There is a dangerous trend among many Christian Churches to make Church entertaining and this concept filters down to our children in the way they experience worship and ultimately their faith.
Except, here’s the problem:
Christ did not come to entertain us. He came to save us.
Earlier this year CNN published an article on Why more teens are becoming ‘Fake Christians’
As children grow up in the church many learn to ‘talk the talk’ but they lack true passion because they’ve never been allowed to experience true faith in action.
Because of this, many Christian teens cannot articulate what it means to be a Christian or Christ Follower.
“If teenagers lack an articulate faith, it may be because the faith we show them is too spineless to merit much in the way of conversation”
How can this be possible when these children grew up in the church with Christian parents?
According to Kenda Creasy Dean, a minister and a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, “We were too busy entertaining them and serving up what we believed they wanted. We were giving them cake when they wanted steak and potatoes.”
Instead of modeling faith in action, we served up entertaining worship services and ‘mission trips’ that doubled as mini vacations. It was all about the fun.
Then, we started noticing many of these kids completely left the church after high school or college.
Because the older our children get the more real entertainment they have available to them.
The Youth Ministry area that looks like a night club is eventually passed over for the real night club.
The mini vacations disguised as ‘ministry trips’ that weren’t long enough or hard enough to make any real impact on them, much less the people they were there to ‘serve’, are passed over for real vacations.
We are not of this world
We are not of the world so why are we trying to compete with the world?
Parents have a responsibility to model faith for their children and to help instill a passion within them that can only come from service and experiencing the faith we speak of in action– without the glitter and feel good mantras.
“If you don’t say you’re doing it because of your faith, kids are going to say my parents are really nice people,” Dean says. “It doesn’t register that faith is supposed to make you live differently unless parents help their kids connect the dots.”
How to teach children to serve
If you want your children to develop a true understanding of what it means to be a Christ Follower, you must allow them to serve others alongside you in a way that blends education with true sacrifice.
Jesus came not to be served, but to serve.
He came not to entertain but to save.
Passion develops when you allow your heart (and mind) to be changed and experience the wonder of living out the gospel in real life.
Don’t miss your opportunities to share this with your children.
How are you modeling this in your family?