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4 Reasons to Teach Kids Why We Attend In-Person Church

Jul 10, 2023 | Teach Kids Articles

Even though COVID restrictions have been lifted, some people are having a hard time getting back to in-person church. We got comfortable staying in our pjs, watching something online, or having more time for ourselves on Sunday. With churches reporting that attendance is suffering and live streaming sermons becoming a popular alternative, it begs the question: why DO we go to in-person church, anyway? It’s important that parents teach kids the answer to this question so they don’t grow up under the impression that we go to church out of habit or to earn God’s approval.

Hebrews 10:25 gives us God’s clear command to not neglect meeting together as His body. We know that God’s commands for us are good, so why is it good for Christians to physically gather together? Here are four reasons to teach kids why we attend in-person church. 

1. In-Person Church Allows a Pastor to Be Your Shepherd 

People have historically gone to church to hear a good teaching from the Word of God. However, now that you can hear great sermons through a variety of media from the comfort of your home, people might think it isn’t necessary to go to church in-person anymore. 

But pastors are more than just great orators, they’re the people God gave us for spiritual guidance through everyday life. The very word “pastor” comes from the Latin word for “feeder” or “shepherd”—someone who takes the flock out to feed in the pasture. When you hear the Word of God from someone you submit to as your personal shepherd, you’re allowing him to feed into your life to help you grow and change. Teach your kids the importance of having someone in their life for spiritual guidance and the blessing that pastors are, by taking them to in-person church.

2. In-Person Church Helps Us Experience the Body of Christ

Our kids need to experience the Body of Christ in order to recognize it in the world around them. The church is our spiritual family—often with sweeter fellowship and more in common than with our blood relatives. It’s pretty difficult to practice togetherness if we don’t actually gather together in-person. We need the community of believers within the church and they need us.

Why does the church need each other? While we can look to the many “one another” verses in the New Testament to show us how believers should help one another, God made us relational beings for a reason. We need eye contact and communication with like-minded people to feed our soul like nothing else can. We need to let others know our personal needs, and we need to hear out the needs of others through simple, face-to-face conversation. While it may be difficult sometimes to have a heartfelt conversation during church itself, it’s still a meeting place for us to make connections with fellow believers and then plan to get together in a more personal space later.

Kids, too, need this same kind of social bonding with other believers just as much as adults do (if not more!), so it’s important we encourage them to attend church, make friends, and thrive within their own spaces in children’s ministry.

3. In-Person Church Teaches Kids the Power of Corporate Worship

Powerful things happen when the Body of Christ gathers together in corporate worship and prayer. In Matthew 18:19, Jesus says, “If two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” If the prayers of just two people together brings added power, how much more then will the prayers of hundreds be heard!

Additionally, praying together also helps to teach others who aren’t as practiced, like children, how to pray. This is why we should teach kids not to tune out prayers in church or to think their own thoughts, but instead repeat each sentence in their mind and make it their own—adding power to the prayer as they join in.

Another aspect of corporate worship is singing praises together which pleases God, as evidenced by many Scriptures. While some people feel uncomfortable singing because they didn’t grow up doing it in church, they’re missing out on a beautiful act of biblical worship. Singing helps us express the glory of God and our gratitude to Him, which makes it even easier to speak of His glory later. Like praying, learning to sing God’s praises in church is vital practice for how to describe His goodness to others. Corporate worship together in church is also a privilege we shouldn’t take for granted, as there are millions of believers who can’t sing or pray aloud for fear of persecution.

Don’t let your kids miss out on regularly making a joyful noise to God alongside a room full of like-minded people! It will help them formulate words of praise for the rest of their lives, while the Bible tells us there will be glorious music in Heaven. When we fill an auditorium with the sound of praise now, we can get a little taste of Heaven here on earth.

4. In-Person Church Helps Build the Faith of Others

People come to church for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they don’t know Jesus, but are seeking. Or perhaps they might be trying to get back to a faith they used to have but never grew, and don’t know where to begin. Or maybe they are a new believer looking to find and get to know their spiritual family.

Regardless of the reason, being welcomed and cared for in church is essential for one’s spiritual growth. If it’s the children themselves who are seeking, church is where they will find the answers. While children who are assured of their salvation and of the love of Jesus can help share that love with others, learning how to kindly welcome people arriving to church—especially other kids. Help your kid to find value and appreciation in their role, and to realize that they’re not just following you to church, they are a part of the Body of Christ too. 

While we, as parents, hope that our kids will catch enthusiasm for in-person church from our example, it’s important that we verbally teach these values to them as well. Discussing these 4 reasons for why we attend in-person church with your kids will help your children to stop focusing on what they’re missing out on at home, and instead appreciate what they get to take part in with other believers at church. 

It’s been said that watching church online is like watching a campfire on a screen—it looks nice, but you can’t experience the same warmth. Extoll the warmth to your kids today by teaching them why we attend in-person church, and they will bask in it with you.

This content is from the CEF podcast Teach Kids.  Listen to more content like this on the Teach Kids podcast through your favorite podcast platform.  #TeachKids #KidsMin

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