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If your kids love your church...


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... but you don't, would you stay for their sakes?

 

The church in question isn't weird or cultic. It's just not a place where I feel comfortable. It has a big, clinical feel and I'm just not happy there. My kids LOVE the children's program, though. They are very close to one of the leaders and seem to be getting a lot out of the experience.

 

So, what would YOU do? Would you take one for the team and keep going? Or would you go elsewhere - even if it broke your kids' heart?

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I've gone through periods of disenchantment with our church, but my kids consider it "home."

 

Ultimately, I decided that church is like family. It doesn't have to be perfect to be right.

 

But, yes, I would absolutely stay in a church I didn't love--as long as I didn't feel there was anything "wrong" with it--in order to provide my kids with stability in a program they loved.

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Get dh to take them?

 

Dd loves going to CCD. I have issues that are not conducive to getting dd to church. Dh takes her. Of course his schedule is about to change and he won't be off on Sundays any more. Then I'll be in a similar situation. I'll probably suck it up half the time and get her there. The other half she will have to be the one to give just a bit.

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I want to clarify, by the way, that when I say I would "stay," I don't necessarily mean I would force myself to be super involved. I would do enough to make sure I was contributing to the church, but I wouldn't push it to the point of feeling resentful.

 

For me, my relationship with my church has been like a lot of other relationships: Sometimes it's great, and sometimes I'm phoning it in. But, if I give myself space, I usually remember why I got into the relationship in the first place.

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Get dh to take them?

 

This is an option at least 2 out of 4 Sundays. I'm going to talk to him about it.

 

As for the other two Sundays... :confused: I could always just get a book and hang out in the lobby while I wait for the girls. I could approach it like I do every other activity they're involved in. I'm fairly certain that it wouldn't offend anyone.

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Just went through this. It was a VERY difficult decision. Our situation sounds very much like yours. We were relocated out of state by DH's company almost 2 years ago. After a few Sundays of 'church searching', we found a church. Attended almost every Sunday for well over a year. Kids LOVED it. DH and I just didn't connect. So, last fall, we took a chance and, after lots of prayer and a little searching, we have recently found a church where we ALL feel a strong sense of belonging.

 

Church should be a place, in my opinion, that when you are there, you feel an overwhelming sense of "home" in your heart.

 

I did a lot of research of the nearby churches before we went to visit. Looked at their websites and checked out kids programs, adult programs, life groups, etc. The second one we visited is the one we are currently attending and soon hoping to join. My kids are happy. They still have fond memories of the other church but they have yet to ask to return. They are just as content now as they were before. It has been a blessing. BUT, as I stated, it was not an easy decision to make.

 

Praying for you on this journey!:grouphug:

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Unless there's something going on that would be damaging to them emotionally or spiritually, I would tough it out. As an adult, I can survive spiritually without the perfect church; children need that steady, familiar community, IMO.

 

I couldn't break my kids' hearts unless it was going to be balanced out at the other side by being ultimately good for them.

 

That said, I understand what you're going through. I would suggest pursuing your spiritual life through other means--maybe join a Bible study group or something. Grab some devotional books and go to your local coffee shop for some quiet time once a week. Find a church with a more intimate feel that maybe has services on an off night and attend a couple of times a month--just for you. Your kids don't have to go with you. :)

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If my kids were younger, say fourth grade or below, I'd be visiting alternatives while dh took them to the place they loved. If and when I found a place that I truly believed would be a better fit, I'd go all together as a family to visit. It's just really hard to bounce kids around on church recoinnoissance.

 

However, with teens or even preteens, if I saw that they were being challenged and growing spiritually (versus just being entertained), I would stay regardless of how I personally felt about it. I do not get a warm fuzzy feeling at our current place of worship, and it's taken a long time for me personally to begin to feel comfortable there, but it is a most excellent situation for my teens. I can give up a few years of my preference for that. I believe it has actually resulted in quality examination of my own spiritual walk and a stronger understanding of my relationship with God.

