Article by Kevin Winchenbach

As I was sitting in church a couple of weeks ago, I started counting some of the kids I knew from several years ago.  Now that they are teens and young adults, they no longer want to come to church.  What has happened that they are not here or in any other church?  Where have we gone wrong as a church?  Or, more importantly, where have we gone wrong as parents?
I believe that too many parents are satisfied that their children get saved and they think their job is done.  The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old,  he will not depart from it.”  Are we truly training our children in every aspect of their lives to honor God, to put their faith in God, and to please God?  This is why we were created in the first place.
Are we teaching them to be faithful to a local church?  Are we stressing how important this is to God?  I once heard someone say, “I don’t need church.  I’m saved!”  Can I tell you that I need church more now because I am saved.  I need to hear what God has for me and my family.  The Bible says in Romans 10:17, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”  I need to hear God’s Word preached to increase my faith.  Our children need to see our faith that we have in God in every part of our lives — a major part being faithfulness!
Growing up, I never had to ask my parents if we were going to church.  If the doors were opened we were going.  We were faithful as a whole family.  How many times do I hear the least littlest excuses that keep people from church.
Our beliefs affect our behavior and our behavior affects our children.  Our kids are watching us.  They see what is important to us.  They see the movies we watch, hear the music we listen to, hear the inappropriate jokes we tell our spouse, and see the e-mail that should have been deleted but got forwarded to them instead.  They don’t see God all week in our lives and then we wonder why as teens and young adults they are not interested in church.  We will answer to God one day for how we raised our kids and if we were faithful to Him and His church.
I want to encourage you to make God so real in everything you do that your kids see it everyday.  Your teen should notice God working on your heart through changes you make in your family.  Before we watch that movie, ask if God would watch it too.  If not, maybe we shouldn’t either.  Before we turn the radio on, think about if this music would please God.  Our children are watching.  Let them see what God can be in their life.  When they are old, they might just be what God designed them to be.