“I want to learn about God” Rachel makes a decision

Rachel’s 6th birthday

My son, daughter-in-law and granddaughters are in the process of changing churches. Their home church plays a central role in their lives. The parents have been attending the same church since before the girls were born.

Many things led to this very difficult decision.

Their local church recently changed pastors. With that came a dramatic change in the church’s culture. (See: What is your church’s culture?) From a church of invitation, this one had become a church of closure and discouragement.

Among those things that changed were how the Bible was being taught, the welcoming of visitors and even the treatment of some long-standing members. All of these things were considerations, but it was an observation by 6 year-old Rachel that determined the need to change.

After Sunday services a few weeks ago, Rachel’s mom asked her how Sunday school had gone. “We spent our time making Valentine’s cards” Rachel responded. “I want to learn about God.” Unfortunately, Sunday school had become activity centered (like baby sitting) and not learning centered. Even at her young age, Rachel Beth is a disciple. She has been for a long time.

This past Sunday afternoon when talking with Rachel I asked her how Sunday school went at her new church. This is the same church that sponsors the girls’ school, so it is not really new to them.

“It was GREAT! I have lots of friends already and they have GREAT lessons.” (Emphasis hers) “Today we studied the Ten Commandments.” She went on to discuss this lesson with considerable understanding.

Changing churches should never be an easy decision. It certainly wasn’t in this case. There are many factors to consider. Is the primary focus worship or entertainment? Are the teachings and lessons based on God’s Word? Does the church serve and promote the Kingdom of God? Is the congregation one of invitation and family? There are others as well.

And sometimes these things are best seen through the eyes of a child.

Shalom, Art
Alive in The Word

About aliveintheword

Missouri, USA Married to Marty, 45 years 2 sons (with 2 daughers-in-law) and 2 granddaughters Life dedicated to serving Jesus Christ and delivering the Good News
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5 Responses to “I want to learn about God” Rachel makes a decision

  1. Pingback: 57 Cent Church (True Story) « YOU DECIDE

  2. bethyferg says:

    I am delighted that your granddaughter is so eager to learn about God. I just sometimes wish that those in church were equally as eager to teach about Him.

    What I am inclined to think is that sometimes we concentrate too much on the entertainment basis of church life and forget that the lifeblood of any church is its emphasis on teaching and worshipping the Creator.
    I pray that your family are truly blessed in this new church and that they in turn will bring many many blessings with them..

    • Thank you Bethy.

      This was truly a family decision. Even the 4-year-old, Lauren, was included in the discussion. While she was mostly interested in friendships in Sunday school, she still expressed knowing the difference between “busy time” and growing in Jesus.

      We come into the church (both in terms of “joining” and attending) first and foremost to worship God. If that does not have absolute priority, the rest is all self-serving.

      Other pillars are to serve and to grow (be disciples). The “old church” was missing on all three. Unquestionably time to seek a new congregation.

      The “new church” is not really new to the family. It sponsors the school the girls attend.

      In the “old church” the parents were discouraged from taking leadership in service and mission activities. When they were absent (usually because they were aleady attending the “new church,” no one seemed to miss them. Even as “non-members,” when they missed a service they got a call to make sure everything was OK.

      My son was just “put in charge” of the monthly men’s breakfast. No asking… just “it’s yours. First programs, talk about the “All-Pro dads” program you’ve started for the kids.

      What an amazing difference!

      Have a most blessed day, my friend.

  3. ptl2010 says:

    So true Art.
    Growing up in Sunday School, attending week in and week out, I knew when my Sunday School teacher taught the Word of God, or were just marking time with activities. There were those Sunday School teachers who totally committed, made every Sunday a wonderfully interesting experience – they made the Word come alive as you do.

    Others without the fresh personal experience of God alive in their lives, just mark time and as children we could see through all the farce. We knew when teacher was unprepared and we knew when to sit down and listen or misbehave in boredom.

    Today, the same holds true for when Jesus is lifted up, He will draw the children to Himself. However when we try all the creativity we have in our own strength, without the anointing of the Holy Spirit, not only do we waste time and effort, we disappoint not only the children but God as well.

    When the Word is not anointed, it falls like stone to wound hearts and kill interest in the Word. May the Lord help all Sunday School teachers to be committed and worthy of their calling, for it is the Lord they serve and not themselves, it is to Him they are accountable for their service each Sunday, for the lives that they have been assigned to teach.

    I pray your grandchildren’s new Sunday School teachers are ones who love the Lord and are committed to their calling.

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