Yesterday at the end of church service a friend made a comment that sort of stopped me in my tracks and make me think - which is always a good thing.
She was to start teaching a new ladies class last night during the church's discipleship time. I usually go to the Thursday morning time and so, have not been able to see her teach. In past locations and churches we have been very much apart of the Sunday night experience. Traditionally, Sunday nights are "how-to's" and "why" of our faith where as Sunday mornings are more evangelistic. But in Guam we got out of the habit. The chapel there didn't have any Sunday night programs and so, we have gotten very use to Sunday nights being a time of us just hanging out together and gearing up (at least mentally!) for the new week.
Our church here only has Sunday nights classes two times a year for about six to eight weeks. Both times last year as well as this past fall, there were no classes for the teens at all and there were no classes that Drew or I were interested in attending...so we didn't. Last night was first night for the new session of classes which included classes for the teens! I was thrilled! It's nice to have an option for EVERYONE - of all ages! (The children's department has classes for the elementary students as well as child-care for the babies through preschoolers.)
So, as I was greeting my friend after church yesterday I told her I may sit-in on her class - if my teens wanted to go to the youth meeting. Then she said. "What!? Letting the child decide if they are to to go church or not??!! What's up with that??"
I was a little taken back....and said something along the lines of "yeah well...hm.....yeah...." Not the most articulate answer!
As my Sunday went along, I thought about what she said. Yes, part of me agrees. When the family attends church - the FAMILY - the WHOLE family attends church - which we do on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For those times our children do not have a choice. They are coming to church with us. They do have a choice of being in their age class or they can attend the service with the adults. But go to church, they will.
Our teens have even decided to attend summer camps and the Monday night weekly study. Of which I am thrilled over! And so with this new Sunday night class, I felt like it was up to them. Drew and I again were not interested in any of the adult classes, so we as a family we were not going. After talking to both of the teens, they were not really interested in attending the new class. And Drew and I were fine with that.
Instead we had some family time....we all piled up in mine and Drew's bed and watched a show together....sweet times. We only have all three kids home for just a few more years....church will always be there, but our time together is short - it's nice to be able to enjoy it.