 

But if they were little? I'd be looking. Mom needs lots of good filling and growing herself to be pouring into those little buckets all day. It's not that the older kids don't need that, too, they do, they are just expanding their sources to other Godly adults and that is appropriate at their age.

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If my kids were younger, say fourth grade or below, I'd be visiting alternatives while dh took them to the place they loved. If and when I found a place that I truly believed would be a better fit, I'd go all together as a family to visit. It's just really hard to bounce kids around on church recoinnoissance.

 

However, with teens or even preteens, if I saw that they were being challenged and growing spiritually (versus just being entertained), I would stay regardless of how I personally felt about it. I do not get a warm fuzzy feeling at our current place of worship, and it's taken a long time for me personally to begin to feel comfortable there, but it is a most excellent situation for my teens. I can give up a few years of my preference for that. I believe it has actually resulted in quality examination of my own spiritual walk and a stronger understanding of my relationship with God.

 

Agreeing with AuntieM here. IF our boys had been older, we probably would not have changed. Age was a BIG factor in our decision. We knew if we were going to look for a new church home, our window of opportunity was very small because of the soon to be preteen aspect.

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If my kids were younger, say fourth grade or below, I'd be visiting alternatives while dh took them to the place they loved. If and when I found a place that I truly believed would be a better fit, I'd go all together as a family to visit. It's just really hard to bounce kids around on church recoinnoissance.

 

However, with teens or even preteens, if I saw that they were being challenged and growing spiritually (versus just being entertained), I would stay regardless of how I personally felt about it. I do not get a warm fuzzy feeling at our current place of worship, and it's taken a long time for me personally to begin to feel comfortable there, but it is a most excellent situation for my teens. I can give up a few years of my preference for that. I believe it has actually resulted in quality examination of my own spiritual walk and a stronger understanding of my relationship with God.

 

But if they were little? I'd be looking. Mom needs lots of good filling and growing herself to be pouring into those little buckets all day. It's not that the older kids don't need that, too, they do, they are just expanding their sources to other Godly adults and that is appropriate at their age.

 

:iagree:

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We have this situation. My kids are all teens though. We solved it by going to different churches. They are super involved in youth group and the worship team. The kids will go to church with us and do the youth group and worship team during the week.

It has worked out well for us but if your kids are littler, it might be harder for that to work.

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My middle son cried when we left our church. Then he went to the new church and instantly liked it there. He doesn't like the idea of change, but once faced with it, he is more than fine.

 

We left our last church once we had a middle schooler. We were less than impressed with the youth group. The elem. program and younger were great.

 

Dawn

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However, with teens or even preteens, if I saw that they were being challenged and growing spiritually (versus just being entertained), I would stay regardless of how I personally felt about it. I do not get a warm fuzzy feeling at our current place of worship, and it's taken a long time for me personally to begin to feel comfortable there, but it is a most excellent situation for my teens. I can give up a few years of my preference for that.

 

Yup. We are currently at a church that neither dh nor I love, but for our teen every thing about this church is perfect. The key to us staying has been that we have seen a lot of spiritual growth and maturity in her while she has been attending there. If it were just a fun place to go and hang out that would be one thing, but to have a church committed to the spiritual development of teens AND a teen who loves to go there makes it worth it for us to stay.

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Several years ago we left a church that the children loved. But, there were some principles at play which we could not abide and needed to take a stand. It was hard and the children were too young to truly understand why we left. But, it had to be done.

 

I think that spiritually, if the church is not meeting the needs of mom and dad, eventually that trickles down to the kids. Some of the concerns we had eventually caused the youth and children's programs to implode at that church...they lost their entire, huge volunteer staff, and two pastors out of four because of it. So, I'm actually grateful we left early on and the kids never had to be a part of that upheaval.

