Why Attending Church Services Needs To Be A Priority

Why Attending Church Services Needs To Be A Priority

Church“Did you attend church services this week?”

Most Children’s Ministry Leaders would answer “No” to this question.

  • “I had teachers not show up so I had to fill in.”
  • “There’s just too much to do on Sunday mornings for me to get to church regularly.”
  • “I think it’s more important for me to be in the kids’ area than to be in services.”
  • “I teach the kids every week, so I can’t make it in to church.”
  • It’s OK because I listen to the service online on Sunday afternoons.”

These and other responses are what I hear often as I teach at conferences or coach young Children’s Ministry Leaders.

Are they acceptable excuses? Is it ok for the Children’s Ministry Leader to NOT be in church services more than the ARE in church services?

I would so no, it’s not OK to not attend services on a regular basis. Here’s why:

1. You need to participate in corporate worship with other members of the body.

I know, the service is not the only place to worship. But it?s typically the only place the entire body comes together to worship. I believe there is something special about this, a form of worship which one can only experience collectively. Perhaps that is why, in?Hebrews 10:25, we are instructed to ?not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.?

2. Being in church exposes you to the vision, mission & values put forth by church leadership in a manner you can’t hear it anywhere else.

Yes, you are part of the leadership of the church. But you are also part of the body of Christ (first and foremost). You need to hear your pastor sharing the vision. You need to participate in the mission of the church as part of the body at large. You need to be reminded and continually embrace the values of the church.

You really can’t do that if you are not hearing them regularly in the context of the church body.

“The difference between listening to a radio sermon [or CD…or online] and going to church, is almost like the difference between calling your girl on the phone and spending an evening with her.” D.L. Moody

3. You need to be an example to your family.

I understand this doesn’t apply to every Children’s Ministry Leaders, but it applies to most. We need to be in church with our family. Our kids need to see us worship and/or to know that worshiping with the body of Christ is important. Our spouse needs to know that it’s important, and that it’s important for us to be there with them.

When we blow off church services, we are giving them permission to blow off services.

4. Not attending services gives our volunteers permission to not attend services.

In the same vein as #2, when we don’t go to church, we give our volunteers (and staff, if you have them) permission not to go to church. Is that really the example you want to set for them? Do you really believe that none of you going to church is going to enhance what you do in Children’s Ministry?

When we blow off church but expect our volunteers to still maintain it’s importance, we really are just reinforcing the mentality that church staff are special. That being the head of the department sets you apart and, somehow, you are less vulnerable spiritually than they are.

That’s a dangerous mentality to embrace and, frankly, most likely just the opposite is true – you are as much or more of a target of the enemy as your team. Be careful.

5. Being in the service gets you out of your Children’s Ministry bubble.

I’ve seen it over and over again, and experienced it myself. We tend to get in a “bubble” in Children’s Ministry which ends up limiting us personally and professionally.

Personally, we end up associating with only Children’s Ministry people and their families. That’s not a bad thing! However, when you only interact with one set of people, you tend to think in very limited terms.

Professionally, our job as Children’s Ministry Leader is to engage the body as a whole so that we can invite and equip people to serve in Children’s (and Family) Ministry. If we’re always in our little bubble, how are we going to engage those outside of that bubble?

Here’s the bottom line when it comes to attending church . . .

Most of us don’t attend church because we either haven’t led our ministry to the point where we have leaders who can function and lead without us being present, or we aren’t willing to let them lead.

Read that again.

Within 2 to 3 years of assuming responsibility for your Children’s Ministry, even the worst functioning ministry should be in a place where leaders can lead effectively without you. “How?” you say? Well, that’s what this blog is all about, so read some of the other posts to help you understand what’s important and how to lead effectively.

If the reason is that you just can’t let go and feel you need to do everything yourself, then you are inhibiting the growth of your ministry, which I would highly advise against. Again, read some of our other posts to understand how you might be able to develop leaders to whom you can give the ministry away.

And now . . . get to church!

