I read a blog this morning by Mark Driscoll titled 5 ways to teach your kids how to hate church. It had some good points. So I added an additional 7 and here are now 12 ways to Teach your Kids how to hate church.
I see this from time to time in different churches. Parents behave badly or inconsistently and then wonder why their children don’t want anything to do with church. As parents we need to understand that we are being watched all the time and with children, more is caught than taught.
1. Make sure your faith is only something you live out in public
Go to church… at least most of the time. Make sure you agree with what you hear the preacher say, and affirm on the way home what was said especially when it has to do with your kids obeying, but let it stop there. Don’t read your Bible at home. The pastor will say everything you need to hear on Sundays.
Don’t engage your children in questions they have concerning Jesus and God.
Live like you want to live during the week so that your kids can see that duplicity is ok.
2. Pray only in front of people
The only times you need to pray are when your family is over, holiday meals, when someone is sick, and when you want something.
Besides that, don’t bother. Your kids will see you pray when other people are watching, no need to do it with them in private.
3. Focus on your morals
Make sure you insist your kids be honest with you.
Let them know it is the right thing for them to do, but then feel free to lie in your own life and disregard the need to tell them and others the truth.
Get very angry with your children when they say words that are “naughty” and “bad,” but post, read, watch, and say whatever you want on TV, Facebook, and Twitter.
Make sure you focus on being a good person. Be ambiguous about what this means.
4. Give financially as long as it doesn’t impede your needs
Make a big deal out of giving at church. Stress to your children the value of tithing, while not giving sacrificially yourself. Allow them to see you spend a ton of money on what you want, while negating your command from Scripture to give sacrificially.
5. Make church community a priority… as long as there is nothing else you want to do
Hey, you are a church-going family, right? I mean, that’s what you tell your friends and family anyways. Make sure you attend on Sundays. As long as you didn’t stay up too late Saturday night. Or your family isn’t having a big barbeque. Or the big game isn’t on. Or this week you just don’t feel like it. Or… I mean, you’re a church-going family, so what’s the big deal?
6. Speak negatively about the church, the pastor, the preaching , the lights, the sound, Children’s Church, the people in front of your children
And the wonder why your children don’t want to attend next Sunday
7. When something in the church upsets you. Just stop coming for a few weeks or a few months till you get over it. Model to your kids that the way to deal with conflict is isolate yourself. And model to your kids that you are passionate for God as long as everything is going ok.
8. Never talk about God in just everyday conversation. Make sure your spirit life is something like your weekly squash game. It has its allocated time and that’s it. Never show your kids how to walk in the spirit and or be a man or woman of faith.
9) Paint the picture of Jesus as an ogre or stern disciplinary.
Use terms like “Jesus won’t like you if you do that.” Or “People that do end up in Hell.” Always refer back to Jesus when you are disciplining or bringing correction.
10) Use biblical principles to discipline.
Your child is sick – you pray for them and then you say, stop complaining we have prayed for you.
11) Enforce spiritual or moral principles without explaining or teaching
Just ban you children from attending things like wild parties, movies like Harry Potter, piercings etc, without teaching them the principle behind your concern.
12) Never model passionate spirituality
Don’t be excited about Church
Don’t be passionate about serving
Don’t ever talk about a fresh revelation
Don’t speak excitedly about Jesus
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