 

Faith

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Several years ago we left a church that the children loved. But, there were some principles at play which we could not abide and needed to take a stand. It was hard and the children were too young to truly understand why we left. But, it had to be done.

 

I think that spiritually, if the church is not meeting the needs of mom and dad, eventually that trickles down to the kids. Some of the concerns we had eventually caused the youth and children's programs to implode at that church...they lost their entire, huge volunteer staff, and two pastors out of four because of it. So, I'm actually grateful we left early on and the kids never had to be a part of that upheaval.

 

Faith

 

:grouphug: 100%

 

(ETA: Oops! Wrong icon! I meant to use the "I agree" guy, but far be it from me to delete a hug!)

 

I assumed for the sake of your question that you were dealing in preferences. However, in the case of unresolved unbiblical management issues, or doctrine intentionally gone awry, we make our departure as a family. We have had to do that, and yes, there are many tears.

Edited by AuntieM
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we have been to a lot of churches over the years with all our moving.

 

we did the church where we, the adults, were happy and my kids really started to dislike church. they literally had nothing for the kids. They didn't enjoy church anymore.

 

So this move we visited churches keeping an open mind to our kids. We visited a church I knew I wouldn't like but the kids instantly loved it.

It's too large. The kids programs are crazy hectic. But they have friends. Lots of friends here. Both are very involved in the classes/choir.

 

At first I still wanted to leave. I never found a sunday school class and we have no family nearby and can't afford a sitter for small group. Wed. night doesn't work b/c of music and basketball. So it's one service for me on Sunday. One sunday the pastor said to find God where you are. Even if in a church you feel isn't for you. He was right. I started hearing more from the sermons. I am meeting more people. And while I still prefer small churches my kids are thriving here. Learning about God and are happy to go. In fact they were sad they couldn't do Wed night. So for now we are staying. And changing my attitude allowed me to see the good in this church. There is something for me here but I wasn't seeing it at first.

 

I want my kids to want to be at church. They do now. So yes, we will stay even though I think I personally would prefer a smaller church.

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I guess have I have sort of a different view on the subject. Please don't think this sounds snarky because I don't mean it to. That said, church just isn't a place to be served but to serve. No church is perfect here on earth and as long as you don't have any bibical problems with the church, then I say stay. What have YOU done to make it a welcoming church to others? Have you talked to the leadership and voulinteered yourself to help in that area? Have you shown hospitality to others? Have you made a real effort to build Real relationships? Do you have an automatic negative attitude towards the church and are looking for things to find wrong with it?

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I would leave if DH and I felt it was time to leave. Our kids just don't have that kind of discernment yet. When they are older - we'll talk.

 

Do the like it because it's fun and entertaining? Are they REALLY learning and being discipled - or amused?

 

I think a LOT of churches are pushing FUN and INTERACTION but not really feeding anyone. The gospel is not shared. Kids aren't challenged. But, man, it's fun. It's like spiritual Twinkies. If that's the case you are facing - leave. Find somewhere where God's Word is taught and you and your kids will grow in the Lord.

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We have this situation. My kids are all teens though. We solved it by going to different churches. They are super involved in youth group and the worship team. The kids will go to church with us and do the youth group and worship team during the week.

It has worked out well for us but if your kids are littler, it might be harder for that to work.

 

Similar situation here... dd14 and I attend different churches at the moment. (ds12 doesn't attend regular Sunday services - he has some special needs that make that not very workable. He takes part in other church programs for kids and does bible study at home with us.)

 

A few people have raised their eyebrows at the way we do it, but that's okay..we know what works for us. :)

 

(of course this doesn't work with little kids...)

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Take one for the team! (Unless God specifically led you in a different direction.)

 

For us, we've been going primarily for the kids because they do so enjoy the children's program. We like the church okay--very nice people and our oldest is on the worship team once a month (another reason to stay.)

