play through them?

    What else can I blame my kids for?

    Sounds to me that “church” attendance excuses and Marriage Tuesdays content may be tied together.

    It seems we are always an excuse away from making a difference.

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