A long time ago someone told me that we should never use the excuse “I don’t have time for this.” The truth is we have time for anything that we desire. If we are truthful, instead of telling someone we don’t have time for a specific task, we should instead say that the task is not as important to other things we are choosing to do with the time we have.
As a youth pastor I am reminded how busy students are today. There is an enormous amount of pressure for students to be academically proficient while being a part of many different activities. In one sense it is a gift that there are so many avenues for teens to take part in and develop their skills and passions. However, we must remember that students only have 24 hours in a day.
Many families are choosing to sacrifice being a part of church life for extra curricular activities. Now, it is crucial to remember simply going to church does not make someone a Christian. However, the Bible is clear that the church is important to Jesus so the church must be important to us.
Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, made a statement on Twitter about the effect skipping church is having on students. He said:
“Parents, including Christian parents, who in the name of all kinds of other good things – whether it’s violin lessons to softball games – if they come up with an excuse to have their children less and less frequently involved in church activities, less robust in terms of the religious experiences of their childhood and adolescence, they shouldn’t be surprised that perhaps unbeknownst to those parents, those children show up as young people on American college and university campuses and from their very first semester already indicate they’ve left behind the vestigial beliefs of their childhood.”
This is a good reminder to all of us that we must remember that there are consequences to our actions. If we train children, over some of their most formative years of their life, that church is secondary to other activities, then we shouldn’t be surprised when they walk away from church during their college year.