We’re moving this summer, so we’ve been talking a lot about our move. The children want to know if we will leave our toys in our old house. They want to know if they’ll move next week. They are wondering what kinds of birds live in our new town. They’re wondering if they’ll see their friends again. And, since church is a large part of our life, they are wondering if we’ll find a new church.
One of the blessings of being in the military is we can deliberately teach our children about finding a new church, so we’ve been talking about that, too. Here’s what we’ve been talking about.
- First, we’ve been praying about it. In fact, it’s the first thing we’ve been praying about when we found out where we were being sent. Now, normally, it makes good sense to find a church before deciding to move, but being in the military we don’t have that option. So, we’ve been praying that God would help us to find a good church. This conversation teaches them that finding a church is extremely important, and it reminds them that God is where we turn for help in this matter.
- Second, we’ve reminded our children how God has led us in the past. This conversation reminds them of God’s faithfulness in the past, something that gives us (and them) confidence to trust God for the future.
- We talk about the things that we appreciate about our church: a godly and humble pastor who loves the Bible and teaches it correctly, adults who challenge mommy and daddy to do right, and their own friends that God has given them. Telling them what we appreciate about our current church helps them understand what is important in a church. Music, programs, a nice building: all these things are good, but they’re not what’s most important. All churches have strengths and weaknesses. We surely have preferences, but mommy and daddy are learning that doctrine is more important than some of the things that make us “comfortable.”
- This weekend we went to our new town, and we visited a church. It’s really hard when you pick up a child not to ask “Did you have fun?” I’ve asked this question more than once, and wondered why I ask it, since in doing so I’m emphasizing the entertainment value of the Sunday school. Now I am happy when my children enjoy their Sunday school class, but I’m most concerned in what they are learning. My children don’t always know what the lesson was about (and I don’t always ask), but I believe asking the question is more important than the answer I receive. Remember I’m simply trying to teach them what’s important in a church.
(P.S. We did like the church we visited. We’ll see how God leads.)
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