 

However, my dh and I don't "feel" the connection we're looking for. So once a month we'll be attending a different church, and the kids can go along with it for us. Ideal? Probably not, but we'd like for each member of the family to get fed. :)

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My kids loved the children's program at the church we were attending recently. I feel rather guilty about it actually. They kept asking if we could go to church but I couldn't make myself go anymore. I connected with absolutely no one there. To be fair, our attendance was very spotty. It was a Baptist church, and I've just come to the conclusion that I really don't belong in a Baptist church anymore. I remember sitting in the Sunday school class and the teacher asked a question and I knew the "right" answer and I knew my answer and realized I would never feel comfortable saying my answer. Sure enough someone spoke up with this "Oh yes, we have to because it's a slippery slope if we don't" argument and it just depressed me.

 

For my kids, it was social hour. They didn't walk out of there able to repeat anything that they learned. So I feel bad that they don't have what is a wholesome social outlet, but at the time, the religious education they were getting at their school dwarfed anything the church even attempted to do with them. (To be fair, they were in school 35ish hours a week.) In fact, now that we're homeschooling, I feel I'm not really doing enough with them. :p

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Unless there's something going on that would be damaging to them emotionally or spiritually, I would tough it out. As an adult, I can survive spiritually without the perfect church; children need that steady, familiar community, IMO.

 

I couldn't break my kids' hearts unless it was going to be balanced out at the other side by being ultimately good for them.

 

That said, I understand what you're going through. I would suggest pursuing your spiritual life through other means--maybe join a Bible study group or something. Grab some devotional books and go to your local coffee shop for some quiet time once a week. Find a church with a more intimate feel that maybe has services on an off night and attend a couple of times a month--just for you. Your kids don't have to go with you. :)

:iagree: Very well said and this is exactly how I feel. If your kids feel at home and close to the leaders, I would go as a family and stay there. I don't think having your dh take them would be a great example to them.

Wonderful idea to join a Bible study group for you. I know someone who goes to a ladies group at a different church. There are so many options that you can seek out to keep yourself filled up. We can pray that in time you might feel just like the kids, but just in case you'll have other options for you!

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My kids' spiritual growth is my absolute top priority. I would never do anything to undermine it. Breaking a church connection could be devastating for them--they might never be able to establish a relationship with another church. I've met kids who have gone through that--it can be a really big deal.

 

That said, there might be a way you could gently connect them to a new group at the same time and then move them when they're established. You could start attending a mid-week service at a different church or a Bible study with childcare or a kids program (like BSF).

 

For us, I don't think it would rock my kids' worlds too much if we were to change churches--most of their closest relationships are with people we also have homeschool co-op with. But I would do everything I could to make sure the new church was going to be a good fit for them before leaving.

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Yes, my dh and I did stay at a church that our dds loved but we were ready to change. Luckily we moved, so problem solved. We currently attend a church that my dd enjoys but I have no real attachment to. Again, we will stay for her sake. Moving is hard for her and the more things we can do to bring stability to her world, dh and I are willing to do. Blessings on whatever your decision is, I know it's not an easy one.

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Take one for the team! (Unless God specifically led you in a different direction.)

 

This is probably what I'll end up doing because, to be honest, if it weren't for the girls I wouldn't bother with church at all. YES, I'm a Christian and my faith is very important to me, but I don't think that church is the only way to Jesus. So, I wonder if I would ever find anywhere I like as much as the girls, because I'm just not a church person... the whole thing is generally a poor fit for me. Jesus = good fit, though :001_smile:

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It doesn't sound to me like you have a good enough reason to leave, so I would work on myself if I was in that place and go from there.

 

If I did have good enough reason, I would start having some good discussions with the kids and work through it together, taking some time to do so. Ultimately doing what is best for the family and that would be best for the kids, though it may be very difficult.

 

There is much in the process on either side, such as prayer, but I think other often overlooked and under-considered are fasting and Bible reading. A good process will lead you to the right path and help you down that path.

