Thursday, January 08, 2009
Whatever Happened to....
Whatever happened to going to church to have fun? When I was little, say.... 6th grade, we went to church on Wednesday nights for dinner and choir practice. We ate dinner and then had children's choir and then while our parents had choir (if they did) we sat and watched "The Wonderful World Disney" together and we had a blast! We might have colored at the same time or something but mostly we watched a movie. Those Wednesdays are some of my best and strongest memories.
Now, I know what you are thinking.... sacrilege! No Bible study or class! For shame! There probably was a class for the adults who weren't in Choir but I wouldn't have paid much attention to that because it didn't affect me at the time. But is there really anything wrong with kids, children or teens or adults for that matter, just going to church to have fun? Is it wrong to want my kids to enjoy being some place that is just fun sometimes?
I'm not saying that there shouldn't be classes and studies. Of course there should be but is that ALL there should be? Should we really be teaching our kids that church isn't a place you can go just to have fun? That in order to have fun at church you have to endure a lesson as well?
When I was a kid, we had both. Sometimes it was just about fun and sometimes it was just about "Sunday School" or Bible studies and sometimes it was about both. But it seems to me lately, at least at my church, that we can't go to church and just have fun and fellowship and that makes me sad. Sad that my kids don't have the same feelings for church that I ... used to have. You know sometimes growing in Christ can happen just through fellowship and sharing and playing with others. Sometimes you can grow closer to Him just through fun and knowing that He WANTS you to have fun and to have fun in His House!
I've been feeling very frustrated lately and this is part of it. Our Church has 2 Worship services on Sunday mornings with Sunday School in between. On most Sunday evenings we have music stuff for our children and youth and also our Youth Fellowship which usually includes a lesson of some type. We also have a group similar to this for our children 3rd - 5th grade. Also there's a Youth/children's dinner.
Then on Wednesday's they used to have the regular lesson type thing for the kids and then children's choir, then they switched to Children's choir and a short devotional and now, last night it's only a Bible study and they are moving Children's Choir to Sunday nights. They have a Bible Study for the youth and then end the night with a Praise Worship service. All of this follows a dinner that is catered.
When my daughter found out about the change in her schedule (no children's choir) she said, "Mom we don't have to come Wednesday nights anymore." It just about broke my heart. They can't just have Children's Choir on Wednesday's because it would be terrible not have a Bible study when you are at the church.
To me Children's Choir is still a type of "learning" about God and our Faith. In fact sometimes I bet it's better because the kids don't even know they are learning! They are just having a good time singing and being with each other IN God's House.
I don't really know when things really changed. Maybe it hasn't for other churches, maybe it's just mine. Maybe it never changed and my churches from my childhood were different from the rest of the world's. My father was my preacher until I got married and moved away so maybe being the preacher's kid made things seem different to me. All I know is that my kids just don't seem to find the same joy in church I used to and to be honest, I don't either.
Don't get me wrong we do enjoy our friends and consider them part of our family and we enjoy going to church but it's just not the same as it used to be. It's sad. Maybe it's our church and maybe we should just look for a new one but we just don't want to leave our friends. Besides we will be moving within the next year and figure we might as well wait until then to start over but until then....
Okay, sorry, I just had to vent and like I said earlier this week ... this blog is a type of therapy for me.
at 12:32 PM