Three disclaimers for this post:
- I know I am biased. Having kids at church on Wednesday nights is part of my job requirements. 🙂 However, I don’t think my bias means the thoughts I want to share are not valid.
- There is no judgement here. The Bible doesn’t say, “Thou shalt attend church every Wednesday.” Every family has their own decisions to make and are accountable to God for making the best ones. Those best decisions may not even include Wednesdays.
- This post is not pointed to any particular family in my world. No, I’m not writing this because of YOU. 😉
Can I be really honest? There were a few Wednesdays this fall that I thought, “Man, it might be nice to not have to go to church tonight. We are busy, the kids are tired, I’m tired… what would it be like to just go home?” I totally get how tough it can be to make a commitment to having kids at church on Wednesdays. Between homework, sports, other extracurriculars, my full-time job, plus my kids spending time at their dad’s house, life gets crazy and being gone a night of the week can be hard. I get it.
However, I still believe Wednesday nights are important in kids’ lives and can be an integral part of their spiritual growth.
- If done right, Wednesday nights are an investment in the eternal. I love my kids being in sports. I love them being developing their gifts and talents and I love the opportunities they have to make friends outside of church and school. However, a hundred years from now… a THOUSAND years from now… it will not matter one bit how well my child can throw a softball. What will matter is how close she was to Jesus. As I seek balance for my kids and as I seek to not overcrowd their schedule, I have maintained that church is not optional. Mark 8:36 says, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” I don’t want to be overdramatic. Choosing not to do Wednesday nights is not going to put your child’s soul at risk. However I have seen lots of families invest so much in all of the other things that as the child got older, spiritual development and church community took a backseat to developing other aspects of life, eventually to the point of being just about non-existent. Whatever choices you make as a family, make sure that helping your kids grow closer to Jesus remains priority.
- Wednesday nights help build friendships. When parents are concerned about their child making friends at church I often recommend plugging into Wednesday nights. Typically Wednesday night groups are much more consistent and there is more opportunity for building friendships. It want my kids to be bright and shining lights in the world to those who don’t know God, but I also very much want them to have close friendships with other kids who follow Jesus. I want them to know older kids who are setting the example of loving Jesus and I want them to be the example of faith to kids younger than them. I also want them to build friendships with adults who are teaching the same truths I am.
- Wednesday nights are a midweek reminder of what matters. Kids have a lot of messages coming into their lives. Research from 2015 indicated that kids between the ages of 5 and 16 spend an average of 6.5 hours A DAY in front of a screen. In a world of information, it is important to intentionally redirect our kids towards Jesus and towards His Word. There are many ways to do this, but Wednesday nights are a good way to take a “time out” in the middle of the week and review what is true and what is most important.
To summarize, I’m not saying your family is doomed if you don’t choose Wednesday nights. Not at all. I’m not trying to be legalistic about being at the church whenever the doors are open. Attendance on Wednesday nights does not determine at all your standing before God. However, what we are accountable for is doing all we can to point our families towards Jesus. If Wednesdays are not a fit, make sure you find ways to help your kids invest in what matters eternally, make Christian friends, and have continual interruptions to the worldly messages they are absorbing. However, if you asked me, I would suggest you try your best to make midweek church a part of your family’s rhythm.
What would you add to the conversation? What benefits do your kids experience from Wednesday nights at your church?