The answer is simple…where the rest of the kids their age are going. It is easy to give in and allow your child to go to worship with you or talk you out of going to church all together. At my church, Holland’s United Methodist Church, our children’s Sunday School is during the contemporary, 9:45 AM service. Some kids like the cool music and the laid back format of that style of worship, but being cool doesn’t equate to fostering an #AuthenticFaith. The messages delivered during that service are intended for adults. Children, especially those who are elementary aged and younger, have not achieved a level of maturity to where the sermons, songs, and fellowship will progress their journey.
We know that more than 50% of high school grads abandon their faith after high school. The absolutely, no-doubt-about-it method to improving those odds with your child is to make sure they are in the right room with the right people on Sunday mornings. At Holland’s that is our flagship children’s Sunday school programs during the 9:45 service. Three to five years old children should be with our loving pre-school ambassadors and our K – 5 grade kiddos are with Mr. Jim and the amazingly cool and fun children’s ministry ambassadors (I like to call them education ninjas…cuz they are that good).
Does this mean they should never attend worship? Of course they should. We certainly don’t want a church full of college aged kids who have never worshiped before. However, their Christian education and basic worship practices will be taught in Sunday School as well. Maybe go to an earlier or later service from time to time so they can experience a pastor led worship. Maybe encourage your Sunday School leader to take the kiddos to “Big People” church once a quarter or so.
Now go #NJS the heck out of the day.