Please share your thoughts & experiences in the comments below.

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Greg Baird
Founder of Children's Ministry Leader at Children's Ministry Leader
My passion is seeing the lives of children transformed. I believe the best way to do that is to equip leaders in the local church to serve children, volunteers and parents to invest in the lives of children at church and in the home. That?s what we do here at Children?s Ministry Leader ? equip leaders to create healthy Children?s & Family Ministry.
I serve as the Vice President of Global Resources in the Global Mission department at David C. Cook.

I love what I do as it is the outflow of 25 years of ministry experience as Children?s, Family & Administrative Pastor, consultant, trainer, speaker and short-term missions leader.

8 Responses to Why Attending Church Services Needs To Be A Priority

  1. One of the main reasons children’s ministry leaders don’t attend church services is because far too many churches have “children’s church’ being held at the same time as the regular service! How is a children’s minister supposed to have time to attend church him/herself if their job responsiblities are at the same time as church service? (This is especially true for small congregations where there is only one church worship service.)

    OK I admit it. I’m a grandparent and I’m a little “old school”. But when I was growing up we had Sunday school (before or after service…it varied from time to time) and the children came to church service WITH their parents. We learned how to sit and listen right beside our parents. Did we as youngsters always understand all the ‘grown up’ words? No…but never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit to get the message across 🙂

    When our own children were small we attended a church one Sunday to supply special music. Our children came with us and we were met at the door with a “Oh nice to have you here.We’ll show you where the children’s area is.” We replied “Thank you, but no. Our children sit with us in church.” Imagine the ‘horror’ of them thinking a little 3 and 5 year old would actually be sitting in the ‘big people’s church service’ and not causing noise and disruption!! (They didn’t by the way. They sat quietly alone in the pew while mommy and daddy went up to sing.)

    Is it really that important to have “children’s church” as a separate entity from the rest of the congregation? I have no problem having a more age-appropriate educational choice for children that can easily be met through Sunday school classes and other events. And before you bombast me with “Oh kids don’t learn the old way anymore. You’re too old-fashioned. You don’t know anything about kids”, let me tell you not only am I a parent and grandparent but also a teacher, as well as having been a Childrens Education Director at a large church.

    Maybe it’s time to rethink the whole idea of a separate ‘childrens church’ concept and go back to having a Sunday school class time for all ages with church worship time together for the entire family.

    You know the old saying “Everything old is new again.” 🙂

    • Hi Sarah – Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention! We are NOT LDS and we have no idea how that article got changed. We are trying to understand if we were hacked. To assure you that we did not write this, you can see the same article here: https://churchleaders.com/children/childrens-ministry-articles/314215-attending-church-services-needs-priority-greg-baird.html. It was published in it’s original version just after being published on Children’s Ministry Leader. As you can see, the first paragraph was altered considerably on our site…something we had not idea had happened. Our apologies and, again thank you for bringing it to our attention. We will be reviewing all of our articles to if any others were changed without our knowledge.
      Greg Baird, Children’s Ministry Leader.

      • Thank you for the reply! I have been following your site for a while now and was shocked to see the LDS reference. I serve in children?s ministry in Utah and pointing my volunteers to resources with solid bible doctrine is a big deal. Thanks again for looking into the issue and for all the kid min encouragement!

Please share your thoughts ~

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Stop begging trying to fill the needs in your ministry! IF people respond, it will likely be only short term. Obligatory service doesn’t inspire people to stick around.

Instead, understand the grand vision we are pursuing by investing in children’s lives for eternity!

Practice articulating that vision and start sharing it in every conversation. It’s a privilege and honor to be part of such important service, so INVITE people into that opportunity.

And, of course, never forget the foundation for building our team, found in Luke 10:2: “These were his [Jesus’] instructions to them: ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.’”

#KidMin #YouthMin #StuMin #FamMin #ChildrensMinistry #ChildrensMinistryLeader #KidsMinistry #Pastors #Church #Ministry
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