Sunday, October 19, 2008

Emerging Parents and "Church"

A fellow blogger over at Emerging Parents posted a question about how people are parenting their children in the changing church landscape:
What is your family currently doing as far as growing your children spiritually? Do you attend church, do church in a home or an alternative and how did you come to this decision?
Here's what I wrote - a little window into life in our home:

My wife and I are both pastors, currently serving as interim pastors in two different congregations, and we have two girls ages 12 and 7.

As others have said, we are trying to teach our children to be church 24/7 along with us as we try to do that ourselves! But as far as Sunday worship services are concerned we are frankly making it up week by week.

Sometimes they are with me, sometimes with mom, sometimes with extended family at a third congregation which is near our home and has their school friends attending. Other times we have a family worship time at home on Sunday.

A while back, I specifically wrestled with how I felt about the girls not having "a church home" since they were so itinerant as a result of our employment. I ended up ambivalent. I see a loss to them from not having one particular community to identify with and the consistency of relationships there. But I see a greater gain to them of having a clear sense of belonging to something much larger than a congregation.

Given the growing uncertainty I have about the future of conventional congregations, that broad experience may end up being more valuable to them that I can imagine!