If God Had Tryouts and Cuts

Jason Micheli —  May 6, 2013 — 2 Comments

photo-300x300This is from Elaine Woods, our Director of Children’s Ministry so if you feel the following indicts you in any way, blame her.

Soccer, Lacrosse or Church?

A mom approached me the other morning explaining why her child couldn’t attend Sunday school or worship on Sunday mornings.  Her son has early soccer games followed by Lacrosse practice.

I smiled and said,

“I understand; it’s a tough balance.  I remember when my kids had conflicts.”

She added,

“The whole team will be let down if he isn’t there to do his part and help out,”


“If he doesn’t show up for practice, he won’t be allowed to play in future games.”

My first reaction to these comments was “exactly!”  These same reasons apply to attending church.  How is your child supposed to be part of the church family if they never show up?  How is your child supposed to know God’s Word and apply it to his life if he hasn’t learned it?

I guess what bothers me the most is the intensity that parents feel about their children’s extra-curricular activities.  It’s a “must” event fueled by competition and the need to have our children excel at everything.  Go big or go home.

I wish I could see this same drive when it comes to their children’s faith walk.  Attending church becomes something to do after sport games, family time, and sleepovers.

Attending worship or Sunday school on a regular basis not only teaches children Biblical lessons, it develops a routine that is easier to enforce.  Children rely on structure and repetition.

I understand this is a challenge for parents and for the church body as a whole in today’s society.  We have so many choices competing for our time.  Long gone is the “closed on Sunday” attitude.  Sunday becomes another day to fill up with activities.

As a church, we need to continue to come up with worship options for our diverse congregation’s schedules.

As parents, we need to keep our children’s faith development even more important than their extra-curricular activities.

How that is done varies from family to family.  Attending church on Saturday, Bible Studies during the week, family prayer time in the evening, or simply listening to Christian music are examples of how parents can keep Christ a priority in their child’s life; however, don’t neglect the importance of attending worship.

Here are some good reasons for children to attend worship from GenOn Ministries:

1. Children learn to pray, to speak to God from their heart, by being with adults who model prayer.
2. Children can experience a time to be silent and present to God; a time to talk to God and to listen to God.
3. Children can hear & feel the power of our love for God as they listen to the words and music of worship.
4. Children learn and experience God’s love in the fellowship within a faith community.
5. Children are introduced to music and dance that expresses the longings of our hearts, the laments of our lives, our praises to God.
6. Children hear the stories of God’s people, and begin to understand that those stories belong to them, too.

What do you think? What would you add to this list?

We are called to be faithful.  The rest is up to God.


Jason Micheli


2 responses to If God Had Tryouts and Cuts

  1. Bob Oelschlager May 6, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    I learned to attend church regularly the old fashioned way. My parents made me go. Every Sunday. This was back in the dark ages. Bible stories taught using the latest multi-media tool, the flannel-board. Still remember Joseph’s coat-of-many-colors.

  2. I might have been much more judgmental before I had kids and knew enough kids and their parents. Life is more complicated than making a choice between a single game and a single church service. Parents might encourage their kids to be involved in sports, or the chess team, or whatever — because it helps them make friends they see every day at school. Or keeps them away from their older sibling, who is currently into drugs. Consider a parent’s concern for their depressed or ostracized kid. A kid in the drama class may finally feel like they have finally found a place for the energy they can’t otherwise control and are always being punished for.

    Instead of asking families to make heroic choices, I wonder if church members could take part in wider discussions about what kids need. Sports are good — but do we need sports 6 days a week in our middle school kid’s life? Does the theater department have to do Broadway caliber productions, that leave so many who are inexperienced out? But parents are often trying to make the best choices — and they’re worried sick about kids who aren’t coping well. One hour of church Sunday morning doesn’t answer the crying need.

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