Edited by narrow4life
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If my kids were younger, say fourth grade or below, I'd be visiting alternatives while dh took them to the place they loved. If and when I found a place that I truly believed would be a better fit, I'd go all together as a family to visit. It's just really hard to bounce kids around on church recoinnoissance.

 

However, with teens or even preteens, if I saw that they were being challenged and growing spiritually (versus just being entertained), I would stay regardless of how I personally felt about it. I do not get a warm fuzzy feeling at our current place of worship, and it's taken a long time for me personally to begin to feel comfortable there, but it is a most excellent situation for my teens. I can give up a few years of my preference for that. I believe it has actually resulted in quality examination of my own spiritual walk and a stronger understanding of my relationship with God.

 

But if they were little? I'd be looking. Mom needs lots of good filling and growing herself to be pouring into those little buckets all day. It's not that the older kids don't need that, too, they do, they are just expanding their sources to other Godly adults and that is appropriate at their age.

 

:iagree:

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My three kids all attend a small church that I do not attend. I don't care for the message of this church personally. It isn't a bad message, but not for me and what I believe. The youth program is more open feeling than the adult church. I do not mind my children learning faith as this church teaches it, but I don't agree about it for myself. The kids are each allowed to make their own choices on which church/faith they choose to be.

 

DS16 also attends a massive non-dom church almost weekly, with a friend. They both attend each others churches, one on Sat-one on Sun. We discuss the difference on occasion and he says he feels God in the small church but not so much in the large one. How can I argue with that LOL

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Personally, I would STAY PUT - at least for now.

 

I've not read all the reply posts. I'm speaking from experience of taking my sons out of a place where they were so very happy. For us, the church we were attending seemed / was very conservative; however, there were several problems inherent in the teaching as well as with a few members. I wish we had stayed and also prayed. My husband, unfortunately, was not ever one to look further down the line where his children were concerned, so "praying" with me for change was not something he would do. It would have been better to stay there and allow them to maintain those friendships than to have moved to the places we did for about 5 to 6 years!!!

 

I would be on my knees more than anything else. I guess you could visit other churches, if some have peaked your interest from word of mouth, but keep in mind that your view of the church from one or two visits is not equall to what you will experience once you start plugging in as an enitre family. IF you do visit churches, it would be better if you already knew a member, hopefully another mom or committed mature man. I would suggest asking them how to get a feel for the church and its vision, heart for missions and also its maturity level or call to maturity among believers. We are at a relatively "new" church home (the church is not new, but we are relatively new members). I could easily suggest several Sunday School classes for a prospective member to attend that would open his / her eye(s) to the level of maturity / committment that is common among members.

 

I would also suggest attending a ladies' bible study at other churches. Perhaps this would also fulfill your personal needs to connect to others for now, and yet, you could contine to "look" if that is practical. It is also possible that others at the bible study may have suggestions for you.

 

This church we are currently attending is not one I will ever want to leave. I only wish we had switched to this church when we left the one our sons enjoyed so many years ago.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Forgive me for bumping this up again, but I really need to talk about this and it's too... I don't know... too difficult, I guess, to talk with anyone in real life.

 

I've decided to stay put for now... and even sent the children's ministry director a thank you note for her excellent work with my girls. But, I woke up this morning dreading having to go and sit in the service. I feel like my head is going to explode. I want to just sit in the lobby or my car and hang out while the girls do their thing, but I'm genuinely concerned about it coming across as disrespectful or rude. *This is not what I want.* So, what do you think? Would it be rude to NOT go into the adult service after dropping off my kids? I could take a book and either sit in the HUGE lobby (sofas and cafe tables on one end) or lay really low and sit in my car. There is a very real possibility that I would be noticed by the one person who knows me (the pastor) which would reinforce his impression that I'm a spiritual slacker (I'm not, btw). He's a good guy, but I think he really jumps to conclusions about people and just *assumes* things. Sheesh, I sound codependent right now. Who CARES what he thinks? If he chooses to be offended by someone sitting quietly, minding her own business then that's not my problem.

