Link: Family Time Trumps Church Time Every Time

Al Mohler on families choosing other activities over church:

This quote is from the study Mohler cites:

In our survey 83 percent of pastors said they are aware of situations where people routinely choose family events over church commitments. The list of reasons people give for missing church events: kids’ activities and weekend trips are cited as most common reasons told to pastors (9 in 10 hear this frequently); grown-up sports such as fishing, football, and NASCAR are next, followed by extended family gatherings (7 in 10 hear these frequently), and a child’s illness (almost 6 in 10 hear this reason on a regular basis).”

Mohler’s comment: “Let’s be honest here — these families, for the most part, are not spending these additional hours of the week in joint spiritual activities and disciplines. It is not as though ‘family time’ was a time of biblical instruction and spiritual edification. No . . . increasingly it’s Little League and NASCAR.”

Another part of the study Mohler doesn’t want his readers to miss:

Welker says the church isn’t helping by segregating families once they arrive on campus. “Shouldn’t we as a church try to bring families together?” Welker asks. “Instead what we do is bring them to church and then put mom and dad in this room, the high school kids in that room, and the elementary kids down the hall. It’s no wonder families are spending more time doing family things than they are spending at church.”

Holly Allen agrees. She is an intergenerational studies specialist at John Brown University. Despite recent interest in intergenerational church ministries, the trend of the past two or three decades has been toward age-graded ministries and the further stratification of generations. “In the past, spending family time and going to church were the same thing,” Allen said. “Now, family time and church time are not compatible ideas, because families are rarely together when they are at church.”

Mohler’s comments:

When “church time” is seen as a competitor to “family time,” something is wrong at church. When family members hardly see each other at church activities, the congregation needs to take a quick inventory of its concept of ministry.

At the same time, when Christian parents take their kids to Little League games rather than worship on the Lord’s Day, these parents teach their children that team sports are more important than the worship of God.

Every kid has a “thing” going on virtually all the time. That is the condition of life today, it seems. But when that “thing” keeps the child — or the whole family — away from church, we need to name that thing what it is . . . at best a snare, at worst an idol.”

It’s nice to know I’m not the only one calling this what it really is: “idolatry.”

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About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
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2 Responses to Link: Family Time Trumps Church Time Every Time

  1. The same is easily said for those who elevate shuffling into a building for an hour and shuffling out. The idolatry of praising a single man and a single messenger that masquerades as a communicator of God’s oracles is just as blasphemous as the idolatry being described.Is the inference of the Apostle Paul’s call for the function of the body in unity under the headship of Christ, the admonishment of gathering together ourselves in the fellowship of the saints, and the consistent rebuke for those who elevate themselves over the brethren in vane?It’s hardly comparable to rebuke a dismissal of “fellowship” when all that passes for fellowship today is merely listening to the messages of men whose minions don’t question their judgments or the lording of their authority over the flock. It is a shame that the beautiful bride of Christ, His Church, receives the stinging blaspheme of the gentiles because her testimony has been compromised through the acts of goats who sing hymns and show up at all scheduled meetings. Woe to those who dismiss the burden and genuine call of all believers who have been designated to be a royal priesthood and teachers of the Word! Woe to those who seek to make converts and only make them twice the sons of hell that they are.What a shame that we have resolved to stating one should fellowship when all that fellowship has become is a place to show your face so you may be counted as righteous for arriving.Woe to those who attack others for this without ever considering the reason for their absence.Woe to those who would yoke the elevation of church traditions and American scheduling practices over God’s Holy Writ. Woe to those who equate the fellowship of saints to their narrow definitions learned from a classroom instead of relationships and love for other believers.Woe to those who are heavy handed in their rebukes and empty in their love for the flock. Woe to those who equate their love for the flock by the letters following their name.Woe to those who have forgotten that the Lord took off His outer garments and served His sheep in love and humility…not counting His rightful position as King a thing to be considered…Woe to those who Lord their knowledge, authority, and opinion over the flock.Woe to those who seek not to answer the questions of the curious, but to smash and refute them, crushing any desire to honestly learn truth from those who are “elders” in the faith.Woe to those who guise their attacks on the brethren….woe to them…

  2. I’m not sure who you’re answering or what/whom exactly you’re pronouncing woes against, but I think you read way too much into Mohler’s comments.

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