Our three sons were “drugged” to church…you know, dragged there sometimes and made to go. As 20 somethings now we don’t see them there very often for a variety of reasons (some good, some not so good) but they were all with us for Easter Sunday worship.
The youngest mentioned that the church had new hymnals. What? He noticed that they were purple and no longer blue? And then he sat innocently between us as his brothers (who sat in the pew behind us with our daughter-in-law and impending daughter-in-law) did everything but tack a “kick me” sign to his back. I had to admire the dexterity of one to fold up a bulletin insert and slide it into the loop of his brother’s shirt and the adroitness of the other to balance a small golf pencil on the swoop at the bottom. I must be losing my touch since it took me so long to notice. But my husband was oblivious to the whole thing, including my reaching over and sliding the masterpiece out and giving a slight raised eyebrow and a “tsk tsk” with my finger to the pew behind us. I’m sure those in the pews behind them noticed.
But they were there. And I hope it seemed normal and comfortable to them (even with the change of hymnals). I strained to hear their man voices reciting The Lord’s Prayer and welled up when I saw them talking with old friends who were “old” friends, not just peers their own age. And I was deeply happy that they were there to experience the Easter music and especially to hear the sermon and the emotional “catch” in our pastor’s voice at the very end.
Keep trying parents. I know it’s hard and sometimes seems downright impossible to get your kids to church and engage them in worship. Looking back, I’m not sure which years were more difficult—toddlers or teens. I’ve had those heated discussions and I’ve experienced those awful Sunday mornings (with toddlers and teens). I also know the benefit of worshiping feels a little “lost” to you for several years as you parent in the pews. Ha! Several years? I’m thankful for being part of a “LOGOS church” where our boys could make friends with young and old, share weekly meals in a boisterous atmosphere, get to know their pastors, and be welcomed into worship (including worship leadership). I’m also glad that we stuck with it and had the support and understanding of a community of faith-filled people.