 

Please talk some sense into me. I know I'm being a bit of a nut right now. Thank you. :)

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This is why I voted for changing churches. What kind of message do you want sent to your girls? Once it's out that you are not in church the whispering will begin about you and filter to the girls. There just aren't easy answers. I'm sorry you are having a tough time. How about changing churches on Sunday and dropping them off midweek?

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Forgive me for bumping this up again, but I really need to talk about this and it's too... I don't know... too difficult, I guess, to talk with anyone in real life.

 

I've decided to stay put for now... and even sent the children's ministry director a thank you note for her excellent work with my girls. But, I woke up this morning dreading having to go and sit in the service. I feel like my head is going to explode. I want to just sit in the lobby or my car and hang out while the girls do their thing, but I'm genuinely concerned about it coming across as disrespectful or rude. *This is not what I want.* So, what do you think? Would it be rude to NOT go into the adult service after dropping off my kids? I could take a book and either sit in the HUGE lobby (sofas and cafe tables on one end) or lay really low and sit in my car. There is a very real possibility that I would be noticed by the one person who knows me (the pastor) which would reinforce his impression that I'm a spiritual slacker (I'm not, btw). He's a good guy, but I think he really jumps to conclusions about people and just *assumes* things. Sheesh, I sound codependent right now. Who CARES what he thinks? If he chooses to be offended by someone sitting quietly, minding her own business then that's not my problem.

 

Please talk some sense into me. I know I'm being a bit of a nut right now. Thank you. :)

 

:grouphug: I don't have awesome advice for you...I'm sorry. It's hard, isn't it? We have been without a church home for quite some time. Currently we are visiting a church that is nice, but like you I find it lacking. The people are nice, the pastor is nice, it's biblically sound...I am going for my children. I want to find a church home, but it's hard. For us it is difficult because of a previous church situation which left us hurt.

 

Like I said, I have no wise words, but lots of :grouphug: and understanding.

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We left a church our boys absolutely loved. My dh and I both felt strongly that God was leading us elsewhere. We did continue to attend the church while we read, searched, and prayed.

 

Ultimately, we felt that God was leading us to an Eastern Orthodox Church. Last month, we sat the boys down, and just explained to them what was going on, and that we were going to to visit a new church. My boys have fallen in love with our new church to a degree that has even surprised me. We do make a point to take them to Sunday School before Divine Liturgy, and to stay for coffee hour after the service, so that they can form and develop new friendships. To be honest with you, they never even talk about our old church any more.

 

I guess that is a long way of saying that we would not stay at a church our children loved, if we thought God was leading our family elsewhere.

 

Krista

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But, I woke up this morning dreading having to go and sit in the service. I feel like my head is going to explode. I want to just sit in the lobby or my car and hang out while the girls do their thing, but I'm genuinely concerned about it coming across as disrespectful or rude. *This is not what I want.* So, what do you think? Would it be rude to NOT go into the adult service after dropping off my kids? I could take a book and either sit in the HUGE lobby (sofas and cafe tables on one end) or lay really low and sit in my car.

 

dh and the kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE our church. I'm feeling a bit like you. My solution is:

 

1. I serve one service, every week. I feel like I'm serving in a needed capacity, whether I feel like the church is "my" best fit or not. Our church stresses finding your "sweet spot" in service and I have truly found a place I enjoy (not in a children's classroom:D)

 

2. I sit through the service. I don't want to. But, it's only 1 1/2 hours out of every week and it's not going to kill me.

 

3. I'm trying to find a different small group/Bible study for me. Older dd will likely attend private school next year, so I'm considering getting back into BSF. My younger will just meet the age requirement for a daytime group. If I don't do that, I'll keep looking for something different.

 

In your place, I probably wouldn't just go sit in the lobby and read a book. I would be more likely to go out to my car. But, I will also say that I grew up with parents who dropped me off and went home and it created a real issue of hypocrisy for me.

