Man that was a fast summer!
It seems just like yesterday we were anticipating late nights, sleeping in, no schedules, swimming, beaches and kids all over the place. And just like that, it’s all over.
Our summer was pretty awesome. We swam a ton! We hit the springs, the beach and the pool like it was going out of style. The kids stayed up way too late most of the time and slept in way too late. We let them watch more movies and play more video games than normal. We grilled and hung out with neighbors. We shot off fireworks late into the night on July 4th. We made new friends. We adopted a rescue dog.
It was a really good summer.
Now it’s time to flip the switch and get back into the swing of things. We go to our youngest child’s meet the teacher at his school today. Like most elementary kids he’s excited for the start of a new school year. He can’t wait to see his old friends and meet new ones. He’s nervous about the new teacher.
It’s all really exciting! One of the things I’m most excited about this fall is everything that’s happening at Shift! This Sunday is Kidz Choice Sunday where we welcome our incoming Kindergartners and send our outgoing 5th graders to Second Shift. We’re planning a massive celebration (including a Fortnite dance off) that will end with the kids getting to slime me! And for the adults our new sermon series “The Art of Neighboring” kicks off this weekend! Our small groups start in just a few weeks and our student ministry, Second Shift, launches 9/9! So much awesomeness packed into the fall semester.
Recently Brad has been talking about the 168 hours we have in a week. And that the one hour we gather on Sunday is to celebrate what happened the previous 167 hours and to get ready for the next.
As adults, we are pretty capable of doing some of this on our own. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting together with everyone! I love catching up on what’s happened in everyone’s lives and making plans, meeting new people, celebrating God and His word. It’s super important for me to have those things on a consistent basis.
But it’s even more important for my children to have those things consistently. Recently I was reading a blog post and came across this:
“According to Neil MacQueen, national researcher of church attendance, “Going to church regularly has a dramatic impact on life.” Compiling data from Duke University, Indiana University, The University of Michigan, The Center for Disease Control, Barna Research Group, Gallup, Pew, and the National Institute for Healthcare Research, MacQueen found some interesting facts about the children of regular church attendees. Going to church will:
• Increase the average life expectancy of your children by 8 years
• Significantly reduce your child’s use and risk from Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs
• Dramatically lower their risk of suicide
• Help children rebound from depression 70% faster
• Dramatically reduce their risk for committing a crime
• Improve their attitude at school and increase their school participation
• Reduce their risk for rebelliousness
• Reduce the likelihood that they would binge drink in college
• Improve their odds for a “very happy” life
• Provide them with a life-long moral compass
• Provide children with a caring extended family
Further study also reveals that taking your children to church is far more effective than sending your children to church. When a child attends church with his family, father included, he is twice as likely to attend church in his adult years.” Read it here
Who knew taking your kids to church could be so impactful? So influential? So IMPORTANT?
Our one hour is more than just one hour. When you get back into the Sunday Swing you are helping your child(ren) for life. Study after study shows the benefits of regularly attending as family. So let me offer just a few tips to help you with that Sunday swing.
Prioritize Sunday Worship
There are so many things you could do and many of them are probably good but are they best?
Make worshiping together your top priority. Show your child(ren) the importance of coming together to celebrate God!
One of the awesome things about Shift is that we make it so easy for everyone to do just that!
Treehouse is a ton of fun and the kids have a great time learning about Jesus. The adult service is relevant and engages everyone from teens to our 50+ crowd.
Make it part of your families natural weekly rhythm and you’ll soon see how impactful, influential and important it becomes.
I would encourage you to not only attend as a family but also to serve as a family! Help your child(ren) live a better story.
Since I’m the family pastor my family mainly serves there. My daughter helps with the Pre-K classes, my wife works on the impressions/check-in team and everyone is helping with tear down. We do that so that it sets the tone for their entire lives. When someone meets Christ for the first time they know they played a part in that.
You might think “It’s just checking someone in” or “I’m only hanging out updates” but you’d be wrong. Each and every person plays a role in communicating Christ to every person that walks on campus! From the person that sets up chairs to the worship band and everything in between we all are making Jesus famous!
Allow your kids to be a part of that and they’ll soon start dragging you to church!
Live it at Home
Parents I can’t stress this enough; Don’t be one person at worship and a different one at home.
Live out your faith in an authentic way. If you’re struggling then let do so in an appropriate way with your family. Reach out to people in your small group (plug in if you haven’t). Allow your child(ren) see first-hand what it means to bear one another’s burdens.
Just be real. We all mess up. And we can all apologize. Whatever you do don’t be super happy “Christian” family on Sunday mornings and something else the other 167 hours.
Our one hour is honestly so much more than just one hour! If we all dive back in to the Sunday swing, we can help make our city better but more importantly you can help make your family better!
We can’t wait to celebrate with you!