My preteen rolled over and groaned as I woke her up one bleak, cold Sunday morning.
"Do I have to go to church today?" she moaned. "I'm so tired. I'll go to youth group tonight. Church is so boring!"
This scene's probably been repeated in your home as well as mine. With this complaint comes a host of other questions that need good answers. Here are four of the most common.
"If it's boring, why do I have to go?"
Surprise—boredom isn't a sin! However, we live in a culture that demands entertainment, and this attitude has dangerous repercussions for parents. We can unconsciously raise children who expect to be entertained—even at church. And because we fear they'll reject the gospel if they're bored, we make church optional.
Keep in mind, however, that school can be boring, yet we make our kids go. If we send our kids to school but make church an option, we communicate that education is more important than spiritual growth.
"I read my Bible on my own. Isn't that enough?"
Hebrews 10:25 says, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing." Proverbs 27:17 says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Scripture shows us we can't grow alone. If we try, we can fall prey to heresy or give in to temptation. For example, my friend Sharon went off to college with her Bible and a desire to grow in her relationship with God. Overwhelmed with freshman activities, she found little time to seek out fellowship. Instead, she began hanging out with a group of students who didn't have much interest in spiritual things. Although she continued her own devotions for a time, her interest soon started to dwindle, and she began to make compromises. She began to sleep with her boyfriend. Over the next three years, Sharon spent a lot of time with an unhealthy party crowd. The summer after her graduation, I had a talk with her. Her boyfriend was gone, her life was a disaster, and she said to me, "Susan, I wish I'd sought out fellowship. I don't think I would have made such a mess of my life if I had. After four years of college I don't have any friends I want to keep up with."