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You aren't alone, I promise you. My dh is buying me a Nook so that I can read during church service w/o having a big library book open in my lap. :D It is unobtrusive, and no one will have any idea if I'm reading my Bible or Hound of the Baskervilles. :lol: I do not feel a bit guilty about this solution; I'd feel guilty if I were keeping my children home from a program they loved -- and that was good for them -- because of my spiritual struggles. Best wishes! :grouphug:

 

 

:lol::lol::lol:

 

I was literally just sitting here at the computer desk with my nook thinking, "You know, if I took my nook I could sit in the service and read and no one would have ANY idea what I'm reading," and then I read your post. As you said, it's unobtrusive and no one would be the wiser. I just have to remember not to LOL at any funny parts.

 

BTW, the nook rocks. I bet you'll love it :)

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This is exactly where we are right now. My kids LOVE our church and I adore our youth pastors. DH and I just aren't 100% about the church. But we stay for the kids. I figure, there isn't anything going on that is against the Word. It just isn't our cup of tea, kwim? I can be fed in other ways. Friends, Bible studies, books, messages on radio/tv, etc.

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:lol::lol::lol:

 

I was literally just sitting here at the computer desk with my nook thinking, "You know, if I took my nook I could sit in the service and read and no one would have ANY idea what I'm reading," and then I read your post. As you said, it's unobtrusive and no one would be the wiser. I just have to remember not to LOL at any funny parts.

 

BTW, the nook rocks. I bet you'll love it :)

UPDATE: I tried discreetly reading my nook during the service (a religious book, fwiw. It wasn't like I was reading some steamy romance or anything inappropriate to the venue) and the lady next to me gave me a serious snarky scowl. She thought I was rude, I guess. I thought she was rude for making assumptions and reading over my shoulder. Anyway, it was back to the drawing board for me.

 

The pastor of the church knows a little bit of how I feel about church-stuff (and a bit of why, too... more than anyone on this board), so I directly asked him if he thought it would be rude if I hung out in the lobby and basically acted as a taxi for my kids. He told me that was fine, he hoped I would join in the service at some point in the future, etc.

 

So... I'll probably still get the scowls for being a slacker, but at least I won't feel guilty :tongue_smilie:

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Our children watch us to see what we model, spiritually, as well as what we say about it. Do as I say, not as I do does not work.

 

So, I think that it's very important to attend a church that we are enthusiastic about--that has the right teachings, that has appropriate worship services, that embodies the love of Christ and of each other as well as the unchurched, that encourages and facilitates spiritual growth.

 

I left a church when I was pregnant because I wanted to raise my DD in a church where I liked to worship. That was the priority--I wanted to be enthusiastic in bringing her to church. The church I left had far better 'children's programs' than the one I joined, but I was able to model so much better for her what it means to be an adult Christian because the church I joined embodies that better.

 

Start looking for a better church for you.

 

Sitting in church seething is going to harm you spiritually. And chances are, it will harm your children as well, sooner or later.

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She thought I was rude, I guess. I thought she was rude for making assumptions and reading over my shoulder. Anyway, it was back to the drawing board for me.

 

 

Or just not care what she (or others) think. It's not their concern, you know? If they want to get to know you and see why you are reading during church, that would be cool. Otherwise, it's none of their business.

 

Other comments:

My parents used to drop us off at church when we were younger (late elem./middle school). It didn't harm us too much! No, we didn't get the benefit of a "Christian upbringing" but it didn't stop us from searching when we were ready, either. It's not the worst thing you could do.

 

We changed churches about two years ago after a similar struggle. Our kids weren't involved in Sunday school or youth group, but they did have some connections that we were concerned about ending. But in the end, we realized they themselves were ready (even if they hadn't thought about it). They have loved our new church from the get-go. We're all thrilled to be there, and won't be changing again.

 

Hope some